The hardest college to get into in every state

How to Get Into an Elite College

On Thursday, America's insanely competitive Ivy League schools will announce their admissions decisions.

America's Ivy League schools — Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale — have some of the most competitive admissions standards in America. In fact, Harvard is America's hardest college to get into, according to rankings from the academic review site

The rankings are based on acceptance rates and SAT and ACT scores reported to the US Department of Education. College acceptance rates received a weighted average of 60% in the ranking computation, and SAT/ACT scores received a weighted average of 40%.

Business Insider used Niche's state filter to find out which college is the hardest to get into in each of America's 50 states and the District of Columbia. Niche reports that a few states (Alaska, Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming) are missing from the ranking because they don't have data for enough colleges.

Scroll through to find out the most selective college in each state — and to learn about non-Ivy League schools that are also relatively competitive.

Note: Niche used the most recent data available to calculate its rankings, usually from 2012-2013 or 2013-2014.

Alabama: Spring Hill College

Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama

Acceptance rate: 46.3%

Arizona: Arizona Christian University

Facebook/Arizona Christian University

Acceptance rate: 60.8%

Arkansas: University of Arkansas

Acceptance rate: 58.6%

California: California Institute of Technology

Orange multi-faceted building exterior

Acceptance rate: 10.6%

Colorado: United States Air Force Academy

Side view of the US Air-Force Academy Chapel, Colorado Springs

Acceptance rate: 15.4%

Connecticut: Yale University

Francisco Anzola/Flickr

Acceptance rate: 7.1%

District of Columbia (D.C.): Georgetown University


Acceptance rate: 17%

Florida: University of Miami

Helicopter ride over University of Miami main campus

Acceptance rate: 40.4%

Georgia: Emory University

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 26.3%

Hawaii: Brigham Young University at Hawaii

Facebook/BYU Hawaii

Acceptance rate: 36%

Idaho: Northwest Nazarene University

Facebook/Northwest Nazarene University

Acceptance rate: 61.7%

Illinois: University of Chicago

Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski

Acceptance rate: 8.8%

Indiana: University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Admissions/Facebook

Acceptance rate: 22.3%

Iowa: Grinnell College


Acceptance rate: 35.1%

Kansas: Newman University

Facebook/Newman University

Acceptance rate: 44.7%

Kentucky: Berea College

Facebook/Berea College

Acceptance rate: 34%

Louisiana: Tulane University

Flickr / Tulane Public Relations

Acceptance rate: 26.4%

Maine: Bowdoin College

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 15%

Maryland: Johns Hopkins University

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 18.1%

Massachusetts: Harvard University

AP Photo/Lisa Poole

Acceptance rate: 5.8%

Michigan: University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 33.3%

Minnesota: Carleton College

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 21%

Mississippi: Millsaps College

Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 47.5%

Missouri: Washington University in St. Louis

Facebook/Washington University in St. Louis

Acceptance rate: 15.6%

Montana: Carroll College

Facebook/Carroll College

Acceptance rate:53.0%

Nebraska: Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health

Google street view

Acceptance rate: 33.3%

New Hampshire: Dartmouth College

Via Flickr

Acceptance rate: 9.8%

New Jersey: Princeton University

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Acceptance rate: 7.4%

New Mexico: New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology

wikipedia public domain

Acceptance rate: 41.4%

New York: Columbia University

Wikimedia Commons / Momos

Acceptance rate: 7.4%

North Carolina: Duke University

Flickr / Matt Phillips

Acceptance rate: 13.4%

North Dakota: Minot State University

Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 56.6%

Ohio: Oberlin College


Acceptance rate: 30.4%

Oklahoma: University of Tulsa

Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 40.6%

Oregon: Reed College

Via Flickr

Acceptance rate: 48.5%

Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 12.2%

Rhode Island: Brown University

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 9.2%

South Carolina: Clemson University

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 57.9%

South Dakota: Augustana College

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 68.1%

Tennessee: Vanderbilt University

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 12.7%

Texas: Rice University

Shu-Wei Hsu/Flickr

Acceptance rate: 16.7%

Utah: Brigham Young University


Acceptance rate: 49.4%

Vermont: Middlebury College


Acceptance rate: 17.2%

Virginia: Washington & Lee University

Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 18.4%

Washington: Whitman College

Via Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 57.0%

West Virginia: Ohio Valley University

Facebook/Ohio Valley University

Acceptance rate: 36.4%

Wisconsin: Marquette University

Wikimedia Commons

Acceptance rate: 57.5%

See Also:

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