The college admissions process is equally exciting, stressful, fascinating, confusing and fun! Since it involves a big transition from high school to college, it evokes mixed feelings among job applicants.
An important part of mastering this critical process is knowing some key facts and figures. Statistics are an excellent way to better understand the process, what makes it so unique, and what to expect along the way. One of the most fascinating statistics about college admissions is the acceptance rate.
More specifically, it's been fascinating to see how dramatically college acceptance rates have changed over time. Just 10 years ago, some schools were accepting twice as many applications as they are now!
Of course, there are many factors that contributed to this growth. That is, more people are applying to colleges, but those schools aren't getting any bigger. This increases competition and forces applicants to work harder.
Here we take a closer look at how college acceptance rates have changed over time in public universities, particularly the Ivy League schools. We will also give some tips to improve your chances at the school of your dreams.
The current university acceptance rates
In 2021, the national university acceptance rate fell to an all-time low of 3.4%. It marks another extremely competitive year for high school students applying to colleges and universities across the country.
As mentioned earlier, the overall trend in college acceptance rates is downward over time. This results in a very competitive college admissions process. This is an exhaustive list of college acceptance rates over time.
Statistics on university admissions
|Babson College||23,4%||to be determined||26%||24%||24%||not applicable|
|Bucknell University||to be determined||to be determined||34,2%||31%||31%||30%|
|Caltech||to be determined||to be determined||6,4%||8%||8%||16,8%|
|carleton college||to be determined||20,1%||18,9%||19,4%||20%||29,8%|
|Carnegie Mellon University||to be determined||to be determined||15,4%||9,6%||13%||27,9%|
|Claremont McKenna College||13%||10%||8,9%||8,9%||10,4%||not applicable|
|Colgate University||17,2%||to be determined||22,3%||25%||28%||25,6%|
|college of william and mary||42%||to be determined||38%||36%||35%||33,6%|
|Cornell University||~ 8,5%||10,7%||10,5%||10,3%||12,5%||21,4%|
|davidson college||20,3%||19%||18,3%||18,7%||20%||not applicable|
|Emory University||20,4%||17,5%||15,6%||18,2%||21,8%||not applicable|
|George Washington University||to be determined||38,7%||41%||41,8%||40,8%||37%|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||to be determined||20%||18,8%||22%||23,2%||63%|
|Hamilton College||18%||to be determined||16,1%||20,8%||23,6%||27,7%|
|Harvard University - Latest Admission Statistics||3,43%||4,9%||4,5%||4,6%||5,2%||9,8%|
|Harvey Mudd College||13,7%||to be determined||13,6%||14,5%||13,9%||not applicable|
|Haverford College||17,8%||to be determined||16,1%||18,7%||19,4%||25%|
|Johns Hopkins University||to be determined||8,8%||9,1%||9,9%||11,8%||24%|
|New York University||12,8%||15,3%||16%||19%||28%||36,7%|
|Olin College of Engineering||to be determined||to be determined||15,6%||14,1%||13,4%||not applicable|
|pomona college||to be determined||7,2%||6,9%||6,9%||8,2%||16,3%|
|Rice University||9,3%||10%||8,7%||11%||16%||not applicable|
|Stanford University||to be determined||5,2%||4,3%||4,3%||4,65%||10,3%|
|Sany University||to be determined||to be determined||29%||33%||32%||51,5%|
|UC Berkeley||16,8%||to be determined||16,8%||15,2%||18,3%||23,3%|
|UCLA||14%||to be determined||12%||14,1%||16,1%||23,5%|
|University of Chicago||6,2%||6,2%||5,9%||7,2%||8,7%||34,9%|
|University of Michigan||to be determined||to be determined||22,7%||23,4%||24%||50,3%|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||47%||to be determined||21,4%||21,9%||26,2%||34,8%|
|University of Notre Dame||14,6%||16,5%||15,3%||17,6%||18,4%||24,4%|
|University of Pennsylvania||5,68%||8%||7,4%||8,4%||9,1%||20,5%|
|University of Richmond||to be determined||to be determined||28,3%||29,8%||32,9%||40%|
|university of southern california||12%||15,8%||11%||12,8%||16%||25,3%|
|University of Virginia||21%||20,5%||24,3%||26,5%||27%||35,2%|
|Vanderbilt University||6,7%||to be determined||7,8%||9,2%||10,3%||32,8%|
|Vassar College||19%||to be determined||23,4%||24%||22,8%||28,6%|
|Wake Forest University||to be determined||to be determined||29%||27,5%||27%||42,4%|
|Washington and Lee University||to be determined||to be determined||18%||21,1%||21,9%||27,4%|
|Washington University in St. Louis||13%||16%||14%||15%||16%||not applicable|
|williams college||8%||to be determined||12,4%||12,2%||14,6%||17,4%|
|Yale University - Latest Admission Statistics||4,62%||6,4%||5,9%||6,3%||6,9%||11,4%|
Ivy League Acceptance Rates Over Time
Now that you've seen how college acceptance rates have changed over time, let's take a closer look at the most prestigious college group in the world: the Ivy League. These highly rated schools have been regarded as the best higher education institutions for decades.
