Special Report

Hardest Colleges to Get Into


To identify the hardest colleges to get into, 24/7 constructed an index using data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to measure the relative exclusivity of 4-year, private and public degree-granting colleges and universities. We indexed both acceptance rates and SAT test scores of admitted students to measure the difficulty of being accepted.

The annual net price listed is for full-time, first-time undergraduates paying the in-state or in-district tuition rate who received grant or scholarship aid from federal, state, local, or institutional sources, and is generated by subtracting the amount of aid from the total cost of attendance, which is the sum of published tuition, required fees, books and supplies, the average room and board, and other expenses. Schools that had no data on SAT and ACT scores were excluded from consideration. For schools that did not have a net price figure for the 2017-2018, the net price for the previous year was given. All other data is for the 2017-2018 school year.