If you’ve set your sights high and plan to attend a prestigious university in the U.S., then these are the ones to work toward. Traditionally the most difficult schools in which to be accepted are in the Ivy League or private schools. These also correlate to being amongst the oldest schools in the country.
They have rich traditions, an elite group of alumni, and set the bar very high for their incoming students. Additionally, these schools could also be considered amongst some of the most expensive tuition bills.
The hardest colleges to get into include:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Located in Cambridge, MA. Sixty-three percent have a job after six months. SAT scores range for accepted students 670-770 for critical reading an 730-800 for math. TOEFL score minimum is 577 for the paper version.
Yale University. Yale calls the high school transcript “The single most important document in the application…which tells us a great deal about a student’s academic motivation and performance over time.” SAT score requirements are generally in the 700s and ACT scores in the 30s.
Princeton University. Princeton reviews the entire student portfolio, including GPA and class rank. There is a strong suggestion that students push themselves academically via honors and AP courses, International Baccalaureate courses and dual-enrollment. SAT is required, with scores generally in the 700s. Two written essays are required.
Harvard University. There are high standards at America’s oldest college. They look for those with “unusual academic progress,” those who are “well rounded,” or even those who are “well lopsided.” High school accomplishments are important, as is who you are as a person. Their freshmen are typically the top 10-15% of their graduating classes. For the class of 2012, there is an 8% application acceptance rate.
Columbia University. You’ll need an ACT score in the 30s or an SAT score in the 700s, plus the completion of two SAT subject area tests. Application acceptance rate for 2008 was about 9% (1,017 spots available).
Stanford University. The freshman class at Stanford has seats for about 1,700 students; that’s roughly a 10% application acceptance rate. They say “There is no minimum GPA or test score; nor is there any specific number of AP or honors courses you must have on your transcript that will secure your admission to Stanford.” They continue to explain what they look for in an ideal candidate. “We want to see your commitment, dedication, and genuine interest in expanding your intellectual horizons.”
Brown University. For the class of 2012, there is a 14% acceptance rate. Applicants are judged on how they can contribute both academically at Brown and within the Brown community as a whole. The majority of accepted applications for the class of 2013 had SAT scores of 700-740.