Of course, these schools consistently have lower acceptance rates compared to other universities and colleges. Not only do they attract students from all over the country and the world, but the schools are also smaller than many public schools. Together, these factors contribute to a highly selective admissions process.
Here's how the acceptance rate at Ivy League schools has changed over the past decade:
|Cornell||New York police station||10,7%||10,6%||10,3%||12,5%||14,1%||14,9%||14,0%||15,2%||16,2%|
|University of Pennsylvania||5,7%||8,1%||7,4%||8,4%||9,2%||9,4%||9,9%||9,9%||12,1%||12,3%|
Pooh! The Ivy League started 10 years ago and shows no signs of slowing down in its selectivity. But do not worry! It is still possible to get admission into these highly ranked universities. It just takes concerted effort, smart organization, careful planning and help from all sidesExperienced specialists in the field of university admissions.
What you can (and can't) learn from acceptance rates.
Acceptance rates are one of the most important metrics high school students look at as they prepare to apply for college. It's interesting to see how drastically college acceptance rates have changed over time, but it's important to understand what acceptance rates can and cannot show you.
In the equation, the admission rate is the number of applicants admitted divided by the total number of applicants. For example, if a school receives 10,000 applications and only 1,000 are accepted, the acceptance rate is 10%. very simple right? correct!
But what do these percentages actually mean for a school? In the most literal sense, these numbers illustrate how many candidates pass the test to be part of the freshman class. People use this statistic to describe how hard it is to get into a particular school.
While these numbers are used quite reasonably, it's important to remember that these are averages. To continue with our previous example, just because a school has a 10% acceptance rate does not mean that every applicant has a 10% chance of being admitted.
Some students even have a higher chance of being admitted, while others have a smaller chance. Still, some students' chances will fluctuate around the average. How is this possible? This is because many factors determine a student's chances of being admitted to a university or college, including
- high school average
- standardized test scores
- letter of recommendation
- college essay
- college interview
- extracurricular activities
- much more
Your strengths in each of these factors will determine your overall chances of being accepted into the school of your choice.
If you're wondering how this is calculated, you're on the right track. Almost impossible to be sure! This is why people use acceptance rates as a short measure of how easy it is to get into a particular school.
How to measure your chances of being admitted to your chosen school.
At AdmissionSight, we're committed to helping you navigate the college application process, and a big part of that is understanding the challenges you face. We've found that acceptance rates are great for getting a rough idea of how easy it is to get into a school, but these numbers aren't specific to you.
So how can you better understand your chances of getting into the school of your choice? Well, it's actually not that hard!
All you need to do is see how admitted applicants performed on objective and measurable application requirements such as GPA and standardized tests.
Most universities do not set requirements or even recommendations regarding minimum numbers of these indicators. However, the average performance of admitted students is a good way to measure how you are doing. Fortunately, this information is easy to find online. Why only GPA andSAT and ACT scores？
These factors can be compared between applicants because they are standardized.letter of recommendation, college essays, extracurricular activities and other immeasurable application requirements are more difficult to compare. Therefore, we recommend that students focus on measurable factors to better understand their chances of being admitted.
If you find that your ranking on these metrics revolves around the performance of admitted students, you have a good chance of being accepted.
If your grades are a bit lower than those of admitted students, you'll need to compensate in other ways. For those students with above average grades, your chances of getting admission are really good!
Master the college admissions process
Now that you've seen how college admission rates have changed over time, it's clear that schools have become more competitive over the years. The acceptance rate in many schools is nearly half of what it was a decade ago.
The college admissions process itself is already a stressful and confusing process. This selectivity only adds to the burden on high school students as they prepare for this major transition.
No matter what school you're targeting, working with a college entrance exam specialist is a great way to improve your chances of getting into admission. what is that? Well, we're glad you asked that question!
