Best Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates

best_colleges_lowest_acceptance_rateBest Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates

Some people look for a hurdle and love the prestige that comes with overcoming the odds against them. Some would rather avoid the steep challenges and go the more sure route to college. This list will help both kinds of people. Most of the colleges and universities on this list will not surprise you, but some may.

When the supply of open seats in a college is lower than the demand for those seats, that college will end up with a low acceptance rate. These schools are either just highly popular for what they have to offer, or they are incredibly prestigious and only want the creme de la creme attending their campus.

High scores on your high school grade point average and SAT or ACT will help you to land a spot in the colleges and universities listed here, so your decisions during high school will either place you in the running for a spot or not. Taking rigorous courses during high school also helps you with your eligibility. Earning good grades is acceptable, but if those good grades were earned in AP or Honors courses, you have a definite leg up on your competition when you apply to these colleges or universities.

Ranking Methodology

The Best Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates ranking is based on four main data points in four categories:

  • Affordability (net price)
  • Student Satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Academic Quality (4-year graduation rate)
  • Student Outcome (20-year Return on Investment according to Payscale.com)

Each data point is ranked with equal weight. Schools received a weighted overall ranking score for each individual point mentioned aboveā€“100 being the highest score possible.

In the case of a tie in scoring, the average net price was the determining factor for which school received the higher rankā€“the lower the net price, the higher the ranking.

All data was gathered from theĀ National Center for Education Statistics,Ā College Scorecard,Ā Payscale, and individual school websites.

Top 45 Best Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates

1. University of California – Berkeley

Score: 100.0

Average Net Price: $14,846
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 93%
Payscale ROI: $854,000

The University of California Berkeley starts this list of best colleges with the lowest acceptance rate with the highest score, which aligns with the school’s A+ overall grade on niche.com. US News has UC Berkeley tied at #22 in its National Universities category.

This public research university was founded in 1868 and was one of the original 14 members of the Association of American Universities in 1900. The AAU helped standardize higher education in the United States and maintains a robust research system in the 63 current institutions that hold membership. Berkeley has represented the University of California system as a flagship campus since 1873 and is one of 10 campuses that maintains a total student body of over 285,000 students system-wide!

Neither ACT nor SAT scores are required, but they are considered when determining the 15-percent accepted here. ACT ranges of 31 to 35 and SAT ranges of 1320 to 1530 are what you should aim for. Popular majors here include Economics, Computer Science, Cellular Biology, and Political Science and Government.

2. University of Pennsylvania

Score: 99.5

Average Net Price: $25,033
Retention Rate: 98%
Graduation Rate: 96%
Payscale ROI: $914,000

Founded in November 1740, the University of Pennsylvania is one of nine US colleges chartered before the Declaration of Independence. Penn also boasts the first school of medicine in North America and the first collegiate-level business school among its 12 graduate schools.

This university has an A+ grade on niche.com and is listed as #6 on US News’ college rankings for National Universities. This makes it an attractive destination among international students as well as with students from the United States. The class of 2018 had a student body that consisted of 12-percent international students. Those attending the university ranked overall student life, dorms, food, and safety with high grades.

This private school is competitive, as you would expect from an Ivy League institution. ACT and SAT scores are required, with ACT ranges between 32 and 35 needed while your SAT should fall between 1420 and 1550. The 8-percent that are accepted to the University of Pennsylvania find a student/faculty ratio of 6:1. The most popular majors include Finance, Economics, and Nursing.

3. California Institute of Technology

Score: 99.3

Average Net Price: $23,820
Retention Rate: 98%
Graduation Rate: 93%
Payscale ROI: $1,036,000

niche.com rank A+

US News college ranking 12 in national universities

The California Institute of Technology, also known as Caltech, is a private research institution founded in 1920. The institution has roots that go back to preparatory and vocational schools that were formed in 1891. It stands out as one of a few technology institutes that focus primarily on pure and applied sciences.

This elite school maintains a small student body that includes less than 1,000 undergraduates. They represent the 7-percent of applicants that were accepted before the annual January 3rd deadline. ACT is required and should reflect scores between 35 and 36. You will need SAT scores from 1530 to 1580 to be considered.

This research institution has a student to faculty ratio of 3:1, and students will need to take advantage of that to perform well. The most popular majors for students include Computer Science, Physics, and Electrical Engineering. The larger postgraduate population is supported by significant funds for the various STEM research conducted here.

4. University of California – Los Angeles

Score: 98.0

Average Net Price: $14,171
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 93%
Payscale ROI: $649,000

This well-known research university is public and was formed in 1919 after serving as the southern campus of San Jose State University since 1882. UCLA is the second-oldest campus of the University of California system and has over 44,000 students, including 31,500 undergraduates.

The school has a niche.com grade of A+ and is listed as #20 among National Universities in US News’ college ranking system. It was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1974. This university is also a popular destination for student-athletes thanks to a highly successful NCAA program in the PAC-12 Conference that has achieved over 100 National Championships.

A wide range of programs and a diversified student body offer you plenty of opportunities, which is reflected in the 14-percent acceptance rate that is higher than many of the other schools listed here.

ACT and SAT are considered, with ACT scores of 30 to 34, and the SAT ranges from 1290 through 1520 beneficial. Popular majors include Economics, Political Science and Government, and Sociology.

