Hardest Colleges to Get Into by State

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Massachusetts
> Most selective college: Harvard University
> Admission rate: 5.2%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1460 and 1590
> Annual net price of attendance: $17,030

The country’s oldest university – established in 1636 – is also the world’s richest with a massive $39 billion endowment as of 2018. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard is often the university associated with an Ivy League education and holds extremely high admissions standards. Harvard has a dozen schools and about 36,000 students attend, including about 16,000 who take courses at Harvard’s Extension School that offers non-degree and professional courses. The university has produced a long list of notable alumni, including 48 Nobel laureates, 32 heads of state, and 48 Pulitzers Prize winners.

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Michigan
> Most selective college: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
> Admission rate: 26.5%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1330 and 1500
> Annual net price of attendance: $16,408

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor was founded in nearby Detroit in 1817, two decades before Michigan became a state. This public research university ranked among the top 10 universities in the nation as the best college (public or private) for the money, according to Money magazine’s 2018 ranking. UMich offers more than 275 degree programs and has a robust athletic program. The National Science Foundation ranks UMich among the top U.S. public universities in the nation for research. About 46,000 students attend UMich at Ann Arbor.

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Minnesota
> Most selective college: Carleton College
> Admission rate: 21.2%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1360 and 1530
> Annual net price of attendance: $28,148

Northfield, Minnesota-based Carleton was founded in 1866 by a conference of Congregational churches and has the unusual distinction of operating on a trimester system of three 10-week terms annually. The non-denominational school offers 33 majors and 31 minors in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, mathematics and social sciences to the roughly 2,000 undergraduate students that attend each year. The college is small but sponsors an off-campus studies program that sends students to countries such as India, New Zealand, and Chile. The college says most students participate in its study abroad program at least once during their time there.

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Mississippi
> Most selective college: Mississippi College
> Admission rate: 39.0%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1070 and 1290
> Annual net price of attendance: $17,098

This private Baptist college in Clinton, Mississippi, began teaching boys and girls in 1827, and it claims to be the first college in the nation to grant a degree to a woman, in 1831, though that claim is disputed by Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. The college offers more than 130 graduate and postgraduate areas of study, including law and medical sciences, to about 5,000 enrolled students. The college recently expanded its dyslexia diagnosis and therapy program, which treats children from across the state.

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Missouri
> Most selective college: Washington University in St. Louis
> Admission rate: 16.0%
> SAT at 25th and 75th percentiles: 1470 and 1570
> Annual net price of attendance: $27,777

Founded in 1853, Washington University in St. Louis has some of the top undergraduate programs in the nation in field such as teaching, counseling, and engineering. This Missouri-based private research university has produced two dozen Nobel laureates, mostly in physiology and medicine. WashU has seven academic divisions, including architecture, business, and public health. It ranks high as the safety school choice for students who fail to be accepted to an Ivy League university. Its student population hovers around 15,000.