Admissions specialists are professionals who specialize in helping high school students like you navigate the college admissions process. AdmissionSight - That's us! - is a leading university admissions specialist with over a decade of experience and an impressive track record of success.
Over the past 10 years, we've developed a comprehensive understanding of what colleges look for in applicants and what high school students need to get in. Armed with this knowledge, we have created a very specific set of services specifically designed to help students improve their university application and thus increase their chances of being accepted into the school of their choice.
Sound like a fit? We are honored to help you stay on track and get an acceptance letter from the school of your dreams. casuallyContact usReceive a free consultation.
AdmissionSight(Video) 7 Top US Universities with High Acceptance Rates (Above 88%!!!)
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Latest College Admissions Trends for 2023. The 2020 pandemic continues to affect college applications in 2023, with an unprecedented increase in college applicants, a decrease in college acceptance rates, the rise of test-optional schools, and the elimination of SAT subject tests, among other factors.Are college acceptance rates going down? ›
Latest College Admissions Trends for 2023. The 2020 pandemic continues to affect college applications in 2023, with an unprecedented increase in college applicants, a decrease in college acceptance rates, the rise of test-optional schools, and the elimination of SAT subject tests, among other factors.What is the average college acceptance rate over time? ›
The average college acceptance rate in the United States is 68%, with more than half of all U.S. colleges and universities reporting rates of 67% or higher. In preparing a list of college acceptance rates, one should evaluate if the prospective institutions have an acceptance rate of around the average.Have college acceptance rates increased? ›
The overall admission rate fell from 49 to 38 percent in 2022 due to an 13 percent rise in applicants and a 17 percent decline in acceptances. Despite the decline, out-of-state and international applicants continued to be admitted at rates far in excess of California residents (60 and 43 percent vs 32 percent).Why is it so much harder to get into college now? ›
Together, these factors–the increases in selectivity, the focus on rankings, the intensified stress on test scores, the lack of clarity around each school's enrollment priorities–has made the college admissions landscape feel treacherous, littered with obstacles to potentially thwart applicants' aspirations.Is college losing popularity? ›
Nationwide, undergraduate college enrollment dropped 8 percent from 2019 to 2022, with declines even after returning to in-person classes, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse.Are college degrees declining? ›
The number of students who earned undergraduate degrees fell by 1.6 percent last year, reversing nearly a decade of steady growth, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.Is it harder to get into college now than 20 years ago? ›
The reality of college admissions, however, is a more complicated picture. As it turns out, getting into college actually isn't any harder than it was a decade ago. It's just that the odds of admission to your particular college may have decreased. That is the issue if you look at the overall picture and breakdowns.Is school getting more competitive? ›
Statistics show that the most competitive colleges in the U.S. are getting even more selective — applications in general were up by 10 percent between 2021 and 2022, making for a grueling and often-disappointing experience for applicants and their families.What college has 100 percent acceptance? ›
Established in 1911 in southwestern Utah, Dixie State University features a 100% acceptance rate. The campus, which sits adjacent to the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, serves more than 11,000 students, about 60% of whom attend full time. Dixie maintains a 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Admission rates for 2022-2023 have not been announced but are expected to remain just as low. Given this competitive environment, admission experts say students shouldn't assume they'll be a 'shoe-in' at any school.Why is acceptance rate decreasing? ›
What is the Reason for the Decline? The primary reason for the decline in acceptance rates is because there has been a large increase in the number of applicants. The acceptance rate of a school is calculated by dividing the number of admitted students by the total number of applicants.Are college dropout rates increasing? ›
While high school dropout rates are decreasing, the United States experiences a daunting 40% college dropout rate every year. With only 41% of students graduating after four years without delay, American universities tend to pale at the scale of this recurring issue (ThinkImpact, 2021).Is SAT easier now than 30 years ago? ›
In many ways, the new SAT is much easier than the older version. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't study and be prepared! While the format may be better for some students, the questions are still designed to test your ability and skills in each particular subject.What is the number one reason for not going to college? ›
Many of those who didn't enroll or complete degrees say college was too expensive — but they also cite stress and career uncertainty, new research finds.Why is going to college better than not going? ›
College graduates make more money.
