College Admissions and Financial Aid Movies

on March 7, 2017

Every so often, there is a new movie about the angst that students and parents feel about planning and paying for college. Often, the role of the admissions and financial aid offices is exaggerated. Some of these movies are entertaining and some were box office disasters.


The movies are listed in alphabetical order within each category.



  • Accepted (2006) – Comedy about a rejected student who creates his own college, the South Harmon Institute of Technology (S.H.I.T.)
  • Admission (2013) – Princeton admissions officer helps a college-bound kid who might be her own son
  • College (2008) – Comedy about a wild weekend college visit by three prospective students
  • College Road Trip (2008) – Comedy about a parent driving his daughter to a college interview
  • How High (2001) – Two stoners smoke a special weed to get perfect scores on an admissions test
  • How I Got Into College (1989) – Two Michigan high school students get into a small Pennsylvania college
  • Legally Blonde (2001) – Blonde sorority girl chases ex-boyfriend to law school and finds her calling as a lawyer
  • Monsters University (2013) – Animated story of the college escapades of two monsters
  • Orange County (2002) – A comedy of errors in a bright student’s pursuit of admission to Stanford
  • PCU (1994) – A tale of a high school student’s wild college visit to the fictitious and politically correct Port Chester University (P.C.U.)
  • Real Genius (1985) – Young genius admitted to a laser program at the fictitious Pacific Tech University
  • Risky Business (1983) – A Chicago high school senior turns his parent’s house into a brothel to get into Princeton University
  • Saturday Night Live Winston University Skit (1984) – An admissions representative recruits students to a fictitious university
  • The House (2017) – Parents turn their basement into an illegal casino to pay for their daughter’s college education at the fictitious Buckley University after losing her college fund
  • The Perfect Score (2004) – Six students break into the ETS building to steal the answers to the SAT


  • Admission Impossible (2006) – Documentary about parents’ efforts to get their children admitted to their first-choice colleges


  • Acceptance (2015) – Story about an Indian student who lies about admission to Harvard
  • Higher Learning (2010) – Drama about six college students and the lessons they learn
  • History Boys (2006) – Headmaster seeks to help a class of boys get accepted by Oxford and Cambridge
  • Homeless to Harvard (2003) – Young homeless girl finishes high school and gets into Harvard
  • Liberal Arts (2012) – A college admissions officer returns to his alma mater for a retirement party and falls in love with a college student
  • Real Women Have Curves (2002) – The story of a Latina student’s path from Los Angeles to Columbia University
  • Rudy (1993) – A sports drama about a student whose drive helps him overcomes obstacles while trying to fulfill his dream of playing college football at the University of Notre Dame
  • Spanglish (2004) – A mother’s daughter tells the story of her life in a college admissions essay to Princeton University
  • The Spectacular Now (2013) – A movie about a partying senior who sobers up and applies for admission to college after meeting a nice girl

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