Forget About Your Dream School


It’s nail-biting time for high-school seniors across the country as they wait to see if the fat envelope will show up. With many schools seeing a flood of applicants—Harvard expects to offer admission to a record-low 6 percent—the odds of rejection are climbing. Here’s a look at likely acceptance rates for some key groups of schools compared with five years ago, based on the number of applications received and the estimated offers available.

Ivy League Schools

Everybody wants in, it seems. All Ivies saw record applications this year (though Cornell hasn’t released its final tally). Harvard is the toughest get, with Columbia second and Yale a close third. One tip: the admission rate on early-decision applications is more than double that for regular submissions.

State Schools

They may not be as competitive as the Ivies, but there’s plenty of rejection to go around in the sampling of 10 major state universities examined by NEWSWEEK. The University of California, Berkeley, for instance, will likely accept roughly 20 percent of applicants.

Private Liberal-Arts Schools

Amherst is on track to be one of the most competitive schools in the group of 10 top private colleges reviewed by NEWSWEEK, with only 12.6 percent of applicants getting an acceptance. California’s Claremont McKenna will have to be choosier, taking 14.3 percent of applicants, compared with 22.4 percent five years ago.

Sources: College Admissions Offices