The most exclusive 10 hardest colleges to get into in the US (2023)

The hardest colleges to get into in the US claim to be superior for a variety of reasons.

Be it for its exclusivity, location, rigorous academia, how expensive it is, a who’s who network or the level of validation it brings to graduates, these are places many families go to great lengths to get their children admitted.

Who can forget one of the biggest college admissions scams involving Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin, coaches, and admission officers back in 2019?

The celebs paid up to half a million dollars to get their daughters into the University of Southern California — even going so far as to lie about their extracurricular and athletic achievements.

Their desperation may have led to them facing criminal charges — but for the rest of us, they serve an important lesson.

And that is: the hardest colleges to get into in the US show us that it’s not just good grades and test scores that matter.

The factors considered by many admissions officers are more well-rounded. They look at each applicant from many angles.

These include their achievements, interests and potential. And while this is fairer than just looking solely at grades, it’s harder in the sense as you can never guess the formula to getting accepted.

Each of the hardest colleges to get into has its own unique reasons for rejecting thousands of applications they receive per year.

Many do not specify their explicit reasons for this but by putting together many news reports, we can understand better why they turn away seemingly qualified and deserving students every year.

Stanford University

Stanford University is one of the hardest colleges to get into in the US. Every year, thousands of hopeful students apply here, and a small handful gets in — as few as 4%.

According to the university’s website, it says their admissions team practises a holistic approach.

This means there is no minimum GPA or test score or number of AP or honours courses to complete to get in. So why so exclusive?

Here’s why. It is one of the most highly sought-after institutions in the world. It has award-winning academics and professors, is close to Silicon Valley and is an active campus.

It’s where Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin attended Nike co-founder Phil Knight.

Being so popular leads to more applicants than it has spots for. Its already large pool of applicants grew even larger when it went test optional. With applicants not having to submit an SAT or ACT score, that means more people are applying than ever before.

The larger the applicant pool, the lower the acceptance rate, if there’s no corresponding increase in spots available.

The most exclusive 10 hardest colleges to get into in the US (1)

(Video) The 10 Hardest Colleges To Get Into | 10 Elite School That Are Impossible To Get Into

Former president Barack Obama graduated from one of the hardest colleges to get into. Source: Dia Dipasupil /Getty Images/AFP

Harvard University

When you think of the hardest colleges to get into, it’s no surprise Harvard University comes to mind.

The private institution is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in the world. It is also one of the wealthiest in the US.

Harvard’s 5,000-acre campus houses 12 schools, two theatres and five museums, and the largest academic library in the world.

The acceptance rate for the class of 2026 was 3.2%, while for the class of 2027, it was 3.41%.

Like Stanford, it has few spaces and many applicants. But a look at its “What We Look For” admissions page reveals another possible reason that makes it one of the hardest colleges to get into.

Harvard is searching for “individuals who will inspire those around them during their college years and beyond.”

To assess this, the admissions teams will consider the following long list of points:

  • Have you reached your maximum academic and personal potential?
  • Have you been stretching yourself?
  • Have you been working to capacity in your academic pursuits, your full-time or part-time
  • employment, or other areas?
  • Do you have reserve power to do more?
  • How have you used your time?
  • Do you have initiative? Are you a self-starter? What motivates you?
  • Do you have a direction yet? What is it? If not, are you exploring many things?
  • Where will you be in one, five, or 25 years? Will you contribute something to those around you?
  • What sort of human being are you now? What sort of human being will you be in the future?

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College is another member of the Ivy League and is known for its rigorous academics and strong undergraduate focus.

The acceptance rate at Dartmouth was 6.4% for the 2026 class applications.

Students looking to go here must excel in high school and have an average SAT score between 1440-1560 or an average ACT score of 32-35.

What makes it so coveted? The Carnegie Foundation classified it as a “research university with very high research activity.”

Despite it being one of the hardest colleges to get into, Dartmouth aims to be as diverse and inclusive as possible through various initiatives and engagements.

Therein lies another factor that makes it one of the hardest colleges to get into: diversity.

To show it has a balance of representation in its student body, a college may prioritise the application of certain racial groups.

That will depend on the applications they get every year and what form of representation it needs to improve.

