The most difficult colleges to get into are, unsurprisingly, some of the country’s most challenging and prestigious universities. Take a peek at this list if you’ve always wanted to experience the intellectual challenge that these colleges might offer.

Remember that each university is unique, and it’s crucial to look beyond the numbers. In this article, you will learn about the cultures of each university and decide which one is the best fit for you.

Harvard University

With a 5% acceptance rate, to no surprise, Harvard University is one of the world’s most prestigious and well-known universities. It is also the oldest institution in the United States, founded in 1636. Harvard students can pick from over 45 academic majors and benefit from a prestigious alumni network, including seven US presidents and 124 Pulitzer Prize winners. Students can take a simple 12-minute subway ride from Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the bustling metropolis of Boston when they need a break from their studies.

Stanford University

Stanford University’s lush, wide campus (also known as “The Farm”) is located 35 miles south of San Francisco in Palo Alto, California. This campus offers students plenty of green space and pleasant weather. With only a mere 5% acceptance rate, Stanford’s 7,000 undergraduates benefit from small class sizes and a faculty-to-student ratio of 5:1. While computer science is the most popular major, Stanford students study a variety of academic specialties, ranging from art history to urban studies. There are additional 14 joint degrees at Stanford that mix humanities with computer science.

Yale University

Yale University has only a 6.2% acceptance rate, with a student body of just over 5,400 undergraduates. Every Yale student is allocated to one of 14 residential colleges before arriving on campus, where they will study, live and even dine for the next four years. History is one of the most popular majors at Yale. Though Harvard is the country’s oldest university, Yale claims the country’s oldest collegiate daily newspaper, the Yale Daily News, and the country’s first literary magazine, the Yale Literary Magazine.

Columbia University

Every Columbia University student is required to study the Core Curriculum, a set of six courses that give students a solid knowledge of history and the humanities. At only a 6.3% acceptance rate, Columbia students enjoy academic independence after finishing the Core Curriculum, and they can even enroll in programs at nearby Barnard College. Because of Columbia’s location in New York City, students have unrivaled chances for professional experience. Over 95% of students choose to live on campus in Upper Manhattan for the duration of their undergraduate experience.

Princeton University

Prince University is situated in the leafy Princeton, New Jersey, with 2,500 undergraduate students surpassing double the amount of graduate students. Princeton prioritizes undergraduate learning; beginning in their freshman year, students have access to small seminars and graduate-level research opportunities. The tuition-free Bridge Year Program allows freshly admitted undergraduates to defer their enrollment for one year to participate in service work overseas. 

Know your chances of getting into one of these colleges or the Ivy League itself. Is it possible for international students to be accepted into one of these schools? Learn more at MSM Unify.