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.
Stanford University has the tightest acceptance rate (4.3412%) and Harvard University has the second lowest rate (4.6365%) 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
1Stanford University
Stanford, CA
47,4982,0621,6984.34%82.35%$56,16917,3811,505
2Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
43,3302,0091,6494.64%82.08%$53,96831,5661,515
3Columbia University in the City of New York
New York, NY
42,8232,3321,4655.45%62.82%$60,53231,0771,505
4Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
32,8041,8951,3355.78%70.45%$48,5028,3741,515
5Yale University
New Haven, CT
36,8442,2411,5506.08%69.17%$57,70013,4331,515
6University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
34,6412,1371,7266.17%80.77%$59,29817,0021,535
7California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA
8,3675372356.42%43.76%$56,8622,2331,545
8Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
21,3121,4271,1026.70%77.22%$53,45011,5741,540
9Brown University
Providence, RI
38,6742,7331,6627.07%60.81%$60,58410,2571,505
10Pomona College
Claremont, CA
10,4017704167.40%54.03%$54,7741,5731,465
11Duke University
Durham, NC
41,9473,1871,7317.60%54.31%$57,63316,6061,525
12University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
44,9613,4462,4007.66%69.65%$60,04225,8601,505
13Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH
23,6501,8751,1907.93%63.47%$59,4586,5721,500
14United States Naval Academy
Annapolis, MD
16,3321,3601,1818.33%86.84%-4,5121,350
15Rice University
Houston, TX
27,0872,3619648.72%40.83%$51,1077,1241,520
16Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA
11,4421,0224178.93%40.80%$54,4561,5591,460
17Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
40,5853,6732,0069.05%54.61%$58,70122,1271,495
18Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME
9,3328454999.05%59.05%$56,3501,828-
19Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
37,3103,4021,6049.12%47.15%$54,15812,8241,510
20Colby College
Waterville, ME
13,5841,3145229.67%39.73%$59,4302,0001,450
21Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, CA
6,06662532810.30%52.48%$56,4751,3271,435
22Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
49,1145,3303,18910.85%59.83%$59,28223,6001,480
23United States Air Force Academy
USAF Academy, CO
10,3541,1471,13211.08%98.69%-4,3361,335
24Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD
31,1393,4771,47511.17%42.42%$54,16026,1521,510
25Amherst College
Amherst, MA
10,5691,19547011.31%39.33%$60,8901,8551,415
26University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
66,1987,5583,16811.42%41.92%$60,27547,3101,445
27Barnard College
New York, NY
9,3201,09763211.77%57.61%$57,4792,5621,430
28United States Military Academy
West Point, NY
11,6751,4051,17112.03%83.35%-4,5891,270
29Bates College
Lewiston, ME
8,22299849912.14%50.00%$57,3531,832-
30University of California-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
111,32113,7205,92012.32%43.15%$43,00344,5371,415
31Williams College
Williamstown, MA
9,7151,22454612.60%44.61%$50,4502,1491,480
32Tulane University of Louisiana
New Orleans, LA
42,1855,4311,82112.87%33.53%$58,85212,6461,440
33Colorado College
Colorado Springs, CO
9,4561,27753513.50%41.90%$60,8642,144-
34Washington University in St Louis
Saint Louis, MO
25,4263,5221,73213.85%49.18%$56,89315,8521,520
35Georgetown University
Washington, DC
22,7643,2691,58414.36%48.46%$57,92819,2041,465
36Tufts University
Medford, MA
22,7663,4041,61214.95%47.36%$60,86211,5861,465
37Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT
9,7541,49860515.36%40.39%$58,3162,6111,445
38Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA
27,6344,2671,58515.44%37.15%$58,48514,0291,510
39Emory University
Atlanta, GA
30,0174,6821,37415.60%29.35%$53,86814,4581,445
40University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN
22,2003,5152,05115.83%58.35%$57,69912,6071,475
41New York University
New York, NY
79,46212,8735,75216.20%44.68%$54,88051,8471,440
42University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
87,84714,2786,45516.25%45.21%$44,06642,5011,430
43Hamilton College
Clinton, NY
8,3391,36747316.39%34.60%$58,5102,0051,445
44Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT
13,2642,18677116.48%35.27%$59,4163,217-
45Northeastern University
Boston, MA
62,26311,2402,99618.05%26.65%$55,45221,6271,465
46Davidson College
Davidson, NC
5,9821,08052718.05%48.80%$55,0001,8431,398
47Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA
6,1781,14746218.57%40.28%$57,2852,2231,430
48Boston University
Boston, MA
62,22411,7863,15618.94%26.78%$58,07234,6571,425
49Carleton College
Northfield, MN
7,3241,40152519.13%37.47%$59,3522,0971,450
