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Hardest college to get into in every state

  • Hardest college to get into in every state

    It was President Theodore Roosevelt that said, “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

    Indeed, having a college education is an enormous advantage in terms of furthering your career. With a college degree, you're likely to make more money, get improved health and retirement benefits, and find better career opportunities. And going to a selective school is an even greater leg up, affording you chances others simply may not have, such as higher lifetime earnings.

    Some coastal states, such as Massachusetts and New York, have several highly selective colleges. For instance, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology accept only 5% and 7%, respectively, of the students who apply. Other states, such as Utah or Arizona, have no highly selective schools: Brigham Young University, which accepts 52% of students who apply, is the most selective school in Utah. In Arizona, it is Grand Canyon University, which accepts 67% of students who apply.

    To see which schools in each state are the most difficult to gain acceptance to, Stacker combed through Niche's 2019 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in America rankings. Niche ranked college's selectivity based on acceptance rates and SAT/ACT test scores, using data from both from the U.S. Department of Education and self-reported scores by Niche users.

    Click through to the list to see the most selective schools in each state and to find out just how hard you'll need to hit that SAT prep book.

    You may also like: States with the cheapest in-state public colleges

  • Alabama: Spring Hill College

    - Location: Mobile, AL
    - Acceptance rate: 46%
    - Applicants: 8,544
    - SAT range: 1020-1180
    - ACT range: 21-26
    - Net price: $21,065

    Spring Hill College is the oldest Catholic college in the southeast. The school's average class size is 17 students, which allows for more discussion time, more personalized attention from teachers, and more accountability. That kind of intimacy in the classroom seems to pay off: A full 90% of SHC alumni get into the health-related grad programs of their choice while around 85% of communication arts grads land jobs related to their areas of focus within three months.

  • Alaska: University of Alaska Southeast

    - Location: Juneau, AK
    - Acceptance rate: 71%
    - Applicants: 449
    - SAT range: data not available
    - ACT range: data not available
    - Net price: $10,451

    At the University of Alaska Southeast, the student-to-teacher ratio is 12 to 1, which allows a more personalized approach to learning. The school's main campus is based in Juneau, but has two satellite campuses, one in Sitka and the other in Ketchikan. All campuses are near the Pacific Ocean, which makes the school an ideal location for studying marine sciences.

  • Arizona: Grand Canyon University

    - Location: Phoenix, AZ
    - Acceptance rate: 67%
    - Applicants: 32,734
    - SAT range: data not available
    - ACT range: data not available
    - Net price: $20,912

    Grand Canyon University is the largest Christian university in the world. Though the school has a diverse offering of specialities, including business and teaching, roughly half of seniors graduate with a degree in nursing. A strong emphasis is placed on athletics: In 2016 the school committed to constructing 10 new athletics facilities by August 2018 as part of its "GCU 10 in 2" initiative.

  • Arkansas: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

    - Location: Pine Bluff, AR
    - Acceptance rate: 47%
    - Applicants: 4,393
    - SAT range: 880-1060
    - ACT range: 16-20
    - Net price: $8,149

    A historically black college, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is the second oldest public institution in the state. The most popular major is biology; and the school has the only comprehensive aquafarming program in the state, which helps to support the state's sizable aquaculture industry.

  • California: Stanford University

    - Location: Stanford, CA
    - Acceptance rate: 5%
    - Applicants: 44,073
    - SAT range: 1390-1540
    - ACT range: 32-35
    - Net price: $16,562

    Stanford University ranks as one of the world's best schools and is known especially for its computer science, biology, and engineering programs. Alumni from Stanford have founded a large number of companies, including founder of Nike, Phil Knight, and heads of Google's parent company, Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

  • Colorado: United States Air Force Academy

    - Location: USAFA, CO (Colorado Springs area)
    - Acceptance rate: 12%
    - Applicants: 10,202
    - SAT range: 1210-1390
    - ACT range: 28-32
    - Net price: data not available

    The United States Air Force Academy is the youngest of the five service academies. (The US Military Academy was the first.) Active-duty Air Force officers make up roughly 70% of the faculty there. In addition to rigorous military training, cadets also take a broad academic course load that includes engineering, social studies, and humanities.

  • Connecticut: Yale University

    - Location: New Haven, CT
    - Acceptance rate: 7%
    - Applicants: 32,879
    - SAT range: 1460-1580
    - ACT range: 32-35
    - Net price: $18,053

    Yale University is the third oldest institution for higher learning in the United States. It is well-known for its drama, history, music, and economics programs as well as its law school. The university boasts an impressive number of famous alumni, including five U.S. presidents, 19 Supreme Court judges, and many heads of state. Its student-to-faculty ratio is tiny—a mere 6 to 1.

  • Delaware: Delaware State University

    - Location: Dover, DE
    - Acceptance rate: 45%
    - Applicants: 7,636
    - SAT range: 820- 990
    - ACT range: 17-21
    - Net price: $12,736

    A historically black college, Delaware State University is especially known for its College of Business, named by the Princeton Review as one of the best business schools in the country for 10 consecutive years. Delaware State operates a full-service, university-based flight school, the only one in the mid-Atlantic region.

  • Florida: University of Miami

    - Location: Coral Gables, FL
    - Acceptance rate: 36%
    - Applicants: 30,638
    - SAT range: 1230-1420
    - ACT range: 28-32
    - Net price: $42,204

    The University of Miami offers more than 180 majors, of which the most popular are finance, nursing, and economics. The university’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is located on an 18-acre campus housed within a 65-acre marine and atmospheric research institution.


  • Georgia: Georgia Institute of Technology

    - Location: Atlanta, GA
    - Acceptance rate: 23%
    - Applicants: 31,497
    - SAT range: 1090-1520
    - ACT range: 30-34
    - Net price: $15,873

    Georgia Institute of Technology has come a long way from its start as a Reconstruction-era plan to rebuild the region after the Civil War. Now it's ranked #6 among public universities in the country, based on Niche's rankings, and is well known for its expertise in engineering. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Georgia Tech's College of Engineering undergraduate program as fourth in the nation among undergraduate engineering programs that also offer doctoral programs.

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