It could be looking to admit more applicants from lower-income backgrounds by a certain percentage in one year and by another factor — like, country — by another percentage in the next year.

As it is so uncertain, luck plays a big role in your chances of getting in too.

Yale University

Yale University is the third oldest higher education institution in the US and is famous for its strong reputation in academics and first-class research.

(Video) Top 10 Hardest Colleges To Get Into

Its prestigious reputation is reflected in QS World University Rankings 2023, where it’s ranked 18th.

Yale College admitted 2,275 students to the class of 2027 from its largest-ever pool of 52,250 applicants.

Yale also practices optional submission of standardised testing scores, which means if students do not want to submit SAT or ACT scores, they need to pay attention to high school transcripts, recommendation letters, and essays.

Those who submitted the Coalition Application, Common Application, or QuestBridge Application have to respond to the following short answer questions:

  1. Students at Yale have time to explore their academic interests before committing to one or more major fields of study. Many students either modify their original academic direction or change their minds entirely. As of this moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most comfortably? Please indicate up to three from the list provided.
  2. Tell us about a topic or idea that excites you and is related to one or more academic areas you selected above. Why are you drawn to it? (200 words or fewer)
  3. What is it about Yale that has led you to apply? (125 words or fewer)

So here’s another factor that makes Ivy Leagues some of the hardest colleges to get into: your answers have to stand out from thousand others.

The most exclusive 10 hardest colleges to get into in the US (2)

The Blue Devils have a diverse team of players that have won championships before. Source: Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images/AFP

Duke University

For the Class of 2026 at Duke University, the Regular Decision acceptance rate was 4.6%.

In its “What we look for” page, it states that application essays and two recommendation letters are critical pointers that will help boost a student’s credibility.

What was notable about the high school seniors to the Class of 2027 was their engagement in community service.

“Teachers and counsellors made sure to tell us about the times when students tangibly supported each other, and we expect those values to be noticeable when they come to Duke,” says Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag.

“I think the combination of talent, diversity and community will be a hallmark of the Class of 2027.”

Princeton University

Princeton University in New Jersey is one of the oldest universities in the country and one of the eight members of the Ivy Leagues.

It is also known to be one of the best in terms of research, faculty and academics.

The acceptance rate is 4%. Half of the applicants that are admitted here have SAT scores between 1460 and 1570 or an ACT score of 33 and 35.

Its admissions team aims to bring together a close-knitted but diverse group of high-achieving and intellectually gifted students from all over the globe.

Students can begin the application process by using three action steps: Submit, Request and Report.

To help with this process, students are then given a “Princeton Supplement” which consists of these additional questions, among others.

  1. What academic areas most pique your curiosity, and how do the programmes offered at Princeton suit your particular interests? (250 words or fewer)
  2. Please describe why you are interested in studying engineering at Princeton (for B.S.E degree applicants)
  3. Briefly elaborate on an activity, organisation work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you. (150 words or fewer)
  4. Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects.

The most exclusive 10 hardest colleges to get into in the US (3)

Seismologist Lucy Jones studies the impact of an earthquake at Caltech. Source: Robyn Beck/AFP

(Video) Top 10 hardest colleges to get into in the us

California Institute of Technology

Students clamour to get into the California Institute of Technology, better known as Caltech, for one reason: research.

It boasts of very high research activity and is defined by its prowess in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Every year, about 235 new students join their ranks For the Class of 2025, Caltech accepted 3.92% of first-year applicants.

Its admissions team recruits students with the most strength and diversity — which can be many things. To them, there is no single type of “Caltech student”.

Each application is reviewed by two officers before it goes into faculty review. This is a process that is unique to Caltech.

Recently, Caltech accepted 412 students across six continents to its Class of 2027.

More than one-third got in because they submitted a portfolio of creative and maker work, while 45% gave evidence of their own research.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a proud member of the Ivy League and a founding member of the Association of American Universities.

Every year, thousands of students apply here. For the Class of 2026, 2,400 students across all four schools — the College, Wharton, Penn Engineering, or Penn Nursing — were admitted.

“We read through nearly 55,000 applications — 55,000 individual stories,” says Dean of Admissions, Whitney Soule, to Penn Today.

Its 270th class is a standout because of the students’ “intellect, character, integrity, and persistence.”