5. Pomona College

Score: 97.5

Average Net Price: $13,622
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 96%
Payscale ROI: $573,000

This liberal arts college is located in Claremont, California, and was established in 1887. It ranks #5 on the US News’ list of National Liberal Arts Colleges. Pomona College has an A+ grade based on data points collected on this private institution.

If you are looking to be one of the eight-percent accepted, be aware that ACT and SAT are considered. ACT ranges of 31 through 34 and SAT scores of 1400 to 1540 will help. Once accepted, students find a ratio of 7:1 with the faculty.

The most popular majors among the student body are Economics, Mathematics, as well as Computer Science. Its main campus of 140-acres provides you with a community feel in the school’s suburban setting. It is worth noting that over 97-percent of the student body resides on campus and that housing is guaranteed for those who attend here.

This school is a founding member of the Claremont Colleges consortium and is one of five schools to rank in the top 10 Liberal Arts Colleges for US News since 1984.

6. Calumet College of St. Joseph

Score: 97.3

Average Net Price: $10,113
Retention Rate: 53%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Payscale ROI: $216,000

Calumet College of St. Joseph was created as an extension of Saint Joseph’s College in 1951 and is a private Catholic college. This small school is associated with the Missionaries of the Precious Blood (a Society of Apostolic Life), with a student body of less than 1,000.

This school offers a 100-percent acceptance rate, which may reflect somewhat on its fluctuating ranking of #117 through #153 on US News’ Regional Universities Midwest listings. The wide-open acceptance policy makes it a less competitive school that receives only a C+ grade based on data points and student feedback. Your recommended ACT range is only 16 to 20, and an SAT score between 780 and 940 will serve you fine here.

Easy access to desired classes and a very manageable workload provides students a sustainable workload. The most popular majors on the 50-acre campus are Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration, Business, and Natural Sciences. Another feature of the Calumet experience is older students, with 18-percent of the undergraduates being over 25.

7. Rice University

Score: 97.3

Average Net Price: $20,879
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 93%
Payscale ROI: $795,000

The 300-acre campus of Rice University is located in Houston, Texas. This private research university opened its doors in 1912 and now offers 360 degrees through 60 departments. It became a member of the Association of American Universities in 1985. Rice University also maintains a “Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity” status within The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education listings.

The 11% who are accepted must have high ACT and SAT scores. Your ACT range should be 33 to 35, while your SAT scores can be 1450 to 1560. Acceptance to this university puts you into a learning environment with a 6:1 student to teacher ratio, with 75-percent of the students reporting they were able to get the classes that they wanted.

Of the degrees offered, more students majored in Economics, Information Science, and Chemical Engineering. London’s Times Higher Education (THE) ranked Rice #1 in Materials Science Research in 2010. That helps explain the A+ grade from Niche.com and US News’s #17 ranking in National Universities.

8. Inter American University of Puerto Rico – Metropolitan Campus

Score: 96.8

Average Net Price: $12,050
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Payscale ROI: $150,000

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico is unranked on the US News’s college ranking system and has not received a grade on niche.com. This private university was created in 1962 and is part of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico system. It uses a trimester system for the academic calendar year instead of a seasonal semester system.

While Nursing and Licensed Practical Nurse Training (LPN) are the most popular majors, the Metropolitan Campus is an excellent center for learning criminal justice. Criminal Justice and Safety Studies is the third most popular major at the school.

You will find a diverse student body at this coed college. About 23-percent of the students are 25 and older. Learning methods are also diverse, as over half of the student body mixes online learning and traditional campus attendance. Pell Grant recipients make up 82-percent of the student body as well.

You will not have to pay a registration fee. Also, ACT or SAT scores are not considered or required.

9. Columbia University

Score: 96.3

Average Net Price: $22,637
Retention Rate: 98%
Graduation Rate: 92%
Payscale ROI: $815,000

This Ivy League school is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the oldest in New York. It was founded by royal charter through King George II with the original name of King’s College. The name Columbia College was given after the American Revolution in 1784 and changed to Columbia University in 1896 after moving to the current location.

This private research university receives a niche.com rank of A+ and is listed as #3 on US News’ National Universities listings. That coincides with its reputation as one of the best schools with the lowest acceptance rate, which sits at six-percent. It was a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was also the first school in the US to award the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

If you plan to attend Columbia, know that ACT and SAT scores are required. ACT ranges should be 33 to 35, while SAT scores should be 1450 to 1560. Economics, Computer Science, and Political Science and Government are the most popular majors.

10. University of Virginia

Score: 96.0

Average Net Price: $20,281
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 93%
Payscale ROI: $709,000

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is a public research institution famous for history, student-run academic honor code, and its secret societies. A member of the Association of American Universities since 1904, UVA represented two of the finalists in Science Magazine’s 2015 scientific breakthroughs.

A niche.com grade of A+ is supported by the school’s #28 ranking on US New’s National Universities rankings. This is impressive for a school with a 26-percent acceptance rate, offering you a chance to attend a diverse campus setting with 121 majors to pick from. Note that ACT and SAT scores are required, with ACT ranges of 30 to 34 and SAT scores from 1330 to 1500 making the cut.

You will find a ratio of 15:1 between the students and the faculty, but 84-percent of the students that responded felt that the professors made an effort with their teaching. The most popular majors at the school are Liberal Arts and Humanities, Economics, and Business. Four certificates and two Bachelor’s programs are offered online.

