What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)
Leonie Rauls
21 School Rankings

The Best College in Every State (2022)

What’s Covered:


Deciding where to go to college is not an easy decision. You need to consider factors like size, academic offerings, prestige, and location. We’re here to make your life a little easier. Below, we’ve created a list of the best college in each state to help you sort through your options. Acceptance and SAT/ACT scores will help you figure out how competitive each school is, and the undergraduate enrollment will help you determine if the school is too big, too small, or just right.


If you don’t see a particular college on this list, you can check out our 50 state-specific posts with the top colleges in every state. Remember, choosing a college is a personal and difficult decision—there isn’t a right or wrong choice.


Our Ranking Methodology


Our list of the best college in each state was mainly constructed with a focus on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI). It also took into consideration a host of other factors such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance. You can find CollegeVine’s rankings in their entirety here.


Note: If you want to explore more of the top schools in each state just click on the state name!


Best College in Each State


1. Alabama: University of Alabama | UA


Location: Tuscaloosa, AL   

Acceptance Rate: 80%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1330

Middle 50% ACT: 23-31

Undergrad Enrollment: 31,670


As one of the best colleges in the state, UA has a lot to brag about. The school is home to 940 National Merit Scholars and has been a top producer of Fulbright Scholars for five of the past six years (six University of Alabama students were awarded Fulbright Awards for 2021-2022). Overshadowing UA’s academics is its football team, which has won 16 National Championships (five since 2010). The website Niche ranks the University of Alabama as the second-best athletic program in the nation


Learn more about the University of Alabama and what it takes to get accepted.


2. Alaska: Alaska Pacific University


Location: Anchorage, AK

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Middle 50% SAT: 1050-1210

Middle 50% ACT: 20-25

Undergrad Enrollment: 300


Alaska Pacific University is a small liberal arts college located in Anchorage, Alaska that emphasizes experiential and active learning. APU was first called Alaska Methodist University (AMU) and renamed Alaska Pacific University in 1978. It remains a Methodist-affiliated institution and retains its commitment to its heritage of Alaska Native education while emphasizing rigorous academics and challenging field work in the arts and sciences.


Learn more about APU and what it takes to get accepted.


3. Arizona: Arizona State University | ASU


Location: Tempe, AZ (main campus)

Acceptance Rate: 85% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1120-1360

Middle 50% ACT: 22-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 42,800


Arizona State University is Arizona’s flagship university. Its large main campus in Tempe offers an equally large selection of majors, with 400 undergraduate degree tracks to choose from. ASU focuses on inclusion and innovation in its programs, all the while providing a customized education through multiple campuses and online learning. ASU also has world-class transdisciplinary research programs as well as empowering opportunities for entrepreneurs at the Edson E+I Institute.


Learn more about Arizona State University and what it takes to get accepted.


4. Arkansas: Ouachita Baptist University


Location: ​​Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Acceptance Rate: 61.8%

Middle 50% SAT: 1060-1250

Middle 50% ACT: 21-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,664 


Ouachita Baptist University is a private, Baptist university. The university’s name is taken from the Ouachita (pronounced WAH-shi-tah) River, which forms the eastern campus boundary. The school boasts a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and offers 64 degree programs, mainly in liberal arts. Ouachita does not allow nationally affiliated social fraternities or sororities, but there are local fraternities and sororities, called “social clubs”, that approximately 20% of students participate in.


Learn more about Ouachita Baptist University and what it takes to get accepted.


5. California: Stanford University


Location: Stanford, CA  

Acceptance Rate: 7% 

Middle 50% SAT1420-1550

Middle 50% ACT: 31-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,366


One of CollegeVine’s top schools that aren’t in the Ivy League, Stanford University is often called the “Ivy of the West.” In addition to its exceptional academics Stanford is known for its ties to the Silicon Valley and incredible careers its graduates often enjoy. Google, Yahoo, and Instagram count Stanford alumni among their founders, while Stanford ranks 18 (out of almost 2,000 colleges) on Payscale’s list of best value colleges


Learn more about Stanford and what it takes to get accepted.


