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What are the hardest colleges to get into?

As the college admissions process becomes more and more competitive, what are the hardest colleges to get into? College-ranking website Niche compiled a list using Department of Education data, which included SAT and ACT scores of applicants, as well as acceptance rates. To arrive at these rankings, acceptance rates are weighted at 60 percent and SAT/ACT scores are weighted at 40 percent. By this definition, a lower acceptance rate doesn’t always mean “harder” to get into. (All average undergraduate tuitions listed include room and board.)

10. University of Pennsylvania 

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
(iStock)

UPenn had an acceptance rate of 9 percent and an SAT range of 1420-1560. The university cost $73,960 for the 2019-2020 school year and an undergraduate population of 10,448 for that year.

9. Brown University

Van Wickle Gates of Brown University

Van Wickle Gates of Brown University
(This image is subject to copyright.)

Brown had an 8 percent acceptance rate and an SAT range of 1400-1570. It cost $76,604 for the 2019-2020 school year and an undergraduate population of 6,752.

8. Columbia University 

The Alma Mater statue on the Columbia University campus.

The Alma Mater statue on the Columbia University campus.
(2013 Getty Images)

Columbia in the Manhattan borough of New York City had an acceptance rate of 7 percent and an SAT range of 1410-1570. It had an undergraduate population of about 4,500 and for the 2018-2019 school year cost $76,856.

7. University of Chicago 

Chicago, USA - Oct 29, 2016: The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, IL. It holds top-ten position in numerous national and international rankings and measures.

Chicago, USA – Oct 29, 2016: The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, IL. It holds top-ten position in numerous national and international rankings and measures.

The University of Chicago had an acceptance rate of 8 percent and an SAT range of 1480-1580. The 2019-2020 cost was $74,636, and there were around 6,595 undergraduate students.

6. Princeton University 

The Princeton University campus in 2013.

The Princeton University campus in 2013.
(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Princeton, located in the New Jersey city it’s named after, had a 6 percent acceptance rate and an SAT range of 1430-1570. It cost $69,950 for the 2019-2020 year and 5,267 undergraduate students for the same year.

5. Yale University 

New Haven, USA - May 4, 2015: Yale University campus on April 4, 2015. It is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701

New Haven, USA – May 4, 2015: Yale University campus on April 4, 2015. It is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701

Yale had a 7 percent acceptance rate and SAT range of 1460-1580. It had an undergraduate population of 5,964 for the 2018-2019 school year and a cost of $72,100 for 2019-2020.

4. California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, United States - October 1, 2013: Caltech Main Entrance to the California Institute of Technology. Caltech is a research university in Pasadena, CA and home to 32 Nobel Prizes.

Pasadena, United States – October 1, 2013: Caltech Main Entrance to the California Institute of Technology. Caltech is a research university in Pasadena, CA and home to 32 Nobel Prizes.

Caltech, in Pasadena, Calif., had an 8 percent acceptance rate and 1530-1590 SAT range and a small enrollment of only 938 undergraduate students for the Fall 2019 term. The cost of attendance was $74,763.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

FILE - In this April 3, 2017 file photo, students walk past the "Great Dome" atop Building 10 on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

FILE – In this April 3, 2017 file photo, students walk past the “Great Dome” atop Building 10 on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

MIT, in Cambridge, Mass., has a 7 percent acceptance rate and an SAT range 1490-1570. The cost for 2019-2020 was $73,160, and it had 4,530 undergraduate students. MIT was rated No. 1 “best” college in America for 2020, by Niche, “based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni.”

2. Stanford University 

PALO ALTO, USA - January 11, 2017: Gate to the Main Quad at Stanford University Campus - Palo Alto, California, USA

PALO ALTO, USA – January 11, 2017: Gate to the Main Quad at Stanford University Campus – Palo Alto, California, USA

Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., has a 5 percent acceptance rate and an average SAT range of 1390-1540. Stanford had about 6,994 students enrolled in its undergraduate program as of the Fall quarter of 2019. The cost for the 2019-2020 school year was $72,728.

1. Harvard University 

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2018, file photo, a gate opens to the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

FILE – In this Dec. 13, 2018, file photo, a gate opens to the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

This Ivy League university has a 5 percent acceptance rate. The average SAT range is 1460-1590. The school has around 6,700 undergraduate students and the total cost without financial aid for 2019-2020 was $69,607. Harvard was ranked as No. 4 “best” college for 2020 by Niche.

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