11. Northwestern University

Score: 95.0

Average Net Price: $24,840
Retention Rate: 98%
Graduation Rate: 94%
Payscale ROI: $635,000

Founded in 1851, Northwestern University was one of the original Big Ten conference members and is the only private university remaining in the Big Ten. It is a private research institution that has the eighth largest university endowment in the nation. NU has been a member of the Association of American Universities since 1917 and has rated Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity from The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

An acceptance rating of eight-percent makes this a competitive school, and it is listed as the #9 ranking for National Universities from US News’ college ranking system. It also receives a grade of A+ on niche.com.

You will be required to present an ACT score in the 33 to 35 range, and SAT scores should fall in the 1430 to 1550 range. Your High School GPA is also required for potential acceptance into this university.

There is a 6:1 student to faculty ratio with the more popular majors, including Economics, Psychology, and Journalism among its eleven schools.

12.Georgia Institute of Technology

Score: 94.5

Average Net Price: $14,927
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 87%
Payscale ROI: $894,000

Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech, is a public school established in 1885 as part of the reconstruction of the post-civil war southern states. It has International Satellite Campuses in Singapore (China), Metz (France), and Athlone (Ireland).

The Georgia Tech experience has been graded as A+ on niche.com, and the school holds the #29 ranking on US News’ National Universities college ranking system. With expenditures at approximately 1.36-billion dollars, the school’s research programs were supported by near 48-percent of that total.

You will be required to have an ACT score range of 31 to 34, and your SAT scores need to be between 1390 and 1540. Your High School GPA is also required. The school does have a 22-percent acceptance rating, making it one of the more open campuses on this list of colleges with a low acceptance rate.

Students experience an 18:1 ratio between themselves and the faculty. The most popular majors among the students at Georgia Institute of Technology are Information Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Business.

13. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Score: 94.0

Average Net Price: $16,010
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 92%
Payscale ROI: $627,000

This public research university, often referred to as Michigan, was created in 1817 in Detroit two decades before Michigan received statehood. It moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 and has remained the flagship campus as the school expanded over the years.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education lists the University of Michigan as a Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity. That top tier research designation is understandable as the school was a founding member of the Association of American Universities. Its annual research expenditures come close to $1.5-billion.

The school has a grade of A+ on niche.com and is listed at #25 for National Universities from US News’s college ranking system. Michigan has a strong athletic program in the NCAA Big Ten conference, with school athletes and coaches winning many Olympic medals.

While ACT and SAT scores are required, the school does have a 22-percent acceptance rate. ACT ranges are 30 to 34 and SAT scores from 1330 to 1510. Top majors include Information Science, Business, and Economics.

14. Cornell University

Score: 94.0

Average Net Price: $30,494
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 95%
Payscale ROI: $788,000

Cornell University is an Ivy League school that was founded in 1865. It is composed of seven undergraduate and seven graduate colleges, giving the research university both public and private status. As of 2019, the school had endowments of $7.33 billion.

Niche.com gives the institution a grade of A+, and Cornell is tied for #17 on the US News’ National Universities listing on the site’s college ranking system. Student registration deadlines are January 2nd with an 11-percent acceptance rate. Your High School GPA, ACT, and SAT scores are considered but are not required for acceptance at the school.

ACT ranges should be 32 to 34, and an SAT score between 1390 and 1540 will serve applicants well. There is a 9:1 ratio between students and faculty, but 61-percent of responding students stated that they were able to get the classes that they wanted.

The top majors at this school include Biology, Computer Science, and Business. While students were able to get their desired classes, only 34-percent felt the workload was easy to manage.

15. University of Notre Dame

Score: 93.8

Average Net Price: $32,096
Retention Rate: 98%
Graduation Rate: 96%
Payscale ROI: $723,000

The University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic school that opened its doors in 1842. Undergraduates are served by one of six colleges within Notre Dame. Students can participate in over 50 programs internationally and also have access to summer studies. Niche.com has the school graded at an A+ while it ranks #15 for National Universities in US News’ college ranking system.

If you are looking to attend Notre Dame, be aware that you must have ACT scores ranging between 33 and 35 while your SAT scores should fall between 1400 and 1550. This will improve your chances of being among the 11-percent acceptance rate for this college. Including your High School GPA is also recommended.

Students will have a 10:1 ratio with the faculty, and it is worth noting that more students feel the workload is difficult to manage than those who think it is easy. You can take advantage of evening and online courses as well. The more popular majors among students include Finance, Economics, and Mechanical Engineering.

16. Yale University

Score: 92.8

Average Net Price: $18,770
Retention Rate: 99%
Graduation Rate: 96%
Payscale ROI: $120,300

Founded in 1701, Yale University is the third-oldest school for higher education in the nation and is among nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. This private institution is part of the Ivy League and is a research university. It is ranked #3 among National Universities from US News’ ranking system and receives an A+ grade from data collected on niche.com.

The school maintains the third-largest collection of titles at the Yale University Library, with over 15 million volumes. You will need to beat out others looking to attend one of the best colleges with the lowest acceptance rate, however, as the school only accepts six-percent of those who apply.

You should include your High School GPA and need ACT scores from 33 to 35, and SAT scores need to be between 1460 and 1570. Once you are in, make sure that you take full advantage of the 6:1 student to faculty ratio found at Yale. Majors with the most graduates seem to be Economics, History, and Political Science and Government.

