Special Report

Hardest Colleges to Get Into by State

Source: USAF / Getty Images

> Most selective college: United States Air Force Academy
> Admission rate: 11.9%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1210 and 1390
> Annual net price of attendance: N/A

Located just outside of Colorado Springs, the USAFA was founded in 1954 and is the most recently founded of the five U.S. military service academies. Because it is focused on developing military personnel, USAFA accepts only recent high school graduates, with an age limit of 23. Graduates must commit to at least five years of active duty in the Air Force and three years as an inactive reserve officer. Students engage in 47 months of intense academic, physical, and character-building military training. Though learning to fly aircraft is a major part of the program, the academy offers 27 majors and four minors ranging from astronautical engineering to history.

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> Most selective college: Yale University
> Admission rate: 6.9%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1460 and 1580
> Annual net price of attendance: $18,053

Founded in 1701 as a theology school, New Haven-based Yale is the country’s fourth oldest university. As one of the world’s top research universities, it is extremely competitive, accepting less than one in 14 applicants on average. About 12,300 graduate and professional students from 118 countries attend the private Ivy League university, according to the latest available data. Getting into Yale is becoming more difficult. For the fourth consecutive year, Yale received a record number of undergraduate applications (36,829) for the next freshman class; less than 5% are expected to make the cut.

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Source: Parkpay2000 / Wikimedia Commons

> Most selective college: University of Delaware
> Admission rate: 62.9%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1130 and 1330
> Annual net price of attendance: $16,286

Based in Newark, the University of Delaware is a public research university with a total enrollment of about 24,100 undergraduate and graduate students across its seven colleges. Nearly one in three UD students spend time studying abroad at some point in their education, and in 2017, U.S. News and World Report said UD has the top ranking graduate program for physical therapy. Notable UD graduates include former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, inventor of Gore-Tex Robert Gore, and the late Nobel Prize winning microbiologist Daniel Nathans.

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> Most selective college: University of Miami
> Admission rate: 35.7%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1230 and 1420
> Annual net price of attendance: $42,204

The University of Miami has long had a reputation as a party school, perhaps owing to its location, but it is also a reputable private research university. Established in 1925, the school attracts about 17,000 students to its 11 schools and colleges. It was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the 46th best U.S. college for 2018, and 44th in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college ranking last year. Notable alumni include Sen. Marco Rubio, performer Gloria Estefan, and numerous professional athletes.

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> Most selective college: Emory University
> Admission rate: 22.0%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1350 and 1520
> Annual net price of attendance: $26,867

Atlanta-based Emory is a private institution with a strong liberal arts college and medical school. The institution, founded in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, has 11 colleges and schools focusing on business, nursing, public health, medicine, and law. There were 15,451 students enrolled in the fall 2018 semester. Notable alumni include six Pulitzer Prize winners: historians C. Vann Woodward, David M. Potter, Louis R. Harlan, and Dumas Malone, and journalists Claude Sitton and Frank Main.

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