Special Report

The Hardest College to Get Into in Every State

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Hawaii: Brigham Young University-Hawaii
> Location: Laie
> Acceptance rate for 2018-2019: 44.8%
> Applicants for 2018-2019: 2,970
> Median SAT score: 1167 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $18,043
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 3,040

BYU-Hawaii first opened its doors in 1955, approximately 110 years after a group of Latter-day Saint missionaries first landed in Hawaii. In the 2018-19 school year BYU-Hawaii accepted just 44.8% of applicants, the lowest acceptance rate of any school in Hawaii with available data. The median SAT score among first-year students was 1167 out of 1600, the highest such median of any college or university in the state.

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Idaho: Northwest Nazarene University
> Location: Nampa
> Acceptance rate for 2018-2019: 70.9%
> Applicants for 2018-2019: 1,046
> Median SAT score: 1135 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $38,842
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 1,268

Northwest Nazarene University is a small liberal arts college founded in 1913 in Nampa, Idaho, about 20 miles west of Boise. Popular majors at the school today include business administration, nursing, and teaching.

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Illinois: University of Chicago
> Location: Chicago
> Acceptance rate for 2018-2019: 7.3%
> Applicants for 2018-2019: 32,283
> Median SAT score: 1520 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $75,735
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 6,600

The University of Chicago is well-known for its academic rigor, particularly in the area of economics, and for faculty doing ground-breaking research. The institution boasts a handful of Nobel Prize winners — Saul Bellow-literature, George E. Smith-physics — and Pulitzer Prize recipients — Bret Stephens-commentary, Roger Ebert-criticism. Before he was president, Barack Obama taught at the University of Chicago Law School.

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Indiana: University of Notre Dame
> Location: Notre Dame
> Acceptance rate for 2018-2019: 17.7%
> Applicants for 2018-2019: 20,371
> Median SAT score: 1475 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $69,395
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 8,568

Few American universities can boast a football legacy as rich as that of Notre Dame, a private Catholic research university founded in 1842. According to the NCAA, the school has 22 national football championships by major selectors, tied with the University of Alabama for the most of any Division I school. Notre Dame is also one of the most selective schools in the country. In the 2018-19 school year Notre Dame accepted just 17.7% of applicants, the lowest acceptance rate in Indiana and among the lowest of any school nationwide.

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Iowa: Grinnell College
> Location: Grinnell
> Acceptance rate for 2018-2019: 24.4%
> Applicants for 2018-2019: 7,349
> Median SAT score: 1451 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $65,814
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 1,683

Grinnell College, a small private liberal arts school in Grinnell, Iowa, describes itself as “quirky” and “curious.” The Midwestern school was founded in 1846, and its theme is commitment to the common good.