6. Colorado: University of Denver


Location: Denver, CO  

Acceptance Rate: 60%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1180-1350

Middle 50% ACT: 26-31

Undergrad Enrollment: 5,699


The University of Denver was established in 1864—just six years after the founding of Denver itself—and is the oldest independent institution of higher education in the Rocky Mountain region. The University of Denver puts the “high” in higher education: University Halls, the oldest building on campus, sits at exactly 5,280 feet (or a mile) above sea level. The university is well known for study abroad, with more than three-quarters of undergraduates participating in study abroad programming. 


Learn more about the University of Denver and what it takes to get accepted.


7. Connecticut: Yale University


Location: New Haven, CT   

Acceptance Rate: 5%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1470-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,703


In addition to being the best school in Connecticut, Yale University is one of the oldest—it was founded in 1701—and one of the most prestigious schools in the country. Yale was also the first institution in the U.S. to award a PhD. Yale is a member of the Ivy League, a collection of eight institutions renowned for their selective admissions, rigorous academics, and rich histories. Yale doesn’t have a core curriculum, which allows students to control their academic path. 


Learn more about Yale University and what it takes to get accepted.


8. Delaware: University of Delaware


Location: Newark, DE  

Acceptance Rate: 66%  

Middle 50% SAT: 1220-1380

Middle 50% ACT: 25-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,900


The University of Delaware is the largest university in Delaware and a public land-grant research university. It offers 148 different bachelor’s programs and a host of graduate programs. UD has a couple of unique attributes. It is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation and in 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program. Since then, the University of Delaware has expanded its study-abroad program, which now encompasses more than 40 countries. About one-third of UD undergraduate students take advantage of study-abroad experiences prior to completing their bachelor’s degrees.


Learn more about UD and what it takes to get accepted.


9. Florida: University of Florida


Location: Gainesville

Acceptance Rate: 39%

Middle 50% SAT: 1280-1440

Middle 50% ACT: 27-32

Undergrad Enrollment: 35,400


UF is a top public research university, a senior member of Florida’s State University System. The university offers 100 undergraduate majors and 30 certificates, along with 200 graduate programs. Some of its unique options include combination degrees, which prepare students for careers in a fraction of the time of undergraduate plus graduate education. Another program is the Innovation Academy, which equips students with entrepreneurship and leadership skills through a rigorous experience.


Learn more about UF and what it takes to get accepted.


10. Georgia: Emory University


Location: Atlanta, GA

Acceptance Rate: 19%

Middle 50% SAT: 1450-1550

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,000


Emory University is a selective private research university that offers highly selective honors programs for high-performing undergraduates in an extensive number of degree programs. More than 25% of undergraduates participate in an honors program each year. Emory also has the 17th-largest endowment among U.S. colleges and universities and is classified among R1: Doctoral Universities, meaning it has very high research activity. The university also offers many opportunities to get involved with the local community including a popular student organization called Volunteer Emory, which oversees community service activities.


Learn more about Emory University and what it takes to get accepted.


11. Hawaii: Brigham Young University–Hawaii


Location: Laie, HI

Acceptance Rate: 45%

Middle 50% SAT: 1080-1260

Middle 50% ACT: 21-26

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,100


Operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) and started in the mid 1950s, BYU-Hawaii includes not only intellectual learning and career preparation, but also moral, ethical, and spiritual enrichment. Predominantly Mormon students come from more than 70 countries to an intercultural learning environment in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Students select academic programs from the Faculty of Arts & Letters, Business & Government, Culture, Language & Performing Arts, Education & Social Work, Math & Computing, Religious Education, and Sciences. All students must also enroll in Religious Education courses, with 8-14 required for graduation.


Learn more about BYU-Hawaii and what it takes to get accepted.


12. Idaho: The College of Idaho


Location: Caldwell, ID

Acceptance Rate: 74%

Middle 50% SAT: 1010-1220

Middle 50% ACT: 20-26

Undergrad Enrollment: 900


The College of Idaho boasts impressive alumni including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, and four NFL players. Its PEAK Curriculum allows students to study in the four knowledge areas of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and a professional field, enabling them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The school also has a stellar Outdoor Program that leads week-long trips during the breaks between terms and after midterms.


