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Most selective colleges in America

  • 50 most selective colleges in America

    While there is no shortage of exceptional colleges in the United States, there are millions of gifted kids across the nation jockeying for limited seats at some of America’s top universities every single year. Parents often go to great financial lengths to send their children to some of the nation’s most prestigious schools, the likes of which include paying private school tuition, hiring a personal tutor, or paying for test prep classes that typically cost upwards of $1,000.

    Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Stacker listed the 50 most selective colleges in the United States. The institutions are ranked according to acceptance rates, and statistics pertaining to total acceptance, enrollment, and standardized test scores are provided for context. Stacker used the latest available NCES data for this story, ranking schools that saw at least 1,000 applications in 2016—for the class of 2020.

    Read on to see if your alma mater is amongst the most competitive schools in the nation today.

    RELATED: 50 best value colleges for 2018

  • #50. Haverford College

    Location: Haverford, Pennsylvania
    Acceptance rate: 21.4%
    Total accepted: 870 (4,066 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 349 (40.11% yield)
    SAT Critical Reading – 25th percentile score: 660, 75th percentile score: 760
    SAT Math – 25th percentile score: 660, 75th percentile score: 760
    ACT Composite – 25th percentile score: 31, 75th percentile score: 34

  • #49. Moore Norman Technology Center

    Location: Norman, Oklahoma
    Acceptance rate: 21.29%
    Total accepted: 238 (1,118 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 218 (91.6% yield)
    SAT and ACT data not available

  • #48. United States Merchant Marine Academy

    Location: Kings Point, New York
    Acceptance rate: 20.3%
    Total accepted: 380 (1,872 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 279 (73.42% yield)
    SAT Critical Reading – 25th percentile score: 570, 75th percentile score: 660
    SAT Math – 25th percentile score: 620, 75th percentile score: 690
    ACT Composite – 25th percentile score: 26, 75th percentile score: 30

  • #47. Grinnell College

    Location: Grinnell, Iowa
    Acceptance rate: 20.19%
    Total accepted: 1,488 (7,370 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 414 (27.82% yield)
    SAT Critical Reading – 25th percentile score: 640, 75th percentile score: 750
    SAT Math – 25th percentile score: 680, 75th percentile score: 780
    ACT Composite – 25th percentile score: 30, 75th percentile score: 33

  • #46. Davidson College

    Location: Davidson, North Carolina
    Acceptance rate: 20.11%
    Total accepted: 1,130 (5,618 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 514 (45.49% yield)
    SAT Critical Reading – 25th percentile score: 630, 75th percentile score: 720
    SAT Math – 25th percentile score: 620, 75th percentile score: 720
    ACT Composite – 25th percentile score: 28, 75th percentile score: 33

  • #45. University of Notre Dame

    Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
    Acceptance rate: 18.73%
    Total accepted: 3,654 (19,505 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 2,046 (55.99% yield)
    SAT Critical Reading – 25th percentile score: 670, 75th percentile score: 760
    SAT Math – 25th percentile score: 680, 75th percentile score: 780
    ACT Composite – 25th percentile score: 32, 75th percentile score: 35

  • #44. Colby College

    Location: Waterville, Maine
    Acceptance rate: 18.71%
    Total accepted: 1,840 (9,833 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 510 (27.72% yield)
    SAT Critical Reading – 25th percentile score: 630, 75th percentile score: 725
    SAT Math – 25th percentile score: 640, 75th percentile score: 745
    ACT Composite – 25th percentile score: 30, 75th percentile score: 33

  • #43. University of California-Los Angeles

    Location: Los Angeles, California
    Acceptance rate: 17.99%
    Total accepted: 17,473 (97,112 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 6,545 (37.46% yield)
    SAT Critical Reading – 25th percentile score: 570, 75th percentile score: 710
    SAT Math – 25th percentile score: 590, 75th percentile score: 760
    ACT Composite – 25th percentile score: 28, 75th percentile score: 33

  • #42. Wesleyan University

    Location: Middletown, Connecticut 
    Acceptance rate: 17.85%
    Total accepted: 2,129 (11,928 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 774 (36.36% yield)
    SAT and ACT data not available

  • #41. Williams College

    Location: Williamstown, Massachusetts 
    Acceptance rate: 17.61%
    Total accepted: 1,230 (6,985 total applicants)
    Total enrolled: 553 (44.96% yield)
    SAT Critical Reading – 25th percentile score: 670, 75th percentile score: 770
    SAT Math – 25th percentile score: 660, 75th percentile score: 770
    ACT Composite – 25th percentile score: 31, 75th percentile score: 34

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