The average college graduate makes $570,000 more than the average high school graduate over a lifetime.  Career earnings for college graduates are 71% to 136% higher than those of high school graduates.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York…
A recent survey of HR managers by Intelligent.com found that 53 percent of hiring managers have ditched the requirement for a bachelor's degree for some roles in the past year. And roughly a third of those dropped the requirement for senior-level positions.Are most successful people college dropouts? ›
Surprisingly, the most successful entrepreneurs we have today did not earn even a bachelor's degree (Hess, 2017). Some of these people who dropped out of college are Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Dell's Michael Dell, Twitter's Jack Dorsey, Oracle's Larry Ellison, and Apple's Steve Jobs.What degree is most dropped out? ›
Computing is the major with the highest college dropout rate — 10.7%. The number of dropout college students varies across degrees and majors.
College-educated adults tend to live happier lives.
confidence, a better sense of independence, and stronger feelings of control over their lives. ⌘ College graduates tend to be more resilient and less depressed.
While students choose to drop out of college for many reasons, including cost, time commitment, and coursework difficulty, the major they choose also has an impact. Students who major in computer science tend to have the highest dropout rate, followed by advertising and agriculture majors.What year is usually the hardest in college? ›
Although junior year often holds the most challenging classes, it is not always the most difficult. Students are able to take what they have learned from their previous two years of schooling to better prepare themselves for the more strenuous classes.Is starting college at 25 too old? ›
Is 25 Too Late to Start College? The age of 25 is not too late to start college, as it is never too late to start college. Many of the most successful college students are older learners and working professionals. Oftentimes, these older college students bring several advantages to the classroom.Which year of college is the hardest academically? ›
It can vary from person to person, but often times it is Freshman year that is the hardest year of college because of the large transition that you go through both academically and personally.What will schools be like in 2050? ›
Augmented reality and AI
Adaptive learning systems driven by artificial Intelligence (AI) will have become integrated into the school environment by 2050. Personalised learning experiences will take into account learning styles and create adaptive assessments that adjust in real-time based on performance.
In a new survey, 51 percent of students said they are experiencing more stress and anxiety than they did last January. Almost nine in 10 college students think campuses are facing a mental health crisis, according to a new survey from TimelyMD, a student-first telehealth provider.What is the most applied to college in the world? ›
1. University of California, Los Angeles. In 2021, 107,356 students applied to UCLA and only 15,352 were admitted.What is the rarest college to get into? ›
For example, Stanford, which tops the list of the hardest school to get into in the world, receives on average over 55,000 applications every year. Of these thousands of applications, they admit less than 2,200 students. That's a low, low admission rate of 3.9%.Which prestigious college is easiest to get into? ›
Cornell is considered the "easiest" Ivy League to get into because it has the highest Ivy League acceptance rate.
The GPA requirements for Harvard University are between 3.9 to 4.1. You will need an incredibly high GPA and will likely be graduating at the top of their class in order to get into Harvard University.Is it worth it to go to college at 25? ›
Yes, you should go back to school at 25. You have more real-life experience at that age and may have more money to pay for college classes. You may have a better idea of your ideal career field or want to change your current career altogether.Is UCLA harder than Harvard? ›
Though UCLA does have a low acceptance rate, the acceptance rate for Harvard is 5%, being much lower than UCLA. So even though UCLA is hard to get into, it is still not at the level of difficulty that Harvard is.What year will colleges look at? ›
Your first year and sophomore year affect your cumulative GPA, which is important to most colleges. However, a solid academic record in your junior year is likely to carry more importance with an admissions committee.Why are there so many rejections in college? ›
Failure to meet high GPA or test score standards. Insufficient academic rigor. Lack of demonstrated interest. Application essay errors.Do acceptance rates really matter? ›
A low acceptance rate does not automatically mean a school is better. Despite the hype surrounding the acceptance rate, here's the truth. It does not really tell you much about the quality of education you will receive at a particular school.Should I decline my college acceptance? ›
Technically, you do not have to officially decline a college acceptance. If you ignore a college acceptance letter, admissions will consider that the same as a rejection. However, it's more respectful to decline.What percentage of students Cannot afford college? ›
82% of women said a college degree would be difficult to afford, compared with 73% of men. Roughly 4 in 5 Black and Hispanic adults said college would be difficult to afford.Are college attendance rates declining? ›
Nationwide, undergraduate college enrollment dropped 8% from 2019 to 2022, with declines even after returning to in-person classes, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse. The slide in the college-going rate since 2018 is the steepest on record, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.What percent of college students fail a class? ›
That means more than 1 in 10 undergrads fail a class (since not every student repeats a failed class). What should you do if you fail? Consider repeating the course. Over 90% of colleges allow undergraduates to take a failed class again to improve their grade.
