The Top Ten Hardest Colleges to Get Into

We always want our kids to attend the best schools that money can buy, even if it means foregoing all our holiday trips and vacations and taking out loans just to pay for the tuition. But aside from the grade and SAT requirements, it may also be wise to take into account a school’s acceptance rate. Remember that when you apply to the best schools, practically everyone else that had applied probably have the same perfect grade point average that you are brandishing. So being aware of a school’s acceptance rate would help you manage your expectations and prepare for all possible scenarios.

As one must expect, Ivy League schools dominate the rankings, comprising half of the schools in the list. A sixth Ivy League member, Dartmouth College, also lurks just below the top ten.

So here now is the list of the top ten hardest colleges to get into, as well as its acceptance rate.

13 Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania –  3.2% Acceptance Rate

The Curtis Institute of Music is one of the leading conservatories in the world. Its acceptance policy for its students is highly selective, as the school limits its enrollment to 165. As a result, the students get to enjoy a personalized approach from the school’s teachers. The school follows an approach called learning by doing, meaning the students have a hectic schedule of performances. It also offers a celebrated faculty roster, and its flexible and forward-thinking way has produced a healthy number of notable artists.


12 Julliard School of Music, New York City, New York –  6% Acceptance Rate

The school was established in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art. The purpose was to provide American music students an experience similar to that of famous European conservatories. When the rich businessman named Augustus Julliard passed away, he left in his will that a large portion of his money be given for the advancement of music. The Julliard Graduate School was thereafter established in 1924 for music students to complete their education. The two schools then merged in 1926 as the Julliard School of Music.


10 Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts –  6.2% Acceptance Rate

Harvard was established in 1636. It was named after John Harvard, the school’s first benefactor, who left his entire library and half his estate to the institution. It is made up of 11 principal academic units, including ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.


9 Columbia University, New York City, New York –  7% Acceptance Rate

Its full name is the Columbia University in the City of New York. The school was established in 1754 as the King’s College under a royal charter of King George II of England. It closed down during the American Revolution in 1776, and it reopened in 1784 as the Columbia University. It is the oldest higher institute of learning in the state of New York.


7 Stanford University, Palo Alto, California –  7.1% Acceptance Rate

Leland and Jane Stanford established the school in 1891. Stanford University is widely recognized as one of the leading research and teaching institutions in the world. From its beginning, the school has made some non traditional choices, like allowing it to be coeducational and non denominational. The school also imparts a practical aspect in its method of teaching to produce cultured and useful citizens.


6 United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland –  7.5% Acceptance Rate

The United States Naval Academy was established in 1845 as the Naval School in the property of the old Fort Severn in Annapolis. The former Secretary of the Navy named George Bancroft founded the school with the aim of giving midshipmen updated academic and professional training that would help them develop morally, mentally and physically.


5 Cooper Union, New York City, New York –  7.7% Acceptance Rate

Its full name is the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Cooper Union was established in 1859 by Peter Cooper, a noted inventor, industrialist and philanthropist. It offers top class education in the arts, architecture and engineering. The school also has an acclaimed program in the humanities and social sciences. From the start, it has been non-traditionalist in the sense that it offered free tuition to members of the working class, and it did not bar women and non whites from attending the school.


4 Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut –  7.7% Acceptance Rate

Yale University was established in 1701 after a 60-year effort by colonial clergymen in building a school that would preserve the tradition of liberal education in Europe. It was renamed to Yale College after Elihu Yale, a merchant from Wales who had donated the proceeds from the sale of nine bales of goods to the school, along with 417 books and a portrait of King George I.  It has three major academic components, namely the undergraduate program in Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools.


3 Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey – 8.% Acceptance Rate 


Princeton is a world-renowned research university that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. The school is committed to undergraduate teaching, which makes Princeton distinct among research universities. The school was established in 1746 as the College of New Jersey in Elizabeth, before moving to Newark for the next nine years. It then moved to Princeton in 1756. The school was renamed as Princeton University in 1896 after it introduced expanded program offerings.


1 Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island –  8.9% Acceptance Rate

Brown University was established in 1764 as the College of Rhode Island in Warren. It moved to College Hill overlooking Providence in 1770. It got its name of Brown University in 1804 after a donation of $5,000 was given by an alumnus named Nicholas Brown, a prominent businessman based in the city and a member of the class of 1786. It is the first Ivy League school to accept students regardless of religious belief. Women were admitted in 1891 under Pembroke College, which eventually merged with Brown in 1971.

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