Learn more about the College of Idaho and what it takes to get accepted.


13. Illinois: University of Chicago


Location: Chicago, IL   

Acceptance Rate: 6%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1510-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 34-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,989


One of the defining characteristics of the University Chicago is its core curriculum, the founding principle of which is to teach students how, not what, to think. The UChicago core curriculum includes coursework in fields such as the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences, as well as a sequence in the historical development of a civilization. Another notable aspect of the University of Chicago is its residential life—students are grouped into houses, each with its own traditions, a mascot, and shared values. 


Learn more about the University of Chicago and what it takes to get accepted.


14. Indiana: University of Notre Dame


Location: Notre Dame

Acceptance Rate: 18%

Middle 50% SAT: 1400-1550

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,600


Notre Dame was founded on Catholic principles, and that tradition continues today. Since 1842, the university has been at the forefront of scholarship and research. Undergraduates can choose among 75 majors across eight colleges and schools.


Ranked in the top 25 institutions of higher learning by U.S. News, Forbes, Niche, and many others, Notre Dame offers degrees at every level, while also taking advantage of small class sizes. Roughly a third of undergraduates are involved in research. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish are famed for their performance on the football field and well beyond.


Learn more about the University of Notre Dame and what it takes to get accepted.


15. Iowa: Grinnell College


Location: Grinnell, IA

Acceptance Rate: 19%

Middle 50% SAT: 1370-1530

Middle 50% ACT: 31-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,700


Grinnell is a private liberal arts college in Iowa. It’s known for its rigorous academics, innovative pedagogy, and commitment to social justice. Grinnell has the fifth highest endowment-to-student ratio of liberal arts colleges, enabling need-blind admissions and substantial academic merit scholarships to boost socioeconomic diversity. Grinnell is also one of the only colleges that has an open curriculum where students can direct their own academic path.


Learn more about Grinnell College and what it takes to get accepted.


16. Kansas: University of Kansas


Location: Lawrence, KS

Acceptance Rate: 91%

Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1320

Middle 50% ACT: 22-29

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,500


The University of Kansas is a public research university known for its athletic teams, the Jayhawks, that compete in NCAA Division I sports. The football team has won three national championships in its history, and the track and field teams have won seven titles over the years. The Lawrence campus spans about 860 wooded acres and the university has more than 5,000 courses in over 200 undergraduate fields of study.


Learn more about the University of Kansas and what it takes to get accepted.


17. Kentucky: Berea College


Location: Berea, KY

Acceptance Rate: 33%

Middle 50% SAT: 1030-1143

Middle 50% ACT: 22-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,600


Berea College is a private liberal arts work college in Kentucky. Founded in 1855, Berea College was the first college in the Southern United States to be coeducational and racially integrated. Also very unique, Berea College charges no tuition! Every admitted student is provided the equivalent of a four-year scholarship. 


Learn more about Berea College and what it takes to get accepted.


18. Louisiana: Tulane University


Location: New Orleans

Acceptance Rate: 17%

Middle 50% SAT: 1350-1490

Middle 50% ACT: 30-33

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,900


Originally founded as a medical college in 1834, Tulane became the university it is today just 13 years later. Now, it continues its tradition of excellence. Offering 1,700 courses and 70 majors across five schools, it takes students beyond the classroom—in fact, it was the first research university to require community service as part of its curriculum. 


Students come from every state and 58 countries to pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. They gain experience outside of the classroom, too. For example, architecture students get hands-on experience working with design and construction. Many students pursue an interdisciplinary education—approximately a third double major.


Learn more about Tulane and what it takes to get accepted.


19. Maine: Bowdoin College


Location: Brunswick, ME   

Acceptance Rate: 9%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1340-1510

Middle 50% ACT: 30-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,777


In addition to being one of the best colleges in Maine, Bowdoin is one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. Bowdoin is also one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the U.S.—it was founded in 1794, a quarter-century before Maine gained its statehood. In 1969, Bowdoin became the first college in the country to offer test-optional admissions. Only 56% of its Class of 2025 submitted test scores with their applications 


Learn more about Bowdoin College and what it takes to get accepted.


