The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public research university. Roughly 30,000 undergraduate students attend the school and campus is set on 936 acres. It’s a Big Ten school and Badger pride runs deep. The acceptance rate hovers around 51%.
Wake Forest University is located in Winston-Salem, NC and has an undergraduate population of around 5,100 students. It’s a southern, small-ish, bordering on medium but not quite medium-sized school, that identifies as a collegiate university with a liberal arts curriculum. It’s test-optional, which could be appealing for some applicants, but it’s still quite competitive. Their acceptance rate has hovered around 30% for the last couple of years, though dipped a bit below last year. It’s academically rigorous and boasts a number of quite unique majors and minors that appeal to the student who has a true understanding of exactly what they want to do. For example, their sports medicine program, Elementary Education program, Business and Enterprise Management program, which is rare for a liberal arts school, and their Cultural Heritage & Preservation Studies program.
Vassar is a small liberal arts school in Poughkeepsie, New York. The school is liberal, diverse, and students are encouraged to study multiple disciplines. For the class of 2023, just over 2,000 students were admitted. The acceptance rate was 23.4%.
NYU is a private university in New York City. 84,000 students applied last year, 17,000 of which were international students. The acceptance rate for the class of 2023 was 16%.
Swarthmore College is a small, liberal arts college in Swarthmore, PA. There are around 1,600 undergraduate students. So, when we say “small” we really mean it. It’s a true liberal arts college, in that it has strong roots in the arts and humanities as well as has a strong engineering program and many degree options for those oriented more towards math and science. It’s a part of the Tri-College Consortium with Bryn Mawr and Haverford, and students have the ability to take classes cross-registered with the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. It’s competitive and academically rigorous, with an acceptance rate of around 8.7% for the class of 2023. Over 11,400 applied and 995 were accepted. It’s no joke.
The University of Michigan is a public research university in Ann Arbor, MI. There are about 30,000 undergraduate students enrolled at the Ann Arbor campus and the school has over 1,600 student organizations. The most recently reported acceptance rate was 23.5%.
Lehigh University is a small-scale university in the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While Bethlehem isn’t the most lively of spots, Lehigh has gained a reputation as a good school with a great social life. Study abroad is big at Lehigh; 43% of the class of 2016 studied abroad, and the opportunities are geographically and academically diverse. We also have first-hand testimony that Lehigh’s on-campus food blows most similarly-sized schools out of the water by offering many options across a variety of student restaurants and dining halls.
This year, a lot of colleges are using a document upload function for their writing supplements instead of a text box with a word count feature at the bottom.
Scripps College is a women’s liberal arts college and one of the five Claremont Colleges. With a student body hovering just around 1,000, Scripps boasts small class sizes. The campus is widely-regarded as one of the most beautiful in the nation. The acceptance rate is under 30 percent.
Located in Houston, TX, Rice University is a private research university known for its small student-teacher ratio and its science programs. In 2017, Rice accepted 16 percent of applicants.
Lafayette is a private liberal arts school in Easton, Pennsylvania. The school has a close-knit community vibe and an undergraduate class of approximately 2,500 students. The acceptance rate for the class of 2022 was 29.5%. There is only one writing supplement this year.
The University of Virginia, most often referred to as UVA, is very highly ranked, very big school, in (shocker) Virginia. It is widely considered one of the best national universities as well as one of the best-value schools (aka you actually get what you pay for). They also have their own medical system — attention: aspiring doctors — which includes one of the best hospitals in the world.
Williams is a small liberal arts school in Massachusetts with an undergraduate student body of approximately 2,000 students. Williams offers a winter study program in the month of January during which students study a single subject, pursue research projects, and/or do fieldwork. The admission rate for the class of 2022 was 12%.
The University of Notre Dame is an academic powerhouse with Catholic roots. Religion isn’t omnipresent at Notre Dame, but it does provide a notable backbone for how the school functions. It’s a school with history, with legacy, and it’s very proud of it. If you like sports take note that they love their athletics too.
Mount Holyoke is an all women’s liberal arts college in South Hadley, Massachusetts. There are just over 2,200 undergraduate students, classes are generally small, and the school is heavily focused on research. The acceptance rate for the class of 2022 was 50.8%.
The business and international relations arm of the Claremont Colleges consortium, Claremont McKenna, is located in just east of sunny Los Angeles. With an acceptance rate of just 9 percent, McKenna is a highly selective school. The school’s academic focus is largely finance, government, foreign policy, and related fields.
Carnegie Mellon is private university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania known for its science and technology programs. In 2017, the school’s acceptance rate was 13 percent.
Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia is a leading research university that offers an outstanding education. It’s competitive, but one of the things that we like about it is that in the time of tiny acceptance rates, it’s still accessible for high-achieving students. Last year (2017-18), they accepted 22% of applicants. 1 in 4 isn’t high by any means, but throwing your hat in the ring is worth it for students who want a medium-sized-college experience (7916 undergrads) with big-school resources.
UNC is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with an undergraduate student body of approximately 19,000 students. Chapel Hill is known for its campus life: students are heavily involved with sports, Greek life, and community service. The acceptance rate for the class of 2022 was 24%.