There has been a drop in the number of people who go to college recently. Data from the National Student Clearinghouse shows that the falloff was 500,000 students in the fall of 2021. Some experts have blamed the pandemic. Others believe that the cost of a college education is not “worth it” based on incomes after graduation and student debt levels.
Four-year colleges, on average, are not hard to get into in America. One study puts acceptance rates at 66%,
Authors of this research done by College Date wrote: “Your chances at the vast majority of colleges may actually be quite promising. Most colleges accept more than half of their applicants.”
There are several paths to college acceptance. Usually, academic success in high school is critical. Some colleges look at extracurricular activities. And, sports are so critical at some schools that gifted athletes can get full scholarships.
Several American universities and colleges have acceptance rates below 10%, and at a small number, these are below 5%. Almost all of these are large universities with both undergraduate programs, and graduate programs for medicine, law, and business. These also have large endowments, substantial research programs, and professors who are among the greatest experts in their fields.
Another characteristic these “hard to get into colleges” share is a very large percentage are part of the Ivy League, a set of northeastern universities that are all over a century old. These include Harvard University (Massachusetts), Yale University (Connecticut), Princeton University (New Jersey), Columbia University (New York), Brown University (Rhode Island), Dartmouth College (New Hampshire), University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania), and Cornell University (New York)
Another group includes America’s best technical universities–MIT) (Massachusetts) and CalTech (California).
The hardest university to get into does not fall into either of these categories. Stanford University (California), which was founded in 1885 by California senator Leland Stanford, has the lowest acceptance rate among all colleges and universities in the U.S. according to Prep Scholar at 3.9%.
When Stanford provided the money for what would become one of America’s great universities, he said it was “to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization.”
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