20. Maryland: Johns Hopkins University


Location: Baltimore

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Middle 50% SAT: 1450-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,000


Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins holds the distinction of being the first research university in the U.S. Known widely for its medical school, JHU offers high-ranking programs in a variety of fields in addition to science, including engineering, international studies, and creative writing. The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering comprise the undergraduate Homewood campus (along with graduate programs), and the nearby Peabody Conservatory is one of the top conservatories in the country.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Wolf Blitzer, Virginia Apgar, Michael R. Bloomberg, Rachel Carson, and Wes Craven are just some of the many notable graduates of this top-10 institution. Today, thousands of students vie for a spot at JHU.


Learn more about JHU and what it takes to get accepted.


21. Massachusetts: Harvard University 


Location: Cambridge, MA

Acceptance Rate: 3.4%

Middle 50% SAT: 1460-1580

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergraduate Enrollment: 5,222


The oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and a brand name worldwide, Harvard is located in Cambridge—right across the river from Boston—and just a mile down the road from MIT. Undergraduates choose from 50 concentrations (majors) and devote a third of their college coursework to distribution requirements, with opportunities to take graduate-level courses and cross-register at neighboring schools. Harvard also has the largest endowment of any academic institution in the country, not to mention a record-breaking roster of famous alumni


Learn more about Harvard and what it takes to get accepted.


22. Michigan: University of Michigan


Location: Ann Arbor

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Middle 50% SAT: 1330-1510

Middle 50% ACT: 30-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 30,000


This “Public Ivy” is ranked #3 among national undergraduate public universities by U.S. News and has a 97% first-year retention rate. Students choose among more than 275 degree programs across 19 individual colleges, including 14 undergraduate schools: Architecture & Urban Planning; Art & Design; Business; Dental Hygiene; Education; Engineering; Information; Kinesiology; Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA); Music, Theatre & Dance; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Health; and Public Policy. Students apply directly to their college of choice, and alongside their academic curriculum, students participate in sports, the arts, and more.


U Michigan is also renowned for its athletics and school spirit. During football season, over 100,000 adoring fans pack into the “Big House” to cheer on the Blue and Yellow Wolverines


Learn more about U Michigan and what it takes to get accepted.


23. Minnesota: Carleton College


Location: Northfield, MN   

Acceptance Rate: 21%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1340-1508

Middle 50% ACT: 30-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,940


In addition to being one of the best colleges in Minnesota, Carleton College is also one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation. Carleton’s campus is a tight-knit community; students are required to live on campus for at least three years, and most choose to stay on campus for all four years. Class size is small at Carleton (it has a student-faculty ratio of 9 to 1), allowing students to receive individualized attention and form bonds with their instructors. When it comes to unwinding, Carleton is fun—one of its most popular traditions is Rotblatt, an annual softball game where an inning is played for every year that Carleton has existed. 


Learn more about Carleton College and what it takes to get accepted.


24. Mississippi: Mississippi State University


Location: Mississippi State, MS

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1280

Middle 50% ACT: 22-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 18,400


Established in 1880, Mississippi State is the largest university in Mississippi. High achieving students should consider the Shackouls Honors College. The university ranks highly for the number of engineering degrees it awards, and for its low cost. The Mississippi State Bulldogs compete in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference (SEC).


Learn more about MSU and what it takes to get accepted.


25. Missouri: College of the Ozarks


Location: Point Lookout, MO

Acceptance Rate: 14%

Middle 50% SAT: 870-1050

Middle 50% ACT: 18-23

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,500


The College of the Ozarks is a private Christian college that refers to itself as “Hard Work U”. The college charges no tuition for full-time students due to its student work program and donations. The program requires students to work 15 hours a week at an on-campus work station and two 40-hour work weeks during breaks.


Learn more about the College of the Ozarks and what it takes to get accepted.


