Special Report

The Hardest College to Get Into in Every State

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Colorado: United States Air Force Academy
> Location: USAF Academy
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 11.1%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 10,354
> Median SAT score: 1320 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: N/A
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 4,336

The United States Air Force Academy, just outside of Colorado Springs, is the only military service academy to rank as a state’s most difficult college to get into. The school accepts about one out of every nine applicants and has strict academic, physical, and moral requirements for prospective students. There is no tuition at the school, but students must serve at least five years on active duty and three as inactive reserve after graduation.

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Connecticut: Yale University
> Location: New Haven
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 6.1%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 36,844
> Median SAT score: 1515 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $71,290
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 5,963

Yale University is one of the most prestigious schools in the country, with five graduates having served as U.S. president. The Ivy League school has one of the 10 lowest acceptance rates among considered U.S. schools, at 6.1%. Yale also had a median SAT score of 1515 out of 1600 and a median ACT score of 34 out of 36 among students admitted in 2018.

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Delaware: University of Delaware
> Location: Newark
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 71.4%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 26,866
> Median SAT score: 1255 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $25,584
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 19,060

The University of Delaware is one of just three institutions in the state considered for this list. Of the three, the university’s median SAT score of 1255 was by far the highest. The school, founded in 1743, is the largest university in America’s first state. Among its more notable alumni are President Joe Biden, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and actor Yvette Freeman.

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Florida: University of Miami
> Location: Coral Gables
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 27.1%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 38,920
> Median SAT score: 1340 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $65,298
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 10,873

The University of Miami’s median SAT score is 1340 out of 1600 — one of the highest medians of any college in America. This high academic bar, along with a relatively low acceptance rate of 27.1%, boosted the school’s rank ahead of dozens other Florida schools and it is ranked as the hardest college to get into in the state.

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Georgia: Emory University
> Location: Atlanta
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 15.6%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 30,017
> Median SAT score: 1435 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $66,950
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 6,975

Emory University is a large research college in Atlanta. It is the only one of more than 30 Georgia colleges considered for this list with an acceptance rate below 20%. The school is popular among foreign students, with 16.0% of the student body consisting of non-resident aliens. The average annual cost of attending Emory University is relatively high at nearly $67,000.