When asked how she admissions team sifts through applications and chooses a class, Soule says they’re looking for a “match”:

“When I say ‘match’ I mean the students have a good understanding of Penn and what they might want to do when they get here, and that we understand those interests and how they might align with the Penn community.”

“When we are reading, we are thinking critically about each of the school’s goals, spaces available, how they want to see this particular class this year come together, and so on.”

The most exclusive 10 hardest colleges to get into in the US (4)

Queen Noor of Jordan receives an honorary degree from one of the hardest colleges to get into, Brown University. Source: John Mottern/AFP

Brown University

Brown University is the seventh oldest institution in the US and is a member of the Ivy League. It was the first member to accept students from all religious backgrounds.

(Video) Top 35 hardest colleges to get into in the US

This year, Brown will welcome 1,730 students from a total of 51,302 applicants for the class of 2027.

With an overall acceptance rate of 5.08% and a 3.8% for regular decisions, this year marked the second-most selective application cycle in Brown’s history.

“We look for intelligent, highly motivated students from all walks of life who may come from diverse backgrounds and cultural heritages, who represent different academic and extracurricular interests, and who bring a spectrum of ideologies to Brown,” its website states.

What about grades?

“The fact is that it does not make sense for us to focus solely on grades as there are other indications of academic and intellectual talent,” its website states. “We know that grades at one school are not awarded in the same way as they are at another school.”

“The same applies to class rank. Everything else being equal, students with high grades often do stand out among our applicants, but we do not make our admissions decisions based on a grade average or class rank without also considering the many other factors that help us gauge an applicant’s promise.”

The most exclusive 10 hardest colleges to get into in the US (5)

Plenty of research and trialling in engineering are conducted at MIT. Source: Joseph Prezioso/AFP

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land grant research university that was established in 1861.

As a leading technical school, MIT attracts students worldwide for its engineering, mathematics, and computer science programmes.

The college loves data, and uses this in its application process. Good test scores aren’t the only aspect they look at, rather how you match with MIT is key.

The college encourages students to read blog entries to help them identify what the process is all about. Here you’d find warm, funny and entertaining stories to help you get through the tough steps.

For the class of 2026, MIT’s acceptance rate stood at 3.96%, which saw 33, 767 applications come in.

There were 14,781 early applicants, 18,986 for regular action and 763 on the wait list.

On a kinder note students, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get into any of these colleges above. it doesn’t mean that’s the end of your journey.

The truth is, no matter how good your grades are or how accomplished you were in high school, getting into an Ivy League is never a guarantee.

Take Arabian student Alsamraee, for instance.

He was a student with two successful books endorsed by two New York Times bestselling authors, had a 4.2 GPA, achieved a SAT score of 1,560 out of 1,600.

That was not all he achieved. He also won a string of math and science awards, was science team captain, a Wolfram intern at 17 and played for varsity football and wrestling teams.

(Video) Top 10 Hardest Colleges To Get Into

Yet, he was still rejected from a few Ivy League schools, some outrightly, while the others put him on their waiting lists. His plight was highlighted by TikTok user Limmy(@Limmytalks)

Limmy has since revealed that Alsamraee was accepted into NYU, Stanford, West Point and Washington University and has since become a student at Stanford.


The most exclusive 10 hardest colleges to get into in the US? ›

Niche, a ranking and review site, recently published its list of the “2023 Hardest Colleges to Get Into.” Using data from the U.S. Department of Education on various colleges' acceptance rates and SAT/ACT scores, they found, unsurprisingly, Harvard University to be the most difficult college to get into.

What is the #1 hardest school to get into? ›

Niche, a ranking and review site, recently published its list of the “2023 Hardest Colleges to Get Into.” Using data from the U.S. Department of Education on various colleges' acceptance rates and SAT/ACT scores, they found, unsurprisingly, Harvard University to be the most difficult college to get into.

What is the hardest colleges to get into in the US? ›

All SAT results are from enrolled students in the Class of 2025.
  • 1) Harvard University.
  • 2) Columbia University.
  • 3) Caltech.
  • 4) Stanford University.
  • 5) MIT.
  • 6) Princeton University.
  • 7) Yale University.
  • 8) Brown University.
Nov 11, 2022

What college has 100 percent acceptance? ›

Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University is located in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1929 and is a proprietary institution. The school is located in an urban setting. Tuition and fees amount to approximately $29,190, and the academic year is based on a semester calendar.