50Emory University-Oxford College
Oxford, GA
17,8643,54247019.83%13.27%$53,8689931,438
51Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Atlanta, GA
36,8567,5843,07620.58%40.56%$33,96432,7231,405
52Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA
6,3951,37961221.56%44.38%$58,4482,5341,445
53Colgate University
Hamilton, NY
9,9512,24778622.58%34.98%$60,0152,9691,415
54University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
42,4659,6104,18222.63%43.52%$36,15930,0111,405
55University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI
64,97214,8836,83022.91%45.89%$54,09746,7161,435
56Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA
8,0041,84746023.08%24.91%$56,6801,7161,450
57Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY
8,9612,12769123.74%32.49%$61,0102,4561,445
58University of Virginia-Main Campus
Charlottesville, VA
40,8399,7783,92023.94%40.09%$53,62724,6391,430
59Babson College
Wellesley, MA
6,3621,68060026.41%35.71%$54,1443,3571,360
60University of California-Irvine
Irvine, CA
95,56525,3606,06926.54%23.93%$43,50736,0321,295
61University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL
38,92010,5582,20427.13%20.88%$53,68217,3311,355
62Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA
35,5529,6792,29727.22%23.73%$60,20214,7201,420
63Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH
28,7867,8761,35727.36%17.23%$52,94811,8901,425
64Coppin State University
Baltimore, MD
9,7892,73944227.98%16.14%$13,1132,738895
65Villanova University
Villanova, PA
22,9096,4701,69528.24%26.20%$57,46011,0301,395
66University of Richmond
University of Richmond, VA
12,3563,50083228.33%23.77%$56,8604,0021,375
67California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, CA
54,07215,3664,61328.42%30.02%$25,97122,0131,340
68Purdue University Northwest
Hammond, IN
5,6701,6201,23528.57%76.23%$14,22310,4731,070
69Trinity University
San Antonio, TX
9,8642,83764628.76%22.77%$46,4562,6371,370
70Denison University
Granville, OH
8,8122,59062529.39%24.13%$56,6802,3941,305
71University of California-Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
93,44627,6264,93529.56%17.86%$44,16025,9761,355
72Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC
12,5593,7171,36029.60%36.59%$57,7608,401-
73University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
21,6426,4301,50029.71%23.33%$58,24111,8171,405
74Brandeis University
Waltham, MA
11,3433,39186329.90%25.45%$57,2305,8001,435
75Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, NY
11,1023,33673530.05%22.03%$58,1282,6131,310
76Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA
9,5022,88862730.39%21.71%$61,0622,309-
77American Musical and Dramatic Academy
New York, NY
7,7412,38253630.77%22.50%$41,9601,676-
78The University of West Florida
Pensacola, FL
7,1942,2301,16331.00%52.15%$18,65812,8471,170
79Lafayette College
Easton, PA
8,5212,68269831.48%26.03%$54,9922,6421,345
80University of California-San Diego
La Jolla, CA
99,11431,2006,01531.48%19.28%$44,40237,8871,370
81Pepperdine University
Malibu, CA
12,7644,04972631.72%17.93%$58,0027,9611,340
82The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX
53,52517,0298,17031.82%47.98%$40,03251,8321,355
83Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA
15,6495,0231,40632.10%27.99%$55,2606,8491,365
84Macalester College
Saint Paul, MN
6,5982,12950232.27%23.58%$58,4782,1741,415
85Smith College
Northampton, MA
5,5971,81763332.46%34.84%$54,2242,903-
86Savannah State University
Savannah, GA
8,2072,72581233.20%29.80%$16,6244,077965
87Emerson College
Boston, MA
15,3535,12094233.35%18.40%$50,4444,5731,305
88Trinity College
Hartford, CT
6,0802,03658033.49%28.49%$59,0502,2351,374
89Kenyon College
Gambier, OH
6,6622,27148734.09%21.44%$55,0201,7301,365
90San Diego State University
San Diego, CA
70,04823,9055,27534.13%22.07%$19,60035,3031,215
91College of the Holy Cross
Worcester, MA
7,2002,46482934.22%33.64%$54,7702,9391,345
92Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA
9,8453,37096434.23%28.61%$58,2023,6681,343
93Southern University and A & M College
Baton Rouge, LA
10,5633,6871,33834.90%36.29%$16,7206,693990
94University of West Alabama
Livingston, AL
7,5692,64432234.93%12.18%$20,0905,200940
95CUNY Hunter College
New York, NY
33,75011,8712,54735.17%21.46%$15,33223,2021,260
96Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Tallahassee, FL
10,2693,6651,36135.69%37.14%$17,72510,0211,095
97University of Tulsa
Tulsa, OK
9,7933,51083135.84%23.68%$43,4504,3651,225
98Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL
58,93621,2027,10635.97%33.52%$21,68341,0051,270
99Hampton University
Hampton, VA
9,5513,43892736.00%26.96%$29,3124,3211,050
100Howard University
Washington, DC
21,0067,5781,92536.08%25.40%$28,4409,1391,205