17. Johns Hopkins University

Score: 90.5

Average Net Price: $30,701
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 92%
Payscale ROI: $724,000

Created in 1876, John Hopkins University is a private research institute located in Baltimore, Maryland. Many consider it the first research university in the United States as it was the first school to adopt the German graduate school practiced by Heidelberg University. It was one of the 14 founding institutions of the Association of American Universities. Approximately 80-percent of the school’s undergraduates are involved with independent research, working alongside top researchers.

John Hopkins has a niche.com grade of A+ and is listed as #10 on the National Universities college ranking from US News. The school has an 11-percent acceptance rate among applicants and requires High School GPA, ACT, and SAT scores. You should have ACT ranges of 33 to 35 and SAT scores of 1450 to 1560 to be considered.

There is a 7:1 ratio between students and faculty, with the school offering evening and online courses (no online certificates or degrees awarded, however). The top majors that students select are Public Health, Neuroscience and Neurobiology, and Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering.

18. Pitzer College

Score: 90.3

Average Net Price: $31,590
Retention Rate: 93%
Graduation Rate: 88%
Payscale ROI: $254,000

Founded in 1963, Pitzer College is a private institution with learning placed in a residential or community setting. This liberal arts college has a budget of about $95 million annually, while its endowment was $144.0 million in 2019. Pitzer is part of the Claremont University Consortium that includes six other colleges on the Claremont Colleges property.

The college has a niche.com rating of A, with US News listing it at #35 on the National Liberal Arts College Rankings. It is also listed as tied for #185 ranking for social mobility. This institution offers 41 majors and 22 minors to students.

Your High School GPA is required, but ACT and SAT scores are not required or considered with the application. That said, ACT ranges of 29 to 32 or SAT ranges from 1300 to 1450 will help you fit at Pitzer. The school does have an acceptance rate of 13-percent.

A student to faculty ratio of 10:1 serves students who selected Biology, Political Science and Government, and biology as the most popular majors.

19. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Score: 90.3

Average Net Price: $13,918
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 91%
Payscale ROI: $444,000

With a niche.com grade of A+ and listed as #29 for National Universities on US News’ college ranking system, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill represents the University of North Carolina system’s flagship campus. This public research university was chartered in 1789, with students enrolling in 1795. It is one of the three colleges that claim to be the oldest public university in the United States.

UNC-Chapel Hill offers students 71 Bachelor’s, 107 Master’s, and 74 Doctoral Degree programs to select from. This school has a reputation for being highly competitive for International and National scholarships. It also has an acceptance rate of 23-percent, which is higher than other schools that are also considered the best schools with the lowest acceptance rate mentioned here.

High School GPAs are required. ACT scores need to be 29 through 33, while your SAT scores should be from 1270 to 1480. There is a 13:1 student to faculty ratio with Communications, Biology, and Psychology representing the most popular majors.

20. Washington University in St. Louis

Score: 89.8

Average Net Price: $27,427
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 92%
Payscale ROI: $617,000

Seven undergraduate and graduate schools make up Washington University in St. Louis. This private school is a research university that was established in 1853. It was voted into the Association of American Universities in 1923. US News & World Report ranked the school in a tie for first place (along with Stanford and MIT) in genetics and genomics in 2018.

WashU received a grade of A+ from niche.com, and it stands at #19 in National Universities on US News’ college ranking lists. This school maintains 14 libraries, and the majority of the staff are involved in academic research. If you are among the 15-percent acceptance rate, you will likely find yourself working alongside faculty in your research.

Your High School GPA is suggested, and ACT scores between 32 and 35 and a range of 1470 to 1570 on SAT scores will help get into this institution. The 7:1 student to faculty ratio helps with the more popular majors, including Finance, Computer Science, and Research and Experimental Psychology.

21. Haverford College

Score: 89.0

Average Net Price: $28,799
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 90%
Payscale ROI: $601,000

Haverford College was founded in 1833 by the organizing body of annual Quaker meetings in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. While the school today does not have religious connections or affiliations, Haverford still holds some Quaker influence.

A niche.com grade of A+ denotes overall quality and reinforces the #11 ranking in National Liberal Arts Colleges that US News lists them at. This private institution is a part of the Tri-College Consortium in the Philadelphia suburbs. You can obtain a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in 31 majors offered through Haverford.

The school has a 19-percent acceptance rate and will consider, but not require, ACT or SAT scores. However, an ACT range of 32 to 34 and SAT scores from 1370 to 1530 will help your chances. Students enjoy and 8:1 ratio with the faculty and respond that they feel their workloads are manageable and that they can get the classes that they want.

The most popular majors are Political Science and Government, Psychology, and Economics through Haverford.

22. Amherst College

Score: 88.8

Average Net Price: $25,208
Retention Rate: 96%
Graduation Rate: 95%
Payscale ROI: $596,000

Amherst College was founded in 1821. This private institution is a liberal arts college that had a $2.47 billion endowment as of 2019. This school was originally a men’s only place of learning and became coed in 1975. This school is a four-year university that attends to undergraduate needs exclusively.

Amherst College has an A+ grade on nice.com and is listed at #2 on US News’ National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking system. There are 38 programs students can major in through the school’s open curriculum. Note that there is no core curriculum that the institution requires you to fulfill.

This college has an acceptance rate of 13-percent. It is recommended that you share your High School GPA. ACT scores of 31 to 34 and SAT ranges of 1330 to 1530, will be considered but are not required from applying students. There is a 7:1 student to teacher ratio here with all responding students feeling that the professors put a lot of work into their classes.

