Just What Are Your Chances? A Look at College-Admissions Rates

By Caralee J. Adams — April 04, 2014 1 min read
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For students who didn’t get into their dream school, there is comfort in knowing they are not alone.

Want to go to Stanford University? So did lots of other students. Of the 41,167 who applied, just 5 percent were offered admission this spring. Harvard University and Yale University allowed just 6 percent of candidates into their fall freshman classes of about 2,000 students apiece.

The Washington Post ran a roundup of college-admissions rates at some of the country’s most selective schools for the fall Class of 2018 on Thursday. Every student wants to know the chances of entry to the elite schools. The Post cautions that these prelminary admissions rates don’t really convey what the chances are for an individual applicant because each candidate has a unique profile, but they do reflect something about a college’s position in the hotly competitive market.

Aside from the top three institutions, Princeton University and Columbia University each had admission rates of 7 percent and the University of Chicago was 8 percent, according to the Post. Others, such as the University of Notre Dame, accepted just 21 percent of students and Middlebury College in Vermont let in 17 percent of candidates.

Time for a perspective check.

While many students have their hopes set on a handful of brand-name schools, there are nearly 3,000 colleges and universities in the country and the average acceptance rate at four-year institutions is 64 percent. Only 2 percent of the country’s four-year degree-granting colleges and universities accept less than 25 percent of their applicants, according to the latest research from National Association of College Admission Counseling.

And, as NACAC President Katie Murphy says: Getting into an elite college is no “golden ticket” to success. There are campuses everywhere that can inspire students and propel them into a meaningful career.

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.