What is the hardest college you can get into? ›

While Ivy League schools make up the majority of the hardest colleges to get into, other highly selective schools, like Stanford and MIT, have comparably low admission rates.
Top 10 Hardest Colleges to Get Into.
SchoolLocationAcceptance Rate (Class of 2026)
1. HarvardCambridge, MA3.19%
2. ColumbiaNew York, NY3.73%
8 more rows

What GPA is required for Harvard? ›

The GPA requirements for Harvard University are between 3.9 to 4.1. You will need an incredibly high GPA and will likely be graduating at the top of their class in order to get into Harvard University.

What is the easiest Ivy League school to get into? ›

Cornell is considered the "easiest" Ivy League to get into because it has the highest Ivy League acceptance rate. While it's easier, statistically speaking, to get into Cornell, it's still challenging. It's also important to remember that students apply directly to one of Cornell's eight undergraduate colleges.

What is the least accepted college? ›

Among the institutions with the lowest acceptance rate, colleges included, UCLA is the only public university with the lowest acceptance rate while the college with the lowest acceptance rate is Dartmouth College. The rest of the U.S. higher educational institutions with low acceptance rates are privately-owned.

Which prestigious college is easiest to get into? ›

10 Colleges With the Highest Acceptance Rates
  • Liberty University: 99%
  • Marshall University: 98%
  • University of New Mexico: 97%
  • Kansas State University: 96%
  • University of Maine: 96%
  • North Dakota State University: 95%
  • University of Memphis: 95%
  • University of Utah: 95%

What is the easiest university in us? ›

Adams State University (Alamosa, Colorado)- 99% La Roche University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)- 99% Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia)- 99%
Colleges with 100% Acceptance Rates
  • Utah Valley University (Orem, Utah)
  • Wayne State College (Wayne, Nebraska)
  • Wilmington University (New Castle, Delaware)
Sep 7, 2022

What is the rarest college to get into? ›

For example, Stanford, which tops the list of the hardest school to get into in the world, receives on average over 55,000 applications every year. Of these thousands of applications, they admit less than 2,200 students. That's a low, low admission rate of 3.9%.

What is the lowest ranked University in the US? ›

The worst-value colleges in the US
University nameEconomic score
1. Berklee College of Music20.9
2. Alabama State University14.4
3. Florida National University14.0
4. Clark Atlanta University13.2
17 more rows
Mar 28, 2023

What college has the highest GPA acceptance? ›

Average GPA (weighted) of Accepted Students at Top Schools
UniversityAverage GPA (weighted) of Accepted Student
Harvard University4.15
Columbia University4.14
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)4.15
Yale University4.10
6 more rows
Mar 9, 2023

What is the 1st hardest major in college? ›

Top 15 Hardest College Majors Table of Contents
  • Chemistry.
  • Environmental Economics and Policy.
  • Environmental Earth Science.
  • American Studies.
  • Nuclear Engineering.
  • Energy Engineering.
  • Astrophysics.
  • Applied Mathematics.
Mar 16, 2023

What is the most expensive college? ›

The report put Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the No. 1 spot on its list of colleges with the highest sticker price. In the 2022-2023 academic year, the school charged $65,652 per year for tuition, according to The College Investor.

What is the number one university in the world? ›

1. Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. Harvard University is the standard by which all other research universities are measured.

Is a 5.0 GPA good for Harvard? ›

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA. With a GPA of 4.18, Harvard requires you to be at the top of your class. You'll need nearly straight A's in all your classes to compete with other applicants.

What is the lowest GPA Harvard will accept? ›

Continue to work hard, take difficult classes, and show your passions outside of school! To get to Harvard your GPA has to be at least a 4.0 and even then if you get in your lucky but they require at least a 4.18 GPA only .

What is the lowest SAT score for Harvard? ›

There's no absolute SAT requirement at Harvard, but they really want to see at least a 1460 to have a chance at being considered.