26. Montana: Carroll College


Location: Helena, MT

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1290

Middle 50% ACT: 21-26

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,300


Carroll is a Catholic liberal arts college with a 63-acre campus on the outskirts of Helena, Montana’s state capital. Carroll College’s location affords students a wide range of academic, professional, and recreational opportunities, including internships at various federal and state local offices. The location is also perfect for students who enjoy spending time in the outdoors, as world-class mountain biking and hiking is right outside the campus. Carroll College students will find numerous cultural experiences in Helena; the city is home to Holter Museum of Modern Art, the Helena Symphony, and the Montana Shakespeare Company, along with more traditional Montana activities like rodeos and dog sled races. 


Learn more about Carroll College and what it takes to get accepted.


27. Nebraska: Creighton University


Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Acceptance Rate: 71% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1150-1350

Middle 50% ACT: 24-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,458


Creighton University is a private institution founded in 1878 and is a Jesuit institution in Omaha, Nebraska. With more than 200 student organizations on campus, many students are involved in various student media outlets, including the newspaper, literary magazines, radio stations, and the thriving Greek life community on campus, including more than 10 fraternities and sororities. Ministry plays a significant role in student lives, Creighton offers ministry retreats and community service opportunities. As for education, Creighton University ranks as the #103 National University in the country. 


Learn more about Creighton University and what it takes to get accepted.


28. Nevada: University of Nevada, Reno


Location: Reno, NV 

Acceptance Rate: 87%

Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1290

Middle 50% ACT: 21-26

Undergrad Enrollment: 17,900


The University of Nevada, Reno is a public research university located in the Sierra Nevada foothills at the base of Lake Tahoe. The campus is home to the large-scale structures laboratory in the College of Engineering, which has put Nevada researchers at the forefront of national projects in a wide range of fields from civil engineering to earthquake and large-scale structure testing and modeling. The school’s sports teams, nicknamed the Wolf Pack, compete in the Mountain West Conference. 


Learn more about the University of Nevada, Reno and what it takes to get accepted.


29. New Hampshire: Dartmouth College


Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT: 1450-1550

Middle 50% ACT: 32-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,400


Dartmouth is the smallest Ivy League school, but don’t be fooled by its diminutive undergraduate class size because the school has a large number of offerings. The university is notable for its outstanding faculty, small class sizes, and incredible research opportunities—the Carnegie Foundation has classified Dartmouth as a university with “very high research activity.” Dartmouth is also home to the nation’s oldest and largest outing club, which provides students the opportunity to explore and enjoy the beautiful natural landscape surrounding the school’s rural campus. 


Learn more about Dartmouth College and what it takes to get accepted.


30. New Jersey: Princeton


Location: Princeton, NJ  

Acceptance Rate: 4%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1460-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 32-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 5,422


Founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey to train ministers, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the country. It’s also one of the most prestigious. Princeton is a member of the Ivy League, a collection of eight schools located in the Northeast known for exceptional academics, super-selective admissions, and sterling reputations. Often considered the quintessential Ivy League school, Princeton features a stately suburban ivy-lined campus, rich history, and unique traditions—for example, its eating clubs


Learn more about Princeton University and what it takes to get accepted.


31. New Mexico: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology | New Mexico Tech


Location: Socorro, NM

Acceptance Rate: 97%

Middle 50% SAT: 1150-1370

Middle 50% ACT: 23-30

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,400


New Mexico Tech is a relatively small, research- and teaching-oriented university focused on science and engineering. Federal funding allowed the university to purchase Playas, New Mexico, a former company town, as a field site. Because of its especially strong research programs, the school offers numerous scholarships and unique research opportunities for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, with a very high professor to student ratio of approximately 12:1. 


Learn more about New Mexico Tech and what it takes to get accepted.


32. New York: Cornell University


Location: Ithaca, NY

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT: 1450-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergraduate enrollment: 15,100


Comprising eight undergraduate colleges and schools, this highly-selective Ivy League university in rural, snowy Ithaca offers over 80 majors and 122 minors to which students apply directly. Undergraduate colleges and schools include:


  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (Comprised of the Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration and Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management)
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human Ecology
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations
  • Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy.


There is also a special-mission faculty unit called the Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science.


Learn more about Cornell University what it takes to get accepted.