Amherst’s most popular majors are Mathematics, Economics, and English.

23. University of Southern California

Score: 88.8

Average Net Price: $30,453
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 92%
Payscale ROI: $608,000

The University of Southern California ranks #22 among National Universities on US News’ college ranking system. It also has been graded as an A+ institution on niche.com. It is a private research university founded in 1880, making it the oldest private research university in California. It has been a member of the Association of American Universities since 1969.

USC competes in the NCAA Pac-12 Conference, and the football program has produced over 250 athletes that have been drafted by the National Football League (the second-highest number in the nation).

The University of Southern California has a 13-percent acceptance rate, and you should note that your High Scool GPA is required. ACT scores between 30 and 34 and SAT scores between 1350 and 1530 will be considered but are not required from applicants.

Students experience a 9:1 student to faculty ratio, which is considered decent among the colleges with a low acceptance rate that are listed here. USC’s most popular majors among its students include those of Business, Communications, and Biology.

24. Cooper Union

Score: 88.0

Average Net Price: $15,524
Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 88%
Payscale ROI: $731,000

Cooper Union, also referred to as The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, was established in 1859. It is ranked #1 among Regional Colleges North by US News’ college ranking system, and the school also grades as A+ on niche.com. It is divided into three schools that focus on undergraduate and Master’s degree programs in architecture, engineering, and fine arts.

Your High School GPA is required, and ACT ranges between 31 and 34 or SAT scores of 1280 to 1510 will be considered but will not be required. Cooper Union has a 16-percent acceptance rate.

The school maintains a 6:1 ration between students and faculty. That is needed as only eight-percent of responding students felt that their workload was easily managed. Half of the students questioned felt that they were able to get the classes that they wanted. Cooper Union does offer some evening degree programs.

Students at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art most often major in Studio Arts, Mechanical Engineering, or Electrical Engineering.

25. Wellesley College

Score: 87.8

Average Net Price: $22,247
Retention Rate: 95%
Graduation Rate: 93%
Payscale ROI: $525,000

This private liberal arts college was founded in 1870. Wellesley College is a women’s institution and is one of the Seven Sisters Colleges’ original seven members. It offers 56 majors to its students that cover the spectrum of liberal arts. Since 2018, Wellesley is noted for being the most endowed women’s college in the world (listed at $2.17 billion as of 2019).

Niche.com gives the school a grade of A+, and US News has it ranked #3 among National Liberal Arts Colleges in its ranking system. Application deadlines are January 15th, and the school has a 20-percent acceptance rate at this time. Should you wish to attend, ACT scores between 30 and 34 and SAT scores of 1330 to 1520 will be considered, and it is recommended that you also include your High School GPA. These are not required, but they will help with your acceptance here.

The college has an 8:1 student to teacher ratio, with its student body most often majoring in Economics, Information Science, and Political Science and Government.

26. Tufts University

Score: 87.0

Average Net Price: $31,485
Retention Rate: 96%
Graduation Rate: 93%
Payscale ROI: $631,000

Tufts is a research university that was founded in 1852. It was originally a liberal arts college until the 1970s when it transitioned into a large research institution. The school integrates citizenship and public service into the courses it offers, giving it a reputation of internationalism. That reputation is further enhanced by the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the oldest US graduate school of international relations.

Tufts University maintains programs with affiliations with Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The school also works with Sciences Po Paris (France), University of Paris (France), University of Oxford (England), and some constituents of the University of London (England). Tufts received an A+ grade on niche.com and is ranked #29 for National Universities by US News’ college ranking system.

The school has a 15-percent acceptance rate, so you will need ACT scores between 31 and 34 and SAT scores of 1380 and 1530. Your High School GPA is also required. The most popular majors for students here are Economics, Biology, and Computer Science.

27. Davidson College

Score: 86.8

Average Net Price: $22,109
Retention Rate: 95%
Graduation Rate: 93%
Payscale ROI: $360,000

Located in North Carolina, Davidson College is a private school that was established in 1837. This liberal arts institute offers 29 majors and 40 minors to the students that attend. You should note that 95-percent of the students live on campus and that 73-percent study abroad. Another aspect of Davidson College is that an honor code governs it.

This school has an A+ grade on niche.com and is also ranked #17 on US News’ National Liberal Arts Colleges listing. It has a 19-percent acceptance rate for potential students that apply. Davidson is also considered an early action school with a registration deadline of January 2nd.

ACT ranges of 29 to 33 and SAT scores between 1290 and 1450 will be considered, but you are not required to have them. Your High School GPA is required. Those who are excepted experience a 9:1 student to faculty ratio.

Note that only 14-percent of respondents said their workload was easy to manage. The most popular majors at this school are Political Science and Government, Economics, and Biology.

28. Colby College

Score: 86.3

Average Net Price: $18,553
Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 92%
Payscale ROI: $537,000

Colby College is a private school founded in 1813. It ranks #11 for National Liberal Arts Colleges on US News’ college ranking lists. Niche.com has assigned the liberal arts college an A+ grade. Students at Colby College are offered 50 major and 30 minor fields of study to select from. This institution is also a member of the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium, a three school consortium for academics and competitive sports.

A 4-1-4 academic calendar provides a winter term of one course between two four-course semesters. Students use this to independent research or to attend an intensive class.