Will one C ruin my chances of Ivy League? ›

Just one bad grade in an advanced level course is not going to ruin your chances at an Ivy League. However, consistently underperforming in advanced classes in your area-of-interest classes will penalize you in the applications process.

What is a hidden Ivy school? ›

The Hidden Ivies are colleges and universities considered to rival the eight Ivy League schools without being part of that prestigious group. These schools offer similar academic opportunities to students but might get overlooked because of their lack of popularity when compared to the famous Ivies.

What is the lowest GPA accepted to Ivy League? ›

None of the Ivy League schools have a minimum GPA requirement for applications, which means anyone can apply regardless of their GPA.

What college has the best dorms? ›

The Princeton Review recently released its 2022 ranking of the best college dorms, based on student ratings of their dorms and residence halls. Taking the top spot is Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

What college degrees are not worth getting? ›

20 Most Useless Degrees of 2023
  • Advertising. Pursuing an advertising major could lead to potential career paths in digital marketing, e-commerce, or sports marketing. ...
  • Anthropology And Archeology. ...
  • Art history. ...
  • Communications. ...
  • Computer Science. ...
  • Creative Writing. ...
  • Criminal Justice. ...
  • Culinary arts.

What is the most unpopular college? ›

5 Least Popular Universities
SchoolStudents AcceptedFirst Year Enrollment
Seton Hall University86021139
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey–Newark7430914
Drexel University217292346
University of Bridgeport4510440
1 more row
Mar 25, 2016

What is the cheapest Ivy League school? ›

Princeton. Princeton is commonly regarded as the “cheapest Ivy” thanks to its extensive financial aid offerings.

What is the lowest GPA most colleges accept? ›

Unofficially, 2.0 is the lowest GPA accepted into a standard college, so while there's a chance that college admission is possible, it's not likely at more than a few institutions.

Is 1500 a good SAT score for Ivy League? ›

For the Ivy League, competitive scores range between 1500-1550. For other highly competitive schools, it's above 1400. 1300 and above will make you a competitive applicant for most other public universities and private universities.

Which university has the happiest students USA? ›

Texas Christian University is the happiest university in the U.S. — three in four (76.47%) faces tagged there on Instagram are happy, according to AI analysis.

What is the cheapest and easiest college to get into? ›

The Most Affordable Colleges with High Acceptance Rates
  • #1 — St. Petersburg College.
  • #2 — Pensacola State College.
  • #3 — Broward College.
  • #4 — South Florida State College.
  • #5 — Lake-Sumter State College.
  • #6 — Western Iowa Tech Community College.
  • #7 — Missouri Western State University.
  • #8 — Fox Valley Technical College.

How do you get into every college? ›

  1. Earn Good Grades in Challenging Courses. ...
  2. Get a High SAT/ACT Score. ...
  3. Write a Compelling Personal Statement. ...
  4. Demonstrate Interest. ...
  5. Secure Strong Letters of Recommendation. ...
  6. Apply to a Diverse Selection of Colleges. ...
  7. Opt for an Early Admission Plan. ...
  8. Manage Your Online Reputation.

What colleges did most millionaires go to? ›

About 35% of U.S. residents worth more than $100 million went to one of eight American universities.
  • Harvard. 7%
  • MIT. 5%
  • Stanford University. 5%
  • University of Pennsylvania. 4%
  • Columbia University. 4%
  • Yale University. 4%
  • Cornell. 3%
  • Princeton University. 3%
Feb 22, 2023

What is the best Ivy League school? ›

For instance, in the Wall Street Journal rankings, Harvard is ranked the nation's top college overall, which means that it's also the highest-ranked Ivy League school. On the other hand, Yale is ranked fourth nationally, which is second highest among Ivy League schools.

What is #1 college USA? ›

Harvard University

This Ivy League school is the oldest higher education institution in the country and has the largest endowment of any school in the world. Harvard University is a private institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.

What is Tier 1 college in USA? ›

Tier 1 is comprised of major private research universities, including MIT, UChicago, Stanford, John Hopkins, Northwestern, California Institute of Technology, Duke, Vanderbilt, and Rice (amongst many others). The campuses are likely to be quite large and include graduate schools and a medium-large student population.

