Special Report

Hardest Colleges to Get Into by State

Source: Lukeorama / Wikimedia Commons

> Most selective college: McPherson College
> Admission rate: 48.5%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1030 and 1180
> Annual net price of attendance: $21,954

This four-year liberal arts college in McPherson, Kansas, was founded in 1887 by leaders of the Church of the Brethren. The community is small, consisting of about 700 students, and the college offers 21 majors and 10 pre-professional programs, including business administration, chemistry, music, and psychology. The college puts an emphasis on entrepreneurship and preparing students for post-graduate studies. It also has the distinction of being the only school to offer a bachelor’s degree in automotive restoration.

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Source: Parkerdr / Wikimedia Commons

> Most selective college: Berea College
> Admission rate: 35.1%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 970 and 1200
> Annual net price of attendance: $1,680

Berea was founded in 1855 as the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. The private liberal arts college, based in the city that shares its name, charges no tuition and admits only academically promising students, many of them from surrounding Appalachia, who have limited economic resources. The school, which has a student population of about 1,600, offers undergraduate degrees in the arts or sciences in 28 fields. In return for no tuition, students work for the campus in various roles, such as administrative, dining services and grounds maintenance. The school’s endowment covers 75% of its budget.

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> Most selective college: Tulane University
> Admission rate: 21.5%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1330 and 1490
> Annual net price of attendance: $33,886

Founded as a medical college in 1834, Tulane is a private nonsectarian research university located in the lush Uptown district of New Orleans. The university offers 70 majors in its five schools and requires that students perform local community service as part of the curriculum, a tradition that dates back to when Tulane medical students worked to combat local outbreaks of yellow fever and cholera in the 1800s.

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Source: Colby Mariam / Wikimedia Commons

> Most selective college: Colby College
> Admission rate: 15.8%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1340 and 1500
> Annual net price of attendance: $20,361

This Waterville, Maine-based private liberal arts college was founded in 1813 as a literary and theological institution. Colby offers 58 majors and 35 minors and welcomes a student body of about 2,000. Despite its relatively small size, the college offers an extensive study-abroad program and provides undergraduate with research opportunities. Notable alumni include historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, ABC World News anchor Dan Harris, and celebrity chef Wylie Dufresne.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Most selective college: Johns Hopkins University
> Admission rate: 12.5%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1450 and 1570
> Annual net price of attendance: $29,066

Named after an American Quaker, entrepreneur, slavery abolitionist, and university benefactor, Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 in Baltimore as a private research university. The university enrolls about 24,000 full- and part-time students across its nine academic divisions. It operates three health care-related schools devoted public health, nursing, and medicine, as well as Johns Hopkins Hospital. Its Applied Physics Laboratory plays an important role in U.S. space exploration, as it hosts the mission operations center for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, and its Peabody Institute was the country’s first academy of music.

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