Colby maintains an acceptance rate of 14-percent and has a January 1st registration deadline. This school does not require your High School GPA, ACT scores, or SAT scores. ACT ranges of 31 to 33 or SAT ranges of 1350 to 1510 will place you properly for the curriculum demands.

The college has a 10:1 student to teacher ratio. The most popular majors among the students are in Economics, Political Science and Government, as well as Environmental Science.

29. Babson College

Score: 85.3

Average Net Price: $35,385
Retention Rate: 95%
Graduation Rate: 91%
Payscale ROI: $941,000

Babson College is a business school that was created in 1919. This private institution is unranked on US News’ Business Schools listing, but it does have an A+ grade on niche.com. It was created as an all-male school but has since been made coed. Babson College is also part of the BOW Collaboration along with Olin College Wellesley College.

Niche.com rankings do list this school as #13 for Best Colleges for Business in America. It has a 24-percent acceptance rate, and applicants are required to supply their High School GPA. You will not be required to provide ACT or SAT scores, but they are considered. ACT ranges should be 28 to 32 and SAT scores should be 1270 to 1450.

There is a 14:1 student to teacher ratio, with only 24% of students responding, stating that their workload was easy to manage. About 73% mentioned that they could get the classes they wanted, and the same felt teachers made serious efforts. Business is the most popular major, of course.

30. Lehigh University

Score: 84.3

Average Net Price: $30,832
Retention Rate: 95%
Graduation Rate: 89%
Payscale ROI: $811,000

Lehigh University is a private school located in Pennsylvania that was founded in 1865. This research university consists of five colleges, and it has been coed since the 1971-1972 school year. It offers students Bachelor, Master, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Students experience a strong Greek life on campus and celebrate many school traditions throughout the year.

Niche.com gives an A+ grade to Lehigh and has the school ranked #6 for Best Greek Life Colleges in America. It is ranked #50 on US News’ National Universities college ranking list. The school has a 22-percent acceptance rate and should be considered an early decision school.

ACT ranges of 29 to 33 and SAT scores between 1270 and 1450 are required for applicants. It is also suggested that you include your High School GPA even though it is not required. Application deadlines are January 1st.

A student to faculty ratio of 9:1 will be found at this school. Students have made Finance, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science the most popular majors at Lehigh.

31. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Score: 84.0

Average Net Price: $14,236
Retention Rate: 75%
Graduation Rate: 53%
Payscale ROI: $719,000

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, also known as New Mexico Tech, was established in 1889. It used to be called the New Mexico School of Mines. Located in Socorro, New Mexico, this public university has no grade on niche.com. However, the school is ranked #22 for Regional Universities West on US News’ college ranking lists.

New Mexico Tech offers students a selection of 30 Bachelors of Science degrees. It also offers graduate education at the Masters and Doctoral levels. Newsweek has listed the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology as the 19th most desirable small school in the United States.

It has a 35-percent acceptance rate for applicants. You will need ACT scores that range between 23 and 29 and SAT scores between 1080 and 1340. The school has a student to faculty ratio of 10:1. Students should note that the school is research-intensive in astrophysics, Earth Science, Geophysics, and Hydrology.

Social sciences have been growing, with the school offering minors in history and philosophy.

32. Emory University

Score: 83.8

Average Net Price: $24,593
Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 91%
Payscale ROI: $605,000

Emory College is a private school in Atlanta, Georgia. This research university was founded in 1836 and is composed of nine schools. It is partnered with various institutions, including Georgia Tech, Peking University, Nanjing University, and the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Emory Healthcare is the largest healthcare in the state of Georgia.

The university ranks #21 among National Universities according to US News’ college ranking system. It has received a grade of A+ on niche.com. Emory University has a 19-percent acceptance rate for those who apply. Applicants are required to have ACT scores within 31 to 34 and SAT scores between 1350 and 1520. High School GPA is not required, but it is recommended that they are included.

This school provides a 9:1 student to faculty ratio. Just over half of the responding students said they could get the classes they wanted, with 57-percent of the responding students saying that their workload was easy to manage. Business, Nursing, and Biology are the most popular majors that students from Emory College select.

33. Ottawa University

Score: 83.5

Average Net Price: $25,322
Retention Rate: 55%
Graduation Rate: 41%
Payscale ROI: $515,000

Ottawa University, also called OU, is a private Baptist institution located in Ottawa, Kansas. It was established in 1865, and there are satellite and adult campuses across the nation. This school is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. OU has a C+ grade on niche.com and is ranked at 43 for Regional Colleges Midwest on US News’ college ranking lists.

There are 25 disciplines that the school offers to students looking for a Bachelor’s degree. There are several graduate-level Master’s degree programs as well. The school is also home to the Alpha chapter of Pi Kappa Delta. It has an acceptance rate of 78-percent, which is very high compared to other schools considered to be the best colleges with the lowest acceptance rate.

ACT ranges of 17 to 21 and SAT scores between 950 and 1120 are considered but not required from applicants. Including a High School GPA is recommended. There is a 12:1 student to faculty ratio, with the most popular majors being Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Biology, as well as in Business.

34. Barnard College

Score: 82.0

Average Net Price: $29,184
Retention Rate: 95%
Graduation Rate: 92%
Payscale ROI: $441,000

Barnard College is located in Manhattan, New York. This private women’s college was established in 1889. Barnard is affiliated with Columbia University and was created in response to Columbia’s refusal to admit women at the time. It should be noted that this liberal arts school is financially and legally separate from Columbia, however.

