Myth: Getting into College is Really Hard

on February 15, 2017

Getting into college is easier than you think.


The publicity surrounding colleges with low acceptance rates might give you the impression that getting into college is difficult. If Stanford University accepts less than 5 percent of the students who apply, your admissions chances are very low, even if you have perfect admissions test scores.


It's true that getting into one of the most prestigious colleges is hard, but that isn’t true for every college. There are many quality colleges that are much less selective.


The fear of not getting into college causes some students to panic. They apply to 10, 20 or even 30 colleges, when just five or six colleges should be enough.


At more than 80 percent of four-year colleges, applicants have better chances of getting in, based on data from the 2014 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Only 70 colleges have a less than 25 percent chance of admission. Only 6 percent of colleges admit less than a third of their applicants.


There are only 14 colleges where less than 10 percent of applicants are admitted: Curtis Institute of Music, Stanford University, Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, Princeton University, MIT, U.S. Naval Academy, College of the Ozarks, The Juilliard School, Brown University, University of Chicago, Caltech and the U.S. Military Academy.


The national average of applicants who are admitted is 69 percent and the average number of students who enroll is 44 percent.


On average, students apply to six colleges and are admitted by three to four colleges.

Can I get Into...

We Know Your Chances. Do You?

What Are My Chances