33. North Carolina: Duke University


Location: Durham

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT: 1450-1570

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,600


Ibtihaj Muhammad, Timothy Cook, Melinda Gates, Ken Jeong, and William Styron are just a handful of the acclaimed alumni who graduated from Duke. Known as a “Southern Ivy,” the university is home to two undergraduate schools, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and Pratt School of Engineering, along with a host of graduate schools and programs. 


Students have the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary topics, as well as research and explore creatively. In fact, more than half of undergraduates graduate with research experience. 


Learn more about Duke and what it takes to get accepted.


34. North Dakota: University of North Dakota | UND


Location: Grand Forks, ND  

Acceptance Rate: 87%

Middle 50% SAT: 1010-1250

Middle 50% ACT: 21-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 10,500


The university has the only schools of law and medicine in the state of North Dakota. UND offers more than 225 fields of study, including 108 undergraduate majors. If that isn’t enough students may select to participate in an interdisciplinary program that allows them to obtain a degree in virtually any course of study. If you’re interested in greek life, the fraternity and sorority community has a rich history at the University of North Dakota.


Learn more about UND and what it takes to get accepted.


35. Ohio: Case Western Reserve University


Location: Cleveland, OH   

Acceptance Rate: 6%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1510-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 34-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,989


One of the most prestigious colleges in the country and best colleges in Ohio, Case Western Reserve offers almost 100 majors in everything from accounting to world literature, but is perhaps best known for its Case School of Engineering. Case Western has produced a number of distinguished alumni, including the creator of Gmail, the founder of Craigslist, and 16 Nobel laureates. Case Western has also established a reputation for its high return on investment—the university ranks 98 out of 1,978 schools on Payscale’s list of best value colleges


Learn more about Case Western Reserve University and what it takes to get accepted.


36. Oklahoma: University of Tulsa


Location: Tulsa, OK

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Middle 50% SAT: 1088-1330

Middle 50% ACT: 23-31 

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,200


The University of Tulsa has many unique attributes and is home to many traditions. For starters, it manages the Gilcrease Museum, which includes one of the largest collections of American Western art and indigenous American artifacts in the world. The Kendall Bell, now housed in Bayless Plaza, is traditionally rung by graduating seniors upon completion of their last final exam at the university and there is a huge bonfire at homecoming games. If you are looking to get involved with student organizations, the university hosts 150 different options. 


Learn more about the University of Tulsa and what it takes to get accepted.


37. Oregon: Reed College


Location: Portland, Oregon

Acceptance Rate: 35% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1310-1520

Middle 50% ACT: 30-33

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,548


Founded in 1908, Reed College is a small, coeducational, liberal arts institution in Portland, Oregon. Students will not find the traditional college staples: greek organizations, varsity sports or course grades at Reed College. Instead students have the option to select from over 100 student lead organizations and compete in intramural or club sports teams. With no course grades and only pass/fail grades assigned, the school does not have a dean’s list or honor roll alleviating the pressure and anxieties grades can create. Course tend to be rigorous, as Reed College is ranked #62 out of all National Liberal Arts Colleges in the country. However, there is still a lot of fun to be had—downtown Portland is about 5 miles away from campus and students can enjoy the great Oregon outdoors.


Learn more about Reed College and what it takes to get accepted.


38. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania | UPenn


Location: Philadelphia, PA

Acceptance Rate: 6%

Middle 50% SAT: 1460-1570

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergraduate Enrollment: 9,872


Penn is an Ivy League school, consistently ranked as one of the top ten universities in the nation. One of the most renowned schools at the university is the Wharton School of Business, with Elon Musk and Warren Buffett at the top of its alumni roster. While Penn boasts top-tier academic programs, it is also often referred to as ‘the social ivy’ because of its lively student body. With its urban location in Philadelphia, Penn gives students access to vibrant bars, restaurants, museums, art galleries, and parks. While some view Penn as a safety ivy, others view it as a unique school that promotes a healthy balance of academic and social life. 


Learn more about UPenn and what it takes to get accepted.


