How hard is it to get into college?

May 11, 2009

Some counselors suggest applying to three types of colleges, safety, match and reach schools.

Understanding that a reach college is a school that maybe my child will be admitted. The admittance rate of colleges should be researched to determine if it is a reach school or not. As an example Harvard has an acceptance rate of 9%. This means that for every 100 kids that apply 91 of them are receiving a No.

I am not saying do not apply to these types of colleges; just make sure that you have a back up plan.

Top 15 hardest schools to get into, lowest acceptance rates

  1. Curtis Institute of Music Philadelphia, PA Acceptance rate: 4.8 %
  2. Juilliard School New York, NY Acceptance rate: 7.7 %
  3. Harvard University Cambridge, MA Acceptance rate: 9.2 %
  4. Princeton University Princeton, NJ Acceptance rate: 9.7 %
  5. Yale University New Haven, CT Acceptance rate: 9.9 %
  6. Stanford University Stanford, CA Acceptance rate: 10.3 %
  7. Columbia University New York, NY Acceptance rate: 10.6 %
  8. Cooper Union New York, NY  Acceptance rate: 10.7 %
  9. United States Naval Academy Annapolis, MD Acceptance rate: 11.8 %
  10. College of the Ozarks Point Lookout, MO Acceptance rate: 11.8 %
  11. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA Acceptance rate: 12.5 %
  12. Brown University Providence, RI Acceptance rate: 14.0 %
  13. National-Louis University Chicago, IL Acceptance rate: 14.3 %
  14. United States Military Academy West Point, NY Acceptance rate: 15.0 %
  15. Dartmouth College Hanover, NH Acceptance rate: 15.3 %

Top 14 highest acceptance rates

    1. Bellevue University Bellevue, NE Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    2. Wilmington University New Castle, DE Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    3. Baker College of Flint Flint, MI Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    4. Gratz College Melrose Park, PA Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    5. Utah Valley University Orem, UT Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    6. West Virginia University--Parkersburg Parkersburg, WV Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    7. Glenville State College Glenville, WV Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    8. Mountain State University Beckley, WV Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    9. Weber State University Ogden, UT Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    10. Morris College Sumter, SC Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    11. Peirce College Philadelphia, PA Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    12. Oklahoma Panhandle State University Goodwell, OK Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    13. Northwestern Oklahoma State University Alva, OK Acceptance rate: 100.0 %
    14. Southern Nazarene University Bethany, OK Acceptance rate: 100.0 %

It is exciting to apply to very select colleges, it can be equally rewarding to be accepted into a lesser know college with a higher acceptance rate. The important factor to research is “fit”.

Have your student physically go to the college campus and check it out. Go on the tour. Look at the other students that are there and ask yourself “are these kids I could be friends with?”

College is a 4-year commitment and one reason it takes some kids 6 years to get a 4-year degree is because of switching colleges after a semester or two. Finding a good fit college can shorten the graduation timeline.

J.D. Wyczalek is the founder of, AZ College Consulting, LLC.

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