Oct 28, 2011

Colleges with the Nation’s Lowest Admission Rates

In the backwards world of college admissions, prestige is all-too-often equated with exclusivity. A sad kind of perverse competition exists in which colleges proudly point to how few students they were able to accept in any given year as a badge of honor. During admissions season, the New York Times keeps a running tally, and US News and World Report (USNWR) uses these numbers as metrics in determining the “best” colleges.

But the reality is a little more complicated. Some of the most “exclusive” colleges in terms of admissions rates are there because they offer a specific kind of experience or have a corner on the education market. Others have low admission rates because tuition is free or extremely low.

So those who think the nation’s lowest admission rates are only found within the Ivy League will be surprised to find that the Curtis Institute of Music and Alice Lloyd College tie with Harvard and Stanford for the lowest admission rates in the country at 7 percent.

Locally, Liberty University (22%) beats out William & Mary (32%), George Washington (32%), Richmond (33%), and the University of Virginia (33%) in the exclusivity race.

Thanks to the numbers crunchers at USNWR, here is the list of the top 20 colleges with the nation’s lowest admission rates (the rest of the list may be found on the USNWR website):

  1. Curtis Institute of Music, PA (7%)

  2. Alice Lloyd College, KY (7%)

  3. Harvard University, MA (7%)

  4. Stanford University, CA (7%)

  5. Cooper Union, NY (8%)

  6. US Naval Academy, MD (8%)

  7. Yale University, CT (8%)

  8. Brown University, RI (9%)

  9. Princeton University, NJ (9%)

  10. College of the Ozarks, MO (10%)

  11. Columbia University, NY (10%)

  12. Florida Memorial University, FL (10%)

  13. MIT, MA (10%)

  14. Dartmouth College, NH (12%)

  15. CalTech, CA (13%)

  16. US Air Force Academy, CO (13%)

  17. US Military Academy, NY (13%)

  18. University of Pennsylvania, PA (14%)

  19. Amherst College, MA (15%)

  20. Pomona College, CA (15%)

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