How Selective Colleges Really Are

How Selective Colleges Really Are

Want to know how selective colleges really are?  Below is a VERY (That’s with a capital v, e, r and y) long list of factual data on just how selective college truly are.  You’ll see exactly how many applications they received and how many students they admitted.  Equally interesting is how selective the students are. For example, you’ll see a school that received over 10,000 applications and admitted nearly 8,000 but less than 1,000 enrolled.  You see, colleges like to maintain a mystique of being the gate keeper to an elite organization that only a select few will gain entrance into their exclusive club.

The truth is, which many admissions folks won’t openly admit, they want you as much, if not more than you want them.  The evidence is in the numbers. And it is a numbers game.  The rules are, get as many applicants as possible so we can select the top X% and refuse admission to the rest.  Using that equation (Don’t worry, I’ll do the math for you.) If a school receives 10,000 applications and accepts the top 50%, they accept 5,000 students.  Now compute the acceptance to enrolled factor.  Let’s say for the this example it’s 25%.  that would give our example school an enrolling class of 1,250 new students.  Perfect number to fill all seats, employ all faculty and staff and add to their new student union fund.  Now let’s flip the script on this school.  What if they only get 5,000 applications this year.  Using the same formula, that means only 675 new students.  Much too low for their plans.  What happens?  If nothing else changed, most schools would be forced to lower their admission standards and accept a MUCH higher rate of students, say 90%.

While some counselors will advise more applications to increase your odds of acceptance, the truth is, be selective and you’ll increase everyone’s odds.  If you truly have no plan to attend, do waste your time or money.  You shouldn’t put much weight into “fallback” colleges.   Going to college for the sake of going to college may not be your best option.  College is quite possibly the biggest investment you’ll make in yourself.  If your top schools don’t accept you, you may want to reconsider your options, i.e.: starting at an inexpensive community college and transferring in after a year.

And without further ado, here is the definitive list of how selective colleges really are:


Institution nameNumber of applicantsNumber admittedNumber admitted who enrolledPercent of applicants admittedPercent of admitted who enrolledReporting period
Abilene Christian University101884986103048.9%20.7%Fall 2013
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College1567111188770.9%79.8%Fall 2013
Adams State University2658139851952.6%37.1%Fall 2013
Adelphi University8654589791868.1%15.6%Fall 2013
Adrian College4675263149656.3%18.9%Fall 2013
Adventist University of Health Sciences21102825913.4%20.9%Fall 2013
Agnes Scott College134089625466.9%28.3%Fall 2013
AIB College of Business42429218468.9%63.0%Fall 2013
Alabama A & M University61425521110489.9%20.0%Fall 2013
Alabama State University102455251147951.3%28.2%Fall 2012
Alaska Bible CollegeN/A
Alaska Pacific University4941853337.4%17.8%Fall 2013
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences1601101524663.4%24.2%Fall 2013
Albany State University8250164350119.9%30.5%Fall 2012
Albertus Magnus College68947013268.2%28.1%Fall 2013
Albion College4430249834656.4%13.9%Fall 2013
Albright College6060377665562.3%17.3%Fall 2013
Alcorn State University2265187857582.9%30.6%Fall 2013
Alderson Broaddus University4892211443843.2%20.7%Fall 2013
Alfred University3417238553569.8%22.4%Fall 2013
Alice Lloyd College3656164618945.0%11.5%Fall 2013
Allegheny College4512292760464.9%20.6%Fall 2013
Allegheny Wesleyan CollegeN/A
Allen College42150.0%50.0%Fall 2013
Allen UniversityN/A
Alliant International University128632849.2%44.4%Fall 2013
Alma College2699183337667.9%20.5%Fall 2013
Alvernia University1792139138977.6%28.0%Fall 2013
Alverno College58245920878.9%45.3%Fall 2013
Amberton UniversityN/A
American Baptist CollegeN/A
American Indian College of the Assemblies of God IncN/A
American International College1928130734667.8%26.5%Fall 2013
American Jewish University100592359.0%39.0%Fall 2013
American Musical and Dramatic Academy287774947726.0%63.7%Fall 2012
American Samoa Community CollegeN/A
American University175457566162743.1%21.5%Fall 2013
American University of Puerto RicoN/A
American University of Puerto RicoN/A
Amherst College7927113246614.3%41.2%Fall 2013
Amridge UniversityN/A
Anderson University2734151644455.4%29.3%Fall 2013
Anderson University2190142450265.0%35.3%Fall 2013
Andrews University255195738837.5%


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