What are Tier 3 universities in USA? ›

Some of the third-tier Universities in the USA include College of Liberal Arts, Babson College, and Virginia Tech.

What is the highest GPA to exist? ›

The unweighted GPA scale goes up to a 4.0 and doesn't take class difficulty into account. A weighted GPA scale typically goes up to a 5.0 and does consider the difficulty of a student's classes. It is important that student's know which GPA scale their school uses and how it effects them.

What is the highest student GPA ever? ›

Gaither High School senior Dylan Mazard posts a record-breaking 11.84 GPA.

What is the highest GPA anyone has ever gotten? ›

Normally, you would expect the highest score to be the 'perfect' 4.0 score, however, there are several things that a student can do to receive an even higher score. For example, one student actually managed to get a 10.03 GPA score. He did this by taking 17 advanced classes at his school, which awarded him many points.

What is the most regretted college major? ›

The most-regretted college major is journalism, according to the study. Eighty-seven percent of those graduates sampled said they would choose a different major if they could. Below is the list of the top 10 most-regretted majors based on the 1,500 job seekers ZipRecruiter surveyed.

What is the toughest degree? ›

What are the hardest degree subjects?
  • Aerospace Engineering. Aerospace Engineers study the design, manufacturing and testing of aircrafts. ...
  • Architecture. Architecture is one of those degrees that we wish was easy. ...
  • Pharmacy. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Statistics. ...
  • Nursing. ...
  • Physics. ...
  • Astrophysics.

What is the most popular major? ›

The most popular college majors in the United States are business, health, and social sciences, according to data from the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES). Of the 2 million bachelor's degrees conferred in the US during the 2019-2020 school year, these three majors made up almost 40 percent.

What is the richest college in America? ›

Harvard University, with a $50.9 billion endowment as of 2022, is the wealthiest university in the world.

What is the most expensive college town in the US? ›

1. Berkeley, California. The most expensive college town, where the real estate market has taken off thanks to the technology boom, also happens to be the most liberal town in California.

What is the most expensive high school in the US? ›

Most expensive private high schools in US: IMG Academy makes the list.

Which country has the best education system? ›

Switzerland. One of the best education systems in the world can be found in Switzerland. This small, mountainous country has several top-ranked universities, as well as a rigorous system of higher education that prepares students for successful careers.

What is the #1 middle school in America? ›

The Davidson Academy

#1 Best Public Middle Schools in America.

Which is the best school in the world? ›

International School of Geneva

It is also known as Ecolint and The International School. The school is the oldest international school in the world. They offer English, French, German and various languages.

What is the hardest American school? ›

Pomona College
SchoolLocationRetention Rate
Harvard UniversityCambridge, Massachusetts99%
Columbia UniversityNew York City, NY97%
California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, California99%
Stanford UniversityStanford, California98%
11 more rows
Apr 30, 2023

Can I get into Harvard at 24? ›

Is there an age requirement for applying to Harvard? There is not an age requirement for applying to Harvard, though applicants are expected to have some secondary school experience.

What is the rarest school in the world? ›

Institut Le Rosey
HeadmasterKim Kovacevic
14 more rows

What is the most prestigious school world? ›

The University of Oxford tops the ranking for the seventh consecutive year.
World University Rankings 2023.
RankName Country/Region
1University of Oxford United Kingdom
2Harvard University United States
=3University of Cambridge United Kingdom
=3Stanford University United States
21 more rows

What is the most stressful school in the world? ›

2.2 What are the most stressful degrees?
Which university is toughest?
SchoolLocationAcceptance Rate (Class of 2026)
1. HarvardCambridge, MA3.19%
2. ColumbiaNew York, NY3.73%
3. CaltechPasadena, CA3.92%*
4. StanfordStanford, CA3.95%*
Apr 19, 2023

What is the most prestigious school in the United States? ›

Harvard University

This Ivy League school is the oldest higher education institution in the country and has the largest endowment of any school in the world. Harvard University is a private institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.

What school is the happiest? ›

Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

They've sat atop the list on several occasions! Students report their quality of life as a significant contributor to their happiness. Many Vanderbilt students do not have to worry about the stress that accompanies paying for four years of tuition at an elite university.

What is the best school academically? ›

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

#1 Colleges with the Best Academics in America.


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