At a Glance

The acceptance rate is the percentage of students who are allowed to admitted. It is calculated by dividing the number of accepted students by the number of applicants. The "admitted" does not mean that all admitted students would enroll to school. An admitted student may or may not enroll to school and the term "Yield", also known as enrollment rate, is used to represent the percentage of enrolled students over admitted students.
Suppose that 1,500 students have applied, 500 students have allowed to admit, and finally 200 students have enrolled to a school. In this case, the acceptance rate is 33.33% (500 / 1,500 * 100) and the yield (enrollment rate is ) 40% (200 / 500 * 100).
In general, the lower the acceptance rate, the harder it is admitted to school. In fact, the acceptance rate of most top ranked schools is low and the schools tend to keep their acceptance rate low.
Harvard University has the tightest acceptance rate (5.0065%) and Stanford University has the second lowest rate (5.1938%) based on academic year 2019-2020 admission data.
Below table ranks and compares the Tightest Colleges To Admit having lowest acceptance rate. For the acceptance rate rankings, we only include 4-year colleges that more than 5,000 students have applied to.

Tightest Colleges To Admit Comparison Table

RankCollege NameApplicantsAdmittedEnrolledAcceptance RateYieldTuition & FeesStudent PopulationSAT Score
1Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
40,2482,0151,4075.01%69.83%$53,96830,3911,520
2Stanford University
Stanford, CA
45,2272,3491,6065.19%68.37%$56,16915,9531,495
3Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
32,8351,8481,1545.63%62.45%$48,5027,8531,510
4Yale University
New Haven, CT
35,2202,2991,2646.53%54.98%$57,70012,0601,520
5Columbia University in the City of New York
New York, NY
40,4622,6951,5216.66%56.44%$60,53230,1351,515
6California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA
8,0075362256.69%41.98%$56,8622,2401,555
7Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
20,0751,4571,0707.26%73.44%$53,45011,2541,545
8University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
34,3502,5101,8477.31%73.59%$59,29817,8341,535
9Brown University
Providence, RI
36,7932,8221,7567.67%62.23%$60,5849,9481,500
10Duke University
Durham, NC
39,6393,0681,5807.74%51.50%$57,63316,1721,520
11Pomona College
Claremont, CA
10,3888953998.62%44.58%$54,7741,4751,465
12United States Military Academy
West Point, NY
14,9691,2941,0568.64%81.61%-4,5361,325
13University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
42,2053,7892,3218.98%61.26%$60,04226,5521,515
14Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA
11,6301,0543749.06%35.48%$54,4561,4371,468
15United States Naval Academy
Annapolis, MD
15,6991,4261,1949.08%83.73%-4,5941,340
16Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME
9,4028614649.16%53.89%$56,3501,777-
17Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH
21,3921,9721,0579.22%53.60%$59,4586,2921,500
18Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
39,2633,6541,9019.31%52.03%$58,70122,6031,490
19Colby College
Waterville, ME
13,9221,43056610.27%39.58%$59,4302,1551,450
20Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
51,5005,5143,24910.71%58.92%$59,28223,6201,470
21Rice University
Houston, TX
23,4552,55599310.89%38.87%$51,1077,6431,515
22Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD
30,1153,3301,40511.06%42.19%$54,16028,8901,515
23Tulane University of Louisiana
New Orleans, LA
43,8924,8771,80111.11%36.93%$58,85213,9271,420
24Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
36,6464,2591,69811.62%39.87%$54,15813,5371,520
25Amherst College
Amherst, MA
10,6031,25443411.83%34.61%$60,8901,7451,495
26Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, CA
5,30670831513.34%44.49%$56,4751,2641,415
27United States Air Force Academy
USAF Academy, CO
10,7471,4431,13213.43%78.45%-4,3071,325
28Colorado College
Colorado Springs, CO
10,2571,39553913.60%38.64%$60,8642,050-
29Barnard College
New York, NY
9,4111,28069013.60%53.91%$57,4792,7441,434
30Bates College
Lewiston, ME
7,6961,08547914.10%44.15%$57,3531,876-
31University of California-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
108,87015,6026,38614.33%40.93%$43,00344,5891,415
32Williams College
Williamstown, MA
8,7441,32248215.12%36.46%$50,4501,9871,480
33Washington University in St Louis
Saint Louis, MO
27,9494,4771,80416.02%40.29%$56,89315,4491,520
34University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
59,7129,6183,46016.11%35.97%$60,27546,2871,435
35Tufts University
Medford, MA
23,1273,7701,61516.30%42.84%$60,86212,2191,455
36Georgetown University
Washington, DC
21,1903,5611,59216.81%44.71%$57,92819,3711,465
37Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA
26,1894,5241,63717.27%36.18%$58,48513,5191,510
38University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
88,06215,3906,11717.48%39.75%$44,06642,3271,420
39Hamilton College
Clinton, NY
7,4431,37043818.41%31.97%$58,5101,9021,445
40University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN
21,2534,0352,19318.99%54.35%$57,69912,8091,475
41Emory University
Atlanta, GA
28,2115,4071,34419.17%24.86%$53,86813,9971,455
42Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA
8,1371,56636519.25%23.31%$56,6801,4931,446
43Davidson College
