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Yale is a private research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale is best known as a member of the Ivy League, and it routinely attracts world-renowned educators and researchers. Beyond exceptional academics, Yale meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for their 5,964 students without any loans. The acceptance rate is 6.22%.
Vanderbilt is a private research university in Nashville, Tennessee. The school has serious southern vibes and was founded in 1873. It is home to many long standing traditions. It’s intense academically and socially, and people love the school. The music and food scene in Nashville are right at Vanderbilt student’s fingertips, and Greek life is huge. About 6,800 undergraduate students attend the school. The acceptance rate for the class of 2022 was 9.6%.
Princeton is a research university in Princeton, New Jersey. One of the best schools in the country and a member of the prestigious Ivy League, Princeton also prides itself on doing well by the 5,300 undergraduate students. Of recent graduates, 82% graduated debt-free. With exceptional academics and generous loan-free aid packages, it’s not surprising that is it hard to get into Princeton. The overall acceptance rate is only 5.5%. When broken down by GPA, students with a 4.0 have a significant advantage. Last year, 8.1% of applicants with a 4.0 GPA were accepted compared to less than 3% of applicants with a GPA below 3.8.
Harvard is a small, relatively unknown, liberal arts school “just outside of Boston.”
The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s a big school (campus is over 1,600 acres) with about 16,000 undergraduate students. The overall acceptance rate for the class of 2023 was 24%. But when broken down, 36% of in-state students were granted admission and only 19% of non-Virginians got in.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is in, you guessed it, the beautiful town of Chapel Hill in the wonderful state of North Carolina. A public research university, UNC offers affordable in-state tuition, so if you are a North Carolinian already, it’s definitely worth a look. It isn’t an easy school to get into, though. Only about 24% of students who apply are invited to join the 19,000 strong undergraduate student body. If you go, you’ll join the likes of sports greats like Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm, and great-greats like doctor-turned-comedian Ken Jeong.
Cornell is a private research university that is a member of the prestigious Ivy League. Like Columbia, Harvard, and Yale, Cornell is in an urban setting. However, Ithaca, a medium-sized city in upstate New York, is a smaller and more low-key than New York City or Boston. This makes Cornell a great geographic fit for people who want to be surrounded by resources, but don’t want to be shoved on public transit. Cornell has 15,182 undergraduate students spread across a variety of colleges and is famous for their unique programs for an Ivy League institution. Cornell is the only school in the Ivy League to offer degrees in agriculture and hospitality. They boast 50 Nobel Laureates, and 23% of the students are international. The acceptance rate is 10.6%.
Amherst College is a pretty small college in Amherst, MA. It has 1,849 undergraduates and is a part of the 5-college consortium, enabling students to take classes at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and Smith College in addition to Amherst. Amherst is known for having strong science programs and for fostering a particularly intense academic atmosphere. Their acceptance rate last year was 8%, making it the #2 most competitive liberal arts college. Its supplement can be a bit overwhelming with the number of options and sub-prompts, so we’re here to break it down for you.
Claremont McKenna is a private liberal arts school in Claremont, California. It is a very small school of only 1,318 students, but don’t let that put you off if you’re not enthusiastic about a tiny collegiate environment. Claremont McKenna is one of the five undergraduate schools that make up the Claremont Colleges, or the 5C’s. The other schools are Pomona, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps. Instead of being limited to one school, students at the Claremont Colleges can take courses at any of the schools. Each of the schools has subjects that they are best known for, and Claremont McKenna is hugely respected for their emphasis on economics, finance, government, and international relations. So respected, that their acceptance rate has plummeted over the past few years. Today, it is 9%, making Claremont McKenna Ivy-adjacent when it comes to exclusivity.
The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with just over 10,000 undergraduate students. While all of the undergraduate programs are impressive, the school gets especially high praise in the fields of finance, business, and anthropology. Penn is also known for the Huntsman program, which has an acceptance rate so low that the school no longer reports it. The acceptance rate for the class of 2023 was 7.4%.