Special Report

The Hardest Colleges to Get Into


To identify the hardest colleges to get into, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index using data from the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education to measure the relative exclusivity of four-year, private and public degree-granting colleges and universities. We indexed both acceptance rates and SAT test scores of admitted students as of fall 2019 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 and who received grant or scholarship aid from federal, state, local, or institutional sources. The net price 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. Net price data is for the 2018-2019 school year. Schools that had no data on SAT and ACT scores were excluded from consideration. All data is for the most recent period available for all schools.

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