Davidson, NC
5,6211,12452020.00%46.26%$55,0001,9831,380
44Boston University
Boston, MA
61,00712,2542,91420.09%23.78%$58,07232,7181,405
45Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA
6,5811,34358020.41%43.19%$58,4482,2801,435
46Northeastern University
Boston, MA
64,45913,1993,12820.48%23.70%$55,45222,9051,475
47Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT
12,6322,64072020.90%27.27%$59,4163,053-
48New York University
New York, NY
80,21016,9186,70121.09%39.61%$54,88052,7751,455
49Carleton College
Northfield, MN
6,8921,46045321.18%31.03%$59,3521,9401,425
50Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Atlanta, GA
40,8528,7193,26021.34%37.39%$33,96439,7711,450
51Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT
9,1742,02260222.04%29.77%$58,3162,6691,430
52University of Virginia-Main Campus
Charlottesville, VA
40,8799,2303,78522.58%41.01%$53,62725,6281,415
53Emory University-Oxford College
Oxford, GA
16,6874,03448924.17%12.12%$53,8689471,435
54Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY
8,6632,12658824.54%27.66%$61,0102,4351,440
55University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
41,77310,4454,44525.00%42.56%$36,15930,0921,385
56University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI
65,02116,9746,87926.11%40.53%$54,09747,9071,430
57Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA
29,3827,7522,40826.38%31.06%$60,20214,9341,415
58Babson College
Wellesley, MA
6,5011,75360326.97%34.40%$54,1443,3401,360
59Colgate University
Hamilton, NY
8,5832,35876527.47%32.44%$60,0153,0541,385
60Denison University
Granville, OH
9,0792,55860528.17%23.65%$56,6802,2581,325
61University of California-Irvine
Irvine, CA
97,93829,3015,76529.92%19.68%$43,50736,3031,330
62Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH
29,0848,8041,30530.27%14.82%$52,94811,4651,430
63Purdue University Northwest
Hammond, IN
5,3011,6051,09930.28%68.47%$14,2239,3631,055
64Villanova University
Villanova, PA
22,0836,7701,70030.66%25.11%$57,46011,0321,390
65University of Richmond
University of Richmond, VA
12,0603,72781130.90%21.76%$56,8604,0561,370
66University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
48,19315,0026,33331.13%42.21%$28,65953,3721,375
67The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX
57,24118,2908,45931.95%46.25%$40,03250,4761,340
68Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC
11,9593,8251,45231.98%37.96%$57,7608,789-
69Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, NY
10,4333,35671832.17%21.39%$58,1282,5821,312
70Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL
63,69120,6686,00932.45%29.07%$21,68343,5691,285
71Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Tallahassee, FL
9,4723,1241,03932.98%33.26%$17,7259,1841,090
72University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL
40,13313,2822,35933.10%17.76%$53,68217,8091,335
73Brandeis University
Waltham, MA
10,2233,41475033.40%21.97%$57,2305,4401,415
74Trinity University
San Antonio, TX
9,3943,15863433.62%20.08%$46,4562,6771,335
75Oberlin College
Oberlin, OH
9,3093,29268035.36%20.66%$58,5542,6581,315
76University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
19,6076,9471,36335.43%19.62%$58,24111,7411,420
77Lafayette College
Easton, PA
8,2152,92260635.57%20.74%$54,9922,5141,345
78Hampton University
Hampton, VA
10,8113,89263036.00%16.19%$29,3123,5161,050
79Trinity College
Hartford, CT
5,9522,14557236.04%26.67%$59,0502,2411,374
80Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA
9,0623,30855336.50%16.72%$61,0622,254-
81Smith College
Northampton, MA
5,2491,91752736.52%27.49%$54,2242,504-
82University of California-San Diego
La Jolla, CA
100,06236,6346,44736.61%17.60%$44,40239,5761,375
83University of California-Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
90,96133,3844,84736.70%14.52%$44,16026,1791,345
84San Diego State University
San Diego, CA
64,78423,7784,85236.70%20.41%$19,60036,3341,195
85Kenyon College
Gambier, OH
6,6142,44044636.89%18.28%$55,0201,6151,370
86CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
New York, NY
21,0217,8691,69237.43%21.50%$15,42015,7661,090
87Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA
9,8903,71298637.53%26.56%$58,2023,7261,340
88Alcorn State University
Alcorn State, MS
6,8462,58240137.72%15.53%$7,2903,230880
89Connecticut College
New London, CT
6,8822,59643437.72%16.72%$59,0251,7371,380
90College of the Holy Cross
Worcester, MA
7,0872,68973537.94%27.33%$54,7702,9701,360
91California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, CA
52,37120,1274,78938.43%23.79%$25,97122,4401,315
92Howard University
Washington, DC
24,3259,3982,36038.64%25.11%$28,44010,8591,195
93American University
Washington, DC
20,0367,7441,60738.65%20.75%$51,36114,0011,305
94Macalester College
Saint Paul, MN
6,3732,46654738.69%22.18%$58,4782,0491,365
95Delaware State University
Dover, DE
11,3174,4521,00139.34%22.48%$18,2804,739910
96Coppin State University
Baltimore, MD
5,8732,36130140.20%12.75%$13,1132,348895
97CUNY Hunter College
New York, NY
32,29413,0722,61640.48%20.01%$15,33224,0521,255
98CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
New York, NY
24,3079,8952,05540.71%20.77%$15,41219,7401,265
99Occidental College
Los Angeles, CA
6,9392,83840240.90%14.16%$56,5761,8391,365
100Emerson College
Boston, MA
13,3265,47093941.05%17.17%$50,4445,1151,285