It is conventional wisdom that having a college education can be an enormous advantage in terms of furthering your career. With a college degree, you're likely to make more money, get improved health and retirement benefits, and may find better career opportunities. Going to a selective school is considered by many to be an even greater leg up, affording you chances others simply may not have, such as higher lifetime earnings and important networking opportunities.
Because tuition prices keep rising, however, holding a degree from a school with high post-degree employment rates and robust networking programs can also increase the amount of money students must borrow in order to attend them.
Some coastal states, such as Massachusetts and New York, have several highly selective colleges. For instance, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology accept only 5% and 7%, respectively, of the students who apply. Other states, such as Utah and Arizona, have (by comparison) no highly selective schools. Brigham Young University, for example, which accepts 69% of students who apply, is the most selective school in Utah. Arizona's most selective college, Ottawa University at Surprise, takes about 28% of applicants.
Overall, college applications increased for the 2022-2023 academic year by 41% over 2019-2020, proving that in the absence of pandemic-related restrictions, people are primed to press forward with higher learning.
To see which schools in each state are the most difficult to get into, Stacker combed through Niche's 2023 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in America ranking. Niche ranked college's selectivity based on acceptance rates and SAT test scores, using data from both the Department of Education and self-reported scores by Niche users.
Click through to the list to see the most selective schools in each state and to find out just how hard you'll need to hit that SAT prep book.
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