Niche.com gives the school a grade of A+ while US News’ college rankings have Barnard ranked #25 in National Liberal Arts Colleges. It is part of the association referred to as the Seven Sisters and six other women’s liberal arts colleges. In 2015, the school announced that it would accept transgender students that identified and lived as females full-time.

Barnard has a 14-percent acceptance rate, and students must register by January 1st. ACT of 30 to 33 and SAT ranges between 1330 and 1500 will be considered but are not required for the application. Your High School GPA is not required.

There is a 9:1 student to faculty ratio. The most popular majors include Economics, Research and Experimental Psychology, and English.

35. Northeastern University

Score: 82.0

Average Net Price: $31,855
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 85%
Payscale ROI: $585,000

Northeastern University is a private school that was established in 1898. As a research institution, it maintains a high standard and is rated as Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Cooperative education, integrating professional experiences with more traditional classroom experiences, has allowed NU to foster relationships with over 3,100 partners worldwide.

Northeastern has received an A+ on niche.com for overall rating, and US News’ college ranking lists places it at #40 for National Universities. The acceptance rate at the school stands at 19-percent with early action/decision required by applicants. Your High School GPA is required, while an ACT range of 32 to 34 or SAT scores of 1360 to 1540 is considered in the process but not required.

Be aware that the university maintains a 14:1 student to faculty ratio. Over half of the students who responded have stated that their workloads were easy to manage. The school’s most popular majors are Business, Economics, as well as Mechanical Engineering.

36. College of the Ozarks

Score: 78.8

Average Net Price: $9,380
Retention Rate: 75%
Graduation Rate: 68%
Payscale ROI: $30,800

College of the Ozarks is a Christian school that was founded in the year 1906. This liberal arts institution is located in Point Lookout, Missouri. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in the United States. This school uses the Student Work Program in place of traditional tuition fees. Students work 15-hours a week on the campus and must work two 40-hour weeks during school breaks (summer work programs are also available).

College of the Ozarks has niche.com grade of A- and is #3 for Regional Colleges Midwest on US News’ college lists. The private school offers more than 30 majors in its Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs. There is only a 12-percent acceptance rate here.

Your High School GPA is required for the application. ACT scores need to be between 21 and 26, while SAT ranges need 1190 to 1300. There is no application fee.

There is a student to faculty ratio of 14:1, with the most popular majors being Business, Agricultural Business, and Animal Sciences and Husbandry.

37. Boston University

Score: 77.5

Average Net Price: $30,729
Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 85%
Payscale ROI: $559,000

Boston University is a private school that was founded in 1839. It is a research institution that maintains the top-tier Doctoral University (very high research activity) from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In 2016 the school was given 1,896 awards that totaled over $368.9 million.

BU was given an A+ on niche.com, and the US News college ranking lists place the university at #40 for National Universities. This institution also has campus locations in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., London, Paris, and Sydney. Economic majors may wish to note that the Economic department has been rated as #25 in 2020.

Application deadlines are January 1st each year, and the school maintains a 22% acceptance rate. Applicants are required to include their High School GPA. If you apply, your ACT ranges of 30 to 33 or an SAT score between 1330 and 1500 will be considered.

BU has a 10:1 student to faculty ratio, with the most popular majors currently being Business, Communications, and Economics.

38. Southern University – New Orleans

Score: 76.3

Average Net Price: $7,097
Retention Rate: 50%
Graduation Rate: 27%
Payscale ROI: $75,900

Southern University at New Orleans is a historically black school that was founded in 1956. The public institution is a member of the Southern University System and has an affiliation with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Niche.com grades the school at a C while its status ranges from 96 to 122 for Regional Universities South on US News’ college ranking lists.

This is the only school in Louisiana to offer students an advanced degree in Museum Studies. Four of the five schools award Bachelor degrees, while the School of Graduate Studies wards Master of Art, Science, and Social Work.

Applicants are required to supply a High School GPA to be within the 30-percent acceptance rate. ACT ranges of 15 to 18 and SAT scores of 605 to 870 will be considered during the school’s application process.

Part of niche.com’s C+ grade for academics may be due to the 18:1 student to faculty ratio. Popular majors at SUNO are Business, Criminal Justice and Safety Studies, and Psychology.

39. New York University

Score: 76.3

Average Net Price: $42,397
Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 85%
Payscale ROI: $589,000

New York University was founded in 1831 in Greenwich Village. It is a private research school that is made up of 10 undergraduate schools and 15 graduate or professional schools. Niche.com has given a grade of A+ for NYU while US News’ college ranking list has the school at #29 for National Universities.

Other New York facilities include sites like the Brooklyn Campus, Bobst Library, and Gould Plaza. The university also has international campus locations in Abu Dhabi, Paris, and Shanghai. New York University has one of the largest annual college research budgets among US universities.

It has a 20-percent acceptance rate and a January 1st application deadline. High School GPAs are a must, with ACT ranges of 29 to 34 and SAT scores of 1310 to 1510 used for consideration but not required from applicants.

This university has a 9:1 student to faculty ratio, with 55-percent of students getting the classes that they wanted. The most popular majors at New York University include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Economics, as well as Business.