39. Rhode Island: Brown University


Location: Providence

Acceptance Rate: 5.4%

Middle 50% SAT: 1480-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,000


Founded in 1764, Brown is another Ivy League institution with a long and storied history. Known for its unconventional approach to education, Brown’s “Open Curriculum” allows students to develop their own core curriculum and explore more than 80 academic programs before choosing to focus on a particular field of study. Brown’s picturesque 150-acre campus is within easy walking distance of downtown Providence, and provides easy access to the vibrant Thayer Street, which offers numerous shopping, dining, and entertainment options. 


Learn more about Brown and what it takes to get accepted.


40. South Carolina: Clemson University


Location: Clemson, SC

Acceptance Rate: 47% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1240-1400

Middle 50% ACT: 29-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,600


South Carolina’s most well-renowned university pairs a friendly campus culture with top-notch educational resources, research, and football games. Clemson excels at the sciences, offering top-tier degree programs and research opportunities in agriculture, forestry, education, and social sciences, among others. Campus life at Clemson is lively—a strong school spirit permeates the school and encourages active participation in campus affairs. 


Learn more about Clemson University and what it takes to get accepted.


41. South Dakota: Augustana University


Location: Sioux Falls, SD

Acceptance Rate: 57%

Middle 50% SAT: 1090-1280

Middle 50% ACT: 23-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,800


Augustana University is a private Lutheran university in Sioux Falls. The university’s curriculum is based on a calendar divided into two 15-week semesters, with an interim period during January where students can take classes. Students are known for studying abroad, with an average of over 40% spending at least a semester around the globe. 


Learn more about Augustana University and what it takes to get accepted.


42. Tennessee: Vanderbilt University


Location: Nashville, Tennessee 

Acceptance Rate: 10% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1450-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 12,686


Vanderbilt University is a private institution that was founded in 1873. Set in the urban Nashville setting with over 333 acres of space for students to explore, Vanderbilt has plenty of off-campus options to enjoy. This includes dining, shopping, music, and entertainment. Greek organizations play a significant role on campus, with approximately 40% of students affiliated with Greek life. In terms of academics, Vanderbilt is comprised of 10 schools and colleges covering disciplines from the humanities to music to engineering. The school is known for its close-knit residential education and experiential learning in the classroom and beyond. Vanderbilt University is ranked the #14 National University in the country, so the academics are challenging but rewarding. 


Learn more about Vanderbilt University and what it takes to get accepted.


43. Texas: Rice University


Location: Houston, TX  

Acceptance Rate: 9%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1460-1570

Middle 50% ACT: 34-36

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,076


Rice University is one of the handful of prestigious universities and colleges in the South commonly referred to as the “Southern Ivies.” Rivaling the prestige, academic excellence, and competitive admissions of its northern Ivy League counterparts, Rice was even founded by a Massachusetts-born businessman. William Marsh Rice chartered the school as a gift to the city of Houston, where he made his fortune. Similar to other top-ranked universities, Rice is known for its low student-to-faculty ratio, rigorous academics, and close-knit community.   


Learn more about Rice University and what it takes to get accepted.


44. Utah: Brigham Young University | BYU


Location: Provo, UT

Acceptance Rate: 64% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1210-1420

Middle 50% ACT: 26-31

Undergrad Enrollment: 31,400


A university education from Brigham Young is intellectually enlarging, character building, and spiritually strengthening. The majority of BYU students are Mormon, a faith tradition which colors the campus culture as well as academic degree programs. A College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, on-campus museums, a culture of dating for marriage, and more make Utah’s most well-known university one of a kind. 


Learn more about Brigham Young University and what it takes to get accepted.


45. Vermont: Middlebury College


Location: Middlebury, VT

Acceptance Rate: 17%

Middle 50% SAT: 1330-1500

Middle 50% ACT: 31-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,500


Founded in 1800 as the first operating college or university in Vermont, Middlebury is one of the best liberal arts schools in the country, particularly famed for immersive language study. It is a leader in study abroad and offers programs across the liberal arts at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Middlebury is also the site of the renowned Breadloaf Conference, one of the oldest writers’ conferences in the world. 


Diversity, environmental sustainability, tradition, and excellence in pedagogy are core values and missions at Middlebury. The school also upholds a commitment to fostering lifelong learning skills in students.


Learn more about Middlebury and what it takes to get accepted.


