Hardest Colleges to Get Into by State

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Hawaii
> Most selective college: Brigham Young University-Hawaii
> Admission rate: 36.8%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1090 and 1253
> Annual net price of attendance: $12,155

BYU-Hawaii was founded in 1955 on Oahu island as part of a global expansion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It focuses on mathematics, management, and liberal arts throughout its four colleges and aims to merge spiritual and secular learning, according to its site. BYU-Hawaii is operated by the LDS Church Educational System that has similar campuses in Idaho, Provo, Utah, and Salt Lake City, as well as elementary and secondary schools worldwide. Last year, a group of BYU-Hawaii students won a national competition for their sustainable farming project aimed to help rice farmers in Hawaii and the Philippines.

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Idaho
> Most selective college: Northwest Nazarene University
> Admission rate: 73.4%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1030 and 1230
> Annual net price of attendance: $19,204

Nampa, Idaho-based Northwest Nazarene University was founded as an elementary and Bible school in 1913 and became a private liberal arts college later, reaching accreditation in 1937. The campus is small, with an enrollment of about 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Like some of the other private universities on this list, NNU focuses on both spiritual and secular education at its two colleges. It offers dozens of baccalaureate programs and nearly 20 master’s degrees. NNU offers a robust athletics program for a school of its size and is home to a high-ranking women’s basketball team.

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Illinois
> Most selective college: University of Chicago
> Admission rate: 8.7%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1480 and 1580
> Annual net price of attendance: $34,834

Established in 1890, the University of Chicago is a private nonprofit research university located on the city’s south side. UChicago has six professional schools focusing on medicine, business, law, social services, public policy, and professional studies. The university teaches about 15,400 undergraduate and graduate students pursuing any one of dozens of majors. UChicago also manages the Argonne National Laboratory, the U.S. government’s science and engineering research center that evolved from the university’s work on the Manhattan Project in the 1940s.

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Indiana
> Most selective college: University of Notre Dame
> Admission rate: 18.9%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1370 and 1520
> Annual net price of attendance: $27,453

This private non-profit Catholic research university was founded in 1842 by a group of priests led by Rev. Edward Sorin, who was granted land from the state’s Roman Catholic Diocese. These days, about 12,000 students enroll in the Notre Dame, Indiana-based university each year in its eight colleges and schools. The university has programs in humanities, social sciences, engineering, and business, as well as a popular college football team. Notable Notre Dame alumni include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former NFL quarterback Joe Montana, and astronauts Michael B. Good and Kevin A. Ford.

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Iowa
> Most selective college: Grinnell College
> Admission rate: 28.9%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1310 and 1510
> Annual net price of attendance: $29,492

Founded in 1848 by a group of Congregationalists who travelled west from New England, this private liberal arts college in the Iowa city that shares its name offers undergraduate degree programs in the humanities, science, and social studies. The campus is small, with enrollment of about 1,600 students. The college touts a so-called Individually Advised Curriculum that emphasizes faculty mentoring. Notable graduates include the late actor Gary Cooper, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert Hodierne, and the late inventor and co-founder of Intel Corp. Robert Noyce.