As you can see with the above SAT scoring chart, it's possible to get some questions wrong and still earn the max SAT score. Generally speaking, you can miss 1-2 questions on each section and still get a perfect 1600.What was a perfect SAT score in 1986? ›
A perfect score, in either category, is 800.Will the SAT become obsolete? ›
Especially with the start of the pandemic, many colleges have chosen to move to a test-optional method. The SAT is becoming more and more obsolete, as studies have repeatedly emphasized that the SAT is not a very good predictor of college success.How many people regret not going to college? ›
Only 9% of those who attended a public institution wish they had not gone to college, the Federal Reserve survey found. Those numbers were slightly higher for those who went to private for-profit schools — 14% said they would not have attended college in hindsight.How many people never finish college? ›
The college dropout or SCND rate in California is much higher than the national average. 6,360,375 or 16.1% of California residents are SCND. California residents are 46.5% more likely to be college dropouts compared to the average U.S. resident.Why is it so hard to get into college nowadays? ›
Together, these factors–the increases in selectivity, the focus on rankings, the intensified stress on test scores, the lack of clarity around each school's enrollment priorities–has made the college admissions landscape feel treacherous, littered with obstacles to potentially thwart applicants' aspirations.Is college worth the debt? ›
Student debt in California has increased dramatically in recent years, but college is still a good investment. Californians with college degrees are more likely to be employed than those with high school diplomas, and they earn higher wages.Is college worth it 2023? ›
According to data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the wage premium for early-career college graduates was 52%, or $17,680. The unemployment rate for college grads was also far lower in the first quarter of 2023 at 2.1% versus 6.9% for young workers without a college degree.Why are acceptance rates going down 2023? ›
Numerous degree-seeking students may find getting into college in 2023 harder than the previous years. Trends such as going test-optional, increasing diversity and emphasis on demonstrated interest can make the admissions process competitive, especially at institutions known for their high selectivity level.Why are college admissions declining? ›
Part of the reason is that students on average are collectively taking fewer classes. In the last two years, students began taking . 4 fewer units a term. That may seem insignificant, but with more than 400,000 students, that fraction of a change means the equivalent of 8,000 fewer full-time students enrolled.
Admission rates for 2022-2023 have not been announced but are expected to remain just as low. Given this competitive environment, admission experts say students shouldn't assume they'll be a 'shoe-in' at any school.Is 2023 a hard year for college admissions? ›
Given the overall increase in the number of applications and high yield rates at selective colleges, students can expect low admit rates in both the early and regular decision rounds to continue this year. CollegeVine anticipates admit rates of around 3% at the most selective colleges.What is the hardest college to get into in 2023? ›
Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, unsurprisingly, are America's toughest colleges to get into in 2023, according to Niche's most recent rankings.Is college worth it in 2023? ›
According to data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the wage premium for early-career college graduates was 52%, or $17,680. The unemployment rate for college grads was also far lower in the first quarter of 2023 at 2.1% versus 6.9% for young workers without a college degree.What is the biggest reason students drop out of college? ›
Other Common Reasons
While financial issues are probably the most common reason for dropping out of college, every student has their own reasons. Some unfortunately have family issues, a lack of support, or unexpected medical problems that are beyond their control.
Failure to meet high GPA or test score standards. Insufficient academic rigor. Lack of demonstrated interest. Application essay errors.What is the trend in college admissions in 2023? ›
Another 2023 college admissions trend is the continued importance of selecting colleges with early action and early decision options. Roughly 50% of applicants apply early, and colleges often fill a significant portion (50-60%) of their incoming class through early decision.Are college applications up dramatically in 2023? ›
Total applications (which counts the multiple applications made by most students) increased by 30%, from 5,434,484 in 2019-2020 to 7,057,980 in the current cycle. On average, this year's applicants also applied to more Common App member schools (5.7) than in 2019–20 (5.3), an 8% increase.What major has highest dropout rate? ›
Students who major in computer science tend to have the highest dropout rate, followed by advertising and agriculture majors. College is a significant investment, and selecting the right major can aid in your success.What degree has the highest drop out rate? ›
Computer sciences and business and administrative studies are among the degree subjects with the highest drop-out rates; with around nine per cent of students dropping out by their second year.
4. Most people who drop out of college are first-year students. On average, 24.1% of first-time first-year students leave college. The percentage of students who drop out of two-year institutions in the first year is 39%, while 18.4% of those who enroll in 4-year institutions do the same.