Special Report

The Hardest College to Get Into in Every State

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Montana: Carroll College
> Location: Helena
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 68.9%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 2,650
> Median SAT score: 1170 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $48,487
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 1,210

Carroll College is a private, four-year, Catholic diocesan college in Montana’s state capital of Helena. The school admitted nearly 70% of its 2,650 applicants for the 2019-2020 school year. While this is relatively high for schools on this list, the schools’ acceptance rate and median SAT score rank it as the hardest college to get into among the state’s four colleges. Among the four qualified colleges in Montana, Carroll College is the only one in which more than 90% of former students are employed 10 years after entering the school.

Nebraska: Creighton University
> Location: Omaha
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 73.7%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 9,381
> Median SAT score: 1250 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $52,931
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 4,405

Creighton University, opened in 1878, is a Jesuit-run institution of higher education located in Omaha, Nebraska. School students have one of the highest employment rates a decade after entry, at 94.5%. As the most exclusive school in Nebraska, it is also the most expensive, with an average annual cost of attendance of nearly $53,000. No other college in the state costs even $47,000 to attend.

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Nevada: University of Nevada-Las Vegas
> Location: Las Vegas
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 80.7%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 12,720
> Median SAT score: 1135 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $17,582
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 24,707

University of Nevada-Las Vegas is one of the newer schools on the list, founded in 1957. Because the school is located in Las Vegas, not surprisingly, one of its colleges is The William F. Harrah College of Hospitality. UNLV also has schools for engineering, nursing, business, and urban affairs.

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New Hampshire: Dartmouth College
> Location: Hanover
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 7.9%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 23,650
> Median SAT score: 1490 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $71,827
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 4,312

Dartmouth University in Hanover is the most selective college in New Hampshire and one of seven Ivy League schools to appear on this list. In addition to having one of the most competitive undergraduate admissions, the university’s professional schools — the Geisel School of Medicine, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business — are some of the most selective in the world.

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New Jersey: Princeton University
> Location: Princeton
> Acceptance rate for 2019-2020: 5.8%
> Applicants for 2019-2020: 32,804
> Median SAT score: 1505 out of 1600
> Avg. annual cost of attendance: $66,950
> Four-year undergraduate enrollment, fall 2018: 5,301

Princeton University, founded in 1746, is among the hardest schools in the country to gain admittance, considering its low acceptance rate and high median SAT score. Only a handful of other colleges have acceptance rates lower than 6%. Among Princeton’s notable alumni are U.S. presidents Woodrow Wilson and James Madison, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, mathematician and among the developers of computer science Alan Turing, and actor James Stewart.

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