Special Report

Hardest Colleges to Get Into by State

Source: MROI Webmaster (Gijigogo) / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico
> Most selective college: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
> Admission rate: 21.7%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1190 and 1390
> Annual net price of attendance: $13,741

New Mexico Tech is considered one of the best small science and engineering schools in the country. Located in Socorro, an hour’s drive south of Albuquerque, the school was founded in 1893 to teach mining expertise. But today the curriculum has evolved to include atmospheric physics, information technology, earth science, mechanical engineering, and petroleum extraction. It offers 48 bachelor’s degree programs to a small student population of about 1,400.

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New York
> Most selective college: Columbia University
> Admission rate: 6.6%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1410 and 1570
> Annual net price of attendance: $22,824

Based in Manhattan’s upper west side, Columbia is one of the oldest universities in the country – founded in 1754 — and among the top higher education institutions in the world. The total student population was about 33,000 last year, with about half enrolled in its nine graduate and professional schools. Notable alumni include Alexander Hamilton, CNN anchor Poppy Harlow, and former attorney general Eric Holder.

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North Carolina
> Most selective college: Duke University
> Admission rate: 9.9%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1380 and 1540
> Annual net price of attendance: $22,011

Durham, North Carolina-based Duke University was founded by Methodists and Quakers in 1838 as a subscription school. The school had several named before it was ultimately renamed Duke University in 1924. Today, Duke is a major private research university with an undergraduate and graduate student population of nearly 16,000, largely pursuing majors in computer science, economics, public policy, biology, and psychology. Notable alumni include Apple CEO Tim Cook, philanthropist Melinda French Gates, and PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff.

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Source: Courtesy of Trinity Bible College and Graduate School

North Dakota
> Most selective college: Trinity Bible College and Graduate School
> Admission rate: 42.4%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 995 and 1230
> Annual net price of attendance: $20,408

This school in Ellendale, North Dakota, is one of the younger ones on this list, founded in 1948. As the name implies, the school maintains a deep religious foundation, affiliated with the Assemblies of God USA, and considers itself a leading U.S. Pentecostal Bible college. The school offers bachelor’s degrees in information systems, marketing and communications, and biblical studies, and ministry. Its graduate programs are focused on mission work.

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> Most selective college: Case Western Reserve University
> Admission rate: 33.1%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1340 and 1520
> Annual net price of attendance: $34,973

This Cleveland-based private research university was established in 1967 from a merger of two older local institutions dating back to the early 1800s. The university has eight colleges and schools focused on nursing, medicine, dental medicine, engineering, law, and management. Its School of Graduate Studies offers dozens of master’s degree and doctoral programs. The university student population numbers about 12,000. Notable alumni from its engineering school include Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, personal computer pioneer Paul Freidl, and Gmail creator Paul Buchheit.

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