40. Alice Lloyd College

Score: 75.8

Average Net Price: $13,540
Retention Rate: 58%
Graduation Rate: 37%
Payscale ROI: $2,100

Located in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, Alice Lloyd College was founded in 1923. It is a private four-year institution that focuses on liberal arts. The US News’ college ranking lists have the school at #21 for Regional Colleges South and niche.com grade it at a C+. Students live on campus at this boarding school institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Students are required to participate in the work-study program at this school. Niche.com has this college listed as the #1 in the Safest College Campuses in America. Alice Lloyd has a 28-percent acceptance rate among applicants. High School GPAs are required for applications. ACT ranges of 18 to 23 and SAT scores of 870 to 1030 are also needed to apply.

There is a 17:1 student to faculty ratio. Over 70-percent of students said that they were able to get the classes that they wanted, but only 43-percent of those students felt that their workload was easily managed. The most popular majors are Biology, Sociology, and Sports and Fitness Management.

41. Rhode Island School of Design

Score: 74.5

Average Net Price: $42,484
Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 90%
Payscale ROI: $337,000

Located next to Brown University on College Hill, Rhode Island School of Design was founded in 1877. This private art and design school is not rated on US News’ college ranks for Art Schools, but it has an A grade on niche.com. An important part of that grade is niche.com’s placement of this school at #1 for Best Colleges for Art in America.

The university offers 19 majors to students, with Bachelor and Master degrees awarded upon completion of studies. It maintains the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, which is the 20th-largest art museum in the nation. Products created by designers and makers at the school are available online through RISDmade.

Potential students should consider this institution an early action/decision college with a 24-percent acceptance rate. Your High School GPA will be required. ACT ranges of 26 to 32 and SAT scores of 1180 to 140 are considered during application. Students enjoy a 9:1 ratio with the faculty and select Illustration, Architecture, and Industrial and Product Design as majors.

42. Tulane University

Score: 74.3

Average Net Price: $35,132
Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 68%
Payscale ROI: $492,000

Tulane University began as a public medical college in 1834. Today, it is a private research university that became the ninth-oldest member of the Association of American Universities when it joined in 1958. The law school at Tulane provides students with a summer study abroad program in England, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Tulane University has been awarded an A+ on niche.com. It is ranked #40 for National Universities on US News’ college ranking lists. It should be no surprise that a school with its main campus in New Orleans should rank #1 for Top Party Schools in America. That said, Tulane maintains a 17-percent acceptance rate with a January 15th application deadline.

High School GPAs are needed, and ACT scores of 30 to 33 and SAT scores between 1350 and 1490 will be considered but not required. This college has a student to faculty ratio of 8:1 with half stating that they get the classes they wanted. Students most often major in Finance, Business, and Marketing.

43. Limestone College

Score: 73.5

Average Net Price: $24,083
Retention Rate: 52%
Graduation Rate: 46%
Payscale ROI: $232,000

Limestone College was formed in 1845 and is located in Gaffney, South Carolina. It is a private Christian college that focuses on liberal arts. The school was the first woman’s college in South Carolina and one of the first in the United States. This school transitioned into a coeducational facility in the 1960s and has a five-percent larger male population in recent years.

The US News’ college ranking lists have the school at #49 for Regional Colleges South. Niche.com gives this institution a grade of C. The grade may reflect the perceived value of courses as three out of four students mention they can easily manage their workload as well as get the classes that they want.

Your High School GPA is required. ACT scores should 18 to 23, and SAT ranges of 960 to 1130 are a must. The school has a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. The majors with the highest number of graduates are Business, Social Work and Youth Services, and Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration.

44. Thomas University

Score: 73.3

Average Net Price: $20,038
Retention Rate: 51%
Graduation Rate: 14%
Payscale ROI: $154,000

Thomas University is located in Thomasville, Georgia. This private school was established in 1950 and offers students Associate, Bachelor, and Master degrees. It began as a Baptist education venture but has been non-sectarian since 1979. The school began to offer four-year degrees in 1988 and was accredited to offer graduate degrees at the end of 1998 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The university has a B grade from niche.com. It ranks from #96 to #122 on US News’ Regional Universities South listings of college rankings. This institution has a 48-percent acceptance rate and requires an applicant’s High School GPA. ACT and SAT scores are recommended, but they are not necessary. There are no minimum or maximum scores that you will need for this school.

There is a 10:1 student to faculty ratio here, with 90-percent of the students saying that they can get into the classes they want and 80-percent saying they can easily manage workloads. The most popular majors include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Nursing, and Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration.

45. California Institute of the Arts

Score: 69.3

Average Net Price: $47,921
Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 65%
Payscale ROI: $227,000

The California Institute of the Arts is made up of six schools and was established in 1961. Niche.com gives the institute a grade of B. US News’ college rankings or this school include #5 in Best Fine Arts Programs, #3 in Time-Based Media/New Media, and #9 in the categories of Painting/Drawing, Photography, and Sculpture. CalArts was the first US institution that awarded degrees and was created for visual and performing arts.

It has a 23-percent acceptance rate. High School GPA, ACT, or SAT scores are not required. A student to faculty ratio of 7:1 provides plenty of interaction, and 94-percent of the students asked felt that the professors put in a lot of effort into teaching. Students retain control and copyright over their created works.

Note that 81-percent of those surveyed said that they could get the classes that they wanted, but that only 57-percent felt that the workload was manageable. The most popular majors at CalArts are Cinematography and Video Production, Studio Arts, and Acting.

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