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College Admissions: The Hardest Colleges To Get Into In 2013

Saturday, June 01, 2013


Stanford University has overtaken Harvard as the hardest college to get into in 2013, with a record-breaking low acceptance rate of 5.7%.

Statistics for the Class of 2017 are staring to roll out now that regular decision season has come to a close, and the numbers are daunting at the big name colleges. 7 of the 8 Ivy League universities reported a lower acceptance rate (only Dartmouth saw a slight increase). Harvard reported the lowest Ivy acceptance rate at 5.79%, followed by Yale at 6.72%, Columbia at 6.89%, Princeton at 7.29% and Brown at

9.16%. In the double digits, Dartmouth offered 10.05% of applicants a spot in the freshman class, followed by UPENN - 12.10% and Cornell - 15.15%. Outside the Ivy League, Stanford topped Harvard with an all-time low acceptance rate of just 5.7% and MIT took just 8.2% of applicants.

City Schools-Big Winners

Meanwhile, applications surged at a number of colleges, particularly those in cities. Boston University saw almost a 20% increase in applications. Case Western in Cleveland received 25% more applications. And at UCLA, U. Chicago and NYU, applications increased approximately 10%. Even colleges in smaller cities, like Clark in Worcester, saw a 28% jump. However, one rural college rocked the numbers with a 42% increase in applicants: tiny Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Scandals Can Hurt

Who took a tumble? Amherst College saw more than a 7% decrease in apps following a rape scandal that shook the campus and national media. And for unknown reasons, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute applications dropped more than 10%.

All Colleges Are NOT Uber Competitive

Depressed by the numbers? Don’t be. There are more than 2,000 four year colleges in the U.S., and only 300-400 of those are selective. The reality is that most colleges in the U.S. take more than 75% of applicants, and less than 10% of Fortune 500 CEO’s went to an Ivy League college. The most important factor in selecting a school should not be selectivity, but rather how well the institution matches your learning style, academic goals, career interests, personality and budget.

Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, college counseling and athletic recruiting services for students. www.collegeadvisorsonline.com.


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