Top 10 Non-Ivy League Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates

Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates

Prestigious colleges, usually with really high tuition fees, don’t just freely accept anyone into their halls. Many of these schools belong to Ivy League, and have very high standards.

In fact, according to the US News and World Report, Harvard University has an acceptance rate of 6%, followed by Yale with 6.3%, Columbia with 7% and Princeton with 7.1%.

Surprisingly, though, Harvard isn’t the college with the most stringent admittance rate. The number one spot goes to a music school.

So, if you think that Ivy League schools are the only ones with a very competitive acceptance rate, think again.

Here are the top 10 non-Ivy League colleges that have very low admittance rates.

Non-Ivy League Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates


Curtis Institute of Music

Curtis Institute of Music

It’s a conservatory in Philadelphia, and although not as known as Julliard, the Curtis Institute of Music produces expert musicians in varied genres, where students can obtain a Bachelor of Music or Master of Music in Opera, among others.

It only has a student population of 175 and the school tries to maintain that number (their admission rate is around 4%, making Curtis College the most selective in the USA). This school is tuition-free, and it’s only admission requirement? Talent.

The school has an array of world-renowned artists and musicians that work with the students in performing and creating music.

Stanford University


Stanford’s acceptance rate is, on average, 5% (sometimes it’s even lower). It’s a private and prestigious institution in Stanford, California, and has been ranked No. 2 in the CWUR World University Ranking of 2016. So even though it’s not an Ivy League school, its high standards make it a highly sought-after university.

Currently admitted students were a little over 2,000 – out of around 43,000 applicants (that’s just around 4.8% acceptance rate).

US Naval Academy

US Naval Academy

It’s not a surprise that the USNA is very strict and selective with its applicants. The United States Naval Academy has an admittance rate of 7.9%. There is no GPA minimum requirement to get in, but there are several things the applicant needs to do to get in, and it’s not as easy as applying to a regular, academic institution.

Students don’t pay for tuition. Instead, they are paid for studying at USNA, and then become military personnel, upon graduation, for five years.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

acceptace-rate-Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT was named No. 1 in the Patents category in the World University Ranking, and took the No. 3 spot overall. With its numerous scientific programs and researches, with world-leading educators, MIT can afford to be selective.

It has a 7.9 – 8% acceptance rate, just a little bit more generous than Princeton University. For this year, there were 19,020 applicants, but only 1,511 were accepted into the college.

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Usually, University of Chicago’s acceptance rate is around 8%, but this year it was 7.6%, lower than these Ivy league colleges:

  • Brown University (9%)
  • University of Pennsylvania (9.4%)
  • Dartmouth College (10.5%)
  • Cornell University (14%)

This year, the college had over 30,000 applicants, with only 2,521 getting admission. The university ranked No. 8 among colleges in the world.

Juilliard School

Juilliard School-admission-rate

One of the most constantly talked about arts conservatories in real life and in films and TV shows, Juilliard is one of the most selective schools in the country. Juilliard has an admission rate of 8.4% in recent years (it used be as lows as 5.5% years ago). Although the school makes note of academic competence, there is no GPA requirement.

Juilliard, aside from the Curtis Institute of Music, produces the most number of graduates that work with the most famous orchestra and music troupes. It’s not surprising, as every applicant has to audition for their chosen program to get accepted.

It was ranked No. 1 by The Hollywood Reporter and the QS World University Rankings by Subject, followed closely by schools from Austria and United Kingdom.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University-acceptance-rate

Vanderbilt, from Nashville Tennessee, has an acceptance rate of 8.8% for this year, and last fall had more than 6,000 students enrolled. It ranked No. 71 in the CWUR list.

Forbes lists it as No. 8 in the South, No. 24 in Research Universities, No. 38 in Private Colleges, and No. 45 in Top Colleges. The university has over 500 clubs and organizations, with 15 sororities and 19 frats inside the campus.

California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

The school from Pasadena, California has an acceptance rate of 9%, and ranked No. 11 in the World Ranking.

Although not an Ivy League school, CalTech is one of the most popular and esteemed tech universities in the entire country and the world. In fact, it ranked No. 5 in QS World University Ranking 2015 – 2016.

US Military Academy

admission-rate-US Military Academy

Like the US Naval Academy, the USMA has an obvious reason to be selective of its applicants. Better known as West Point (as it’s located in West Point, New York), the USMA is the oldest academy for federal services.

Their football matches with longtime rival US Naval Academy are always a spectacular sight. It has a student population of about 4,414, with 9% admission rate. Forbes ranked it No. 14 in the Top Colleges list, but it got the No. 1 spot among Public Colleges, and No. 6 among the Liberal Arts University.

Duke University

acceptance-rate-Duke University

With a 10.4% admission rate and a rank of No. 29 in both the QS and CWUR World University Ranking, Duke University constantly raises the stakes with their proactive academic research, outreach activities, and sports involvement.

They also take the lead in medical research and experiment, like their Human Vaccine Institute, one of the country’s most active centers that deal with major diseases like HIV and AIDS.

Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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