IvyWise KnowledgeBase

Admission Statistics

The admissions process, while time-consuming and complex, is also fun and fascinating. Below, we’ve included some important college admission statistics, facts, and figures that will help you understand the trends in admission over the past 5-10 years.

College Acceptance Rates
In 2017, college acceptance rates dropped as low as 4.65% for the first time ever. Some of the most selective schools were Harvard University (5.2%) in Cambridge, MA, Stanford University (4.65%) in Palo Alto, CA, Yale University (6.9%) in New Haven, CT, MIT (7.1%) in Cambridge, MA, and Columbia University (5.8%) in New York, NY.

School 2017 2016 2015 2007
Amherst College TBA 13.7% 13.7% 17.5%
Boston College 32% 32% 28% 27.3%
Brown University 8.3% 9% 8.5% 14.9%
Columbia University 5.8% 6.04% 6.1% 12%
Cornell University 12.5% 13.9% 14.8% 21.4%
Dartmouth College 10.4% 10.6% 10.3% 17.7%
Duke University 9% 10.4% 10% 21%
George Washington 40.8% 39.5% 45.5% 37%
Georgetown University 15% 16.4% 16.4% 20.8%
Harvard University 5.2% 5.2% 5.3% 9.8%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 7.1% 7.8% 8% 12.5%
Middlebury College 19.7% 16% 17% 23%
New York University 27% 32% 30.7% 36.7%
Northwestern University 9% 10.7% 13% 26.8%
Pomona College 8.2% 9.1% 9.7% 16.3%
Princeton University 6.09% 6.46% 6.9% 10%
Stanford University 4.65% 4.69% 5.05% 10.3%
Swarthmore College 10.2% 12.5% 12.1% 24%
University of California – Berkeley 18.3 14.8% 15.3% 23.3%
University of Chicago TBA 7.9% 7.8% 34.9%
University of Michigan 24% 28.6% 26.2% 50.3%
University of Notre Dame 18.4% 18.3% 19.8% 24.4%
University of Pennsylvania 9.1% 9.4% 9.9% 20.5%
University of Southern California 16% 16.5% 17.5% 25.3%
University of Virginia 27% 28.8% 28.5% 35.2%
Vanderbilt University 10.3% 10.4% 11% 32.8%
Wesleyan University 15.4% 17.7% 22.2% 27.4%
Williams College 14.6% 17.3% 16.8% 17.4%
Yale University 6.9% 6.3% 6.5% 11.4%

Fun Facts for Applicants

You may think you have heard or read all there is to know about the applications, numbers, and statistics, but there are many schools that deviate from the norm. At IvyWise, we keep our fingers on the pulse of education; here are some colleges and universities that are setting themselves apart from other institutions.

  • Deep Springs College, located on a cattle ranch, accepts between 12 and 15 students for their two-year program. Students finish their bachelor’s degrees at Ivy League and other highly selective universities.
  • Bard College has a unique Entrance Exam, an essay examination which applicants can use in place of the Common App and standardized tests.
  • George Washington University accepted 45% of applicants to the class of 2019, its highest rate in more than a decade.
  • The most expensive college in the country is Harvey Mudd, where a degree comes with a $67,155 price tag. Fortunately, graduates can expect to earn about $92,500—double what the average 20-something with a Bachelor’s degree makes.
  • The national university with the most international students last year was Florida Institute of Technology at 33%.
  • Out of the ten schools with the highest number of applications, nine are in California (Boston University is the other). UCLA had 86,548 applicants in 2014.
  • At Florida Memorial University, 97% of early applicants are admitted, compared to 18% of regular applicants.
  • Stanford has the highest application fee of any college: $90.
  • In 2014, Cal Tech had highest average combined Critical Reading and Math SAT scores of any college: 1545/1600.
  • For applicants, MIT recommends two years of foreign language, less than the Ivies and Stanford.
  • As ranked by U.S. News and World Report, the best test-optional liberal arts school is Bowdoin College (#4), and the best test-optional national university is Wake Forest (#27).
  • The original Public Ivies, as listed by Richard Moll in 1985 were: College of William and Mary, Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), University of California (1985 campuses), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas at Austin, University of Vermont (Burlington), and the University of Virginia (Charlottesville).
  • Columbia University, The University of Chicago, and Yale all have average freshman retention rates of 99%.
  • The University of Central Florida had an undergraduate enrollment of 52,532 in 2014 – the largest in the country.
  • A study by AdmitSee found that favorite books or movies were more than twice as likely to be essay topics for females, while males were more than twice as likely to write about athletic achievements.
  • As an alternative to the Common App, Bennington College offers a Dimensional Application; it gives students the ability to submit portfolios, writing samples, research, recommendations, and more.