46. Virginia: Washington and Lee


Location: Lexington, VA 

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Middle 50% SAT: 1420-1510

Middle 50% ACT: 32-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,800


Washington and Lee, located in the scenic Shenandoah Valley, is the 9th oldest college in the U.S. This top-ranked university is distinguished by a student-run Honor System that encourages students to take responsibility for themselves as citizens, peers, and leaders in a community of 1,800 undergraduates. Students who attend Washington and Lee enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors.


Learn more about Washington and Lee and what it takes to get accepted.


47. Washington: University of Washington


Location: Seattle, WA   

Acceptance Rate: 56%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1220-1430

Middle 50% ACT: 27-33

Undergrad Enrollment: 35,582 


The University of Washington was founded in 1861 as the Territorial University of Washington. Although the University of Washington is among the best colleges in Washington today, it almost didn’t make it. The university closed four times in its first 15 years. Not helping the college in its early years was its choice of nicknames—the Sun Dodgers—a nod to the region’s notoriously gray weather. Gloomy weather has done little to deter the enthusiasm of University Washington students, however; it’s where the Wave was invented (spectators rising in unison mimicking the motion of a wave) and is home to one of the loudest college football stadiums in the nation


Learn more about the University of Washington and what it takes to get accepted.


48. Washington D.C.: Georgetown


Location: Washington D.C.   

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Middle 50% SAT: 1450-1560

Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,400


Located in our country’s capital, naturally, Georgetown University has prestigious political science and international relations programs. With over 350 student clubs and organizations, many of which focus on service, Geroregtwon is true to its Jesuit traditions of cura personalis, meaning a profound care and responsibility for others. A mere walk away from the political heart of the country, Georgetown also offers exceptional internship opportunities for students interested in working in the nation’s capital.


Learn more about Georgetown and what it takes to get accepted.


49. West Virginia: West Virginia University | WVU


Location: Morgantown, WV

Acceptance Rate: 84%

Middle 50% SAT: 1030-1230

Middle 50% ACT: 21-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 21,100


West Virginia University is organized into 15 degree-granting colleges and schools and also offers an Honors College. WVU is affiliated with the Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, dedicated to the study of Alzheimer’s and other diseases that affect the brain. If you are interested in the FBI, this could be a good place to study. Forensics and Investigative Science is a nationally recognized program at WVU, originally created through a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 


Learn more about West Virginia University and what it takes to get accepted.


50. Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin-Madison | Wisconsin


Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Acceptance Rate: 52% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1280-1450

Middle 50% ACT: 27-32

Undergrad Enrollment: 33,585


University of Wisconsin—Madison is a public institution that was founded in 1848. This division I school is ranked #42 of all National Universities in the country and is known as an academically rigorous college. The school competes in more than 20 NCAA Division I sports and is a part of the Big Ten Conference. Students can also get involved in nearly 900 organizations on campus and the active Greek life and social scene on campus, evident in Wisconsin’s reputation as one of the top party schools in the country. 


Learn more about the University of Wisconsin-Madison and what it takes to get accepted.


51. Wyoming: University of Wyoming


Location: Laramie, WY

Acceptance Rate: 94%

Middle 50% SAT: 1060-1280

Middle 50% ACT: 22-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 9,900


The University of Wyoming (UW) is a public land-grant research university in Laramie, Wyoming. It is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity” and offers over 120 undergraduate programs. The university knows how to have fun with Friday Night Fever (FNF) an alcohol-free late-night entertainment program that hosts comedians, magicians, and hypnotists. 


Learn more about the University of Wyoming and what it takes to get accepted.


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?


Wondering what your odds are of admission at one of these great schools? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing engine uses quantitative data like grades and standardized test scores along with qualitative factors like extracurricular activities, awards, and achievements to predict your odds of acceptance at hundreds of schools all across the country.


Remember, too, that it’s important to build a balanced school list, including safety, reach, and target schools. The CollegeVine chancing engine can also help you determine which schools fall into which category for you. 

Short Bio
Leonie Rauls is 2018 grad of Amherst College with a degree in political science and Spanish. She is a journalist and has lived in Bogotá covering politics in Latin America. In her spare time, she loves to run and try out new recipes.