college acceptance rate 2026
college acceptance rate 2026
Harvard College – 4%
Harvard College accepts only 4% of applicants — that’s every 50th person who applies. The school’s acceptance rate was once close to a third, but it has risen steadily over the past few decades.
What makes this statistic even more astounding is how the number compares with other highly selective colleges and universities across the country:
- Columbia University – 5%
- Yale University – 6%
- University of Pennsylvania – 7%
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – 8%
- Princeton University – 9%
- Dartmouth College – 10%
Columbia University – 5%
As the college admissions process continues to evolve, it’s hard to know what will happen in the future. But we can make educated guesses. We’re going to look at Columbia University’s acceptance rate through different time periods, talk about what factors could be affecting their numbers, and predict whether they’ll keep climbing or level off by 2026.
Yale University – 6%
The 2018-2019 admissions rate for Yale University, which has campuses in New Haven, CT, and New York City, NY, was 6%. In 2017, the admission rate at Yale was 7%, and it was 8% in 2016. For the Class of 2022 (enrolled Fall 2017), among those who received an acceptance letter from Yale, 55% enrolled.
Yale’s acceptance rates have been as low as 5.9% and as high as 11%.
University of Pennsylvania – 7%
As the most selective school in the Ivy League, it comes as no surprise that Pennsylvania boasts one of the lowest acceptance rates among comparable universities. In fact, only 7% of applicants are admitted each year, making it a great option for students who want to compete with their peers. Located in Philadelphia, Penn’s campus offers a high level of prestige and an excellent standard of education—and is even ranked by Forbes as one of the best universities in the world. Admitted students usually enjoy a wide variety of majors and extracurricular opportunities. The university also provides numerous resources to ensure that students are thriving and having fun. Even so, there was once an issue with drinking on campus—another reason why you should consider attending!
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – 8%
In previous years, MIT’s acceptance rates have varied from 10.6% in 2015 to 15.8% in 2016; however, the rate for 2017 fell drastically to 8%. How can you increase your chances of getting into this prestigious university? First and foremost, be sure to fulfill all admissions criteria. The most recent freshman class had an average SAT score of 1490-1520 and an average GPA of 4.5-4.7 on a scale of 4.0 (out of 5). The pool was filled with students taking AP classes (i.e., students who took AP Calculus BC or AB), with 34% taking at least one during high school (47% if pre-calculus is included). Approximately 91% were in the top 20% of their graduating class, and 23% were valedictorians or salutatorians. In addition, 62%, or all but two admitted students, were women—an anomaly since women only make up about 50% of applicants.
As shown by these statistics, there are a variety of factors that play into your odds for acceptance into MIT not only throughout the year but also between years; however, it is safe to say that having straight A’s will be a major factor no matter what time period you’re looking at.
Princeton University – 9%
Princeton University is a prestigious school with an esteemed reputation, and it’s no wonder that so many students apply each year. There are many factors you should consider when deciding whether or not you should apply to Princeton. If you’re unsure if the acceptance rate at Princeton University is right for you, use this guide to get answers to your questions.
Dartmouth College – 10%
In 2015, Dartmouth had an acceptance rate of 10%. Nearly half of all students who applied to Dartmouth were accepted. The most common reason for a student to be denied admission is low grades. If your GPA is below 3.0, you are unlikely to be accepted unless you have some other very strong application feature, such as a high SAT or ACT score.
Northwestern University – 11%
Acceptance rate 11% (fall 2019) 10.5% (fall 2026)
Northwestern University, located in Evanston, Illinois, is a private research university that was established in 1851. With an acceptance rate of 9.5% in fall 2019, Northwestern University accepts fewer than one in ten applicants. The acceptance rate at Northwestern is expected to drop by 1.5%. Over the next decade, Northwestern is projected to decline from tenth to eleventh place among national universities.
Northwestern competes with other top-tier private and public schools like Harvard, Stanford and the Georgia Institute of Technology for college applicants. Although there’s no consensus about the exact definition of the term “top tier,” it usually refers to a select group of highly selective colleges that are famous for their rigorous academic standards and prestige within their respective regions or across the United States as a whole. Schools included on US News & World Report’s list of “Best National Universities” follow this definition; all 50 schools featured on the ranking have an acceptances rate below 15%. To prepare your child for admission into one of these highly select institutions, contact us today! We’ll be happy to help you develop an effective strategy while also addressing any questions you have along the way.
Brown University – 12%
Brown University, a private Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island (paw-tuck-et), is one of the most selective universities in the United States; it has an acceptance rate of just over 12%. This high level of selectivity means that applicants need to present themselves in the best possible light. For example, students with a GPA below 3.8 are unlikely to be accepted.
John Hopkins University – 13%
Johns Hopkins University, one of the highest ranked universities in the country, is a private institution with its main campus located in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University is also known as JHU and has 13% acceptance rate for undergraduate students.
Johns Hopkins was founded in 1876 by philanthropist and prominent businessman Johns Hopkins. In addition to its main campus, there are three branch campuses: Homewood campus (Baltimore), Washington D.C., and Asia Campus (Singapore). The University’s academic divisions include 10 professional schools: Carey Business School (Baltimore), Engineering, Nursing School, Arts & Sciences (Baltimore), Applied Physics Laboratory (Silver Spring), Bloomberg School of Public Health (Baltimore), Krieger School of Arts & Sciences (Baltimore), Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (Baltimore), Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Whiting School of Engineering and Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences at The Peabody Institute for Music & Dance. JHU offers over 300 degree programs including undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and doctoral degrees through its 10 professional schools.
Admissions at John Hopkins University is competitive with an acceptance rate of 13%. Students who wish to apply can fill out the Common Application online or submit a paper version by mail until March 1st for early admission consideration or November 15th for regular admission consideration.
By 2026, acceptance rates at top colleges will have gone down.
By 2026, the number of applicants accepted to top colleges will have gone down even more than it did in 2014. Since its peak in 2014, the percentage of accepted applicants has decreased by one percent every year.
The number of applications also increased from 2012–2016 by approximately 18% each year. In 2016 alone, there were over 3 million applications to only about 500 schools. This means that about seven out of ten people who applied to a selective college this year did not get in.
By 2026, the drop-off rate may become much more severe if these trends continue (and they likely will). By then, only three out of ten students applying to selective schools will be accepted. Even worse is what these numbers mean for those already admitted into these institutions—it’s becoming harder and harder for them to stand out among their peers with grades and standardized test scores that are increasingly similar from one student to another.