A Rose By Any Other Name

Highly REJECTIVE
Colleges

What would you call a university that seems to value EXCLUSION and REJECTION as sign of quality?

Highly REJECTIVE Criteria

To qualify for the list a college must reject more than 70% of applicants, keep enrollment low, and privilege wealth. 

72

Seventy-two colleges rejected more than 70% of their applicants in 2020.

67

Of those 72 colleges, 67 had students from families with a median income of more than $100,000.

54

Of the 72 colleges, 54 awarded Pell Grants to 20% or less of enrolled freshmen students.

48

Of the 72 colleges, 48 had application growth to enrollment growth of more than 2 to 1 from 2001 to 2020.

Highly REJECTIVE List

Institution Name

Rejectivity Ranking

Percent Rejected

Percent Change in Apps 2001 – 2020

Enrollment Change 2001 – 2020

Median Family Income

Percent of Undergrads Awarded Pell grants

Percent Undergrads

Colorado College

284

86%

202.30%

0.56%

$277,500

14%

99%

Washington University in St Louis

278

84%

34.15%

41.82%

$272,000

15%

50%

Colgate University

276

73%

41.66%

3.38%

$270,200

10%

100%

Washington and Lee University

267

75%

70.06%

-5.94%

$261,000

11%

83%

Middlebury College

250

78%

69.57%

18.04%

$244,300

15%

97%

Colby College

242

90%

256.15%

15.98%

$236,100

18%

100%

Georgetown University

236

83%

38.25%

5.08%

$229,100

13%

38%

Bates College

233

86%

80.49%

-17.70%

$226,500

9%

100%

Tufts University

232

84%

68.81%

38.87%

$224,800

10%

50%

Pitzer College

223

83%

86.60%

0.45%

$216,600

12%

100%

Davidson College

220

80%

67.14%

10.87%

$213,900

14%

100%

Hamilton College

214

82%

61.77%

-5.81%

$208,600

22%

100%

Brown University

211

92%

121.56%

27.52%

$204,200

13%

68%

Vanderbilt University

211

88%

276.63%

9.06%

$204,500

17%

52%

Dartmouth College

207

91%

109.97%

-2.49%

$200,400

15%

66%

Claremont McKenna College

207

87%

83.09%

20.23%

$201,300

20%

100%

University of Pennsylvania

203

91%

120.36%

-2.93%

$195,500

15%

42%

Bowdoin College

203

91%

107.28%

2.65%

$195,900

15%

100%

Yale University

200

93%

173.30%

-6.51%

$192,600

20%

39%

Boston College

199

74%

54.16%

14.50%

$194,100

14%

65%

Wesleyan University

198

79%

80.10%

-0.41%

$192,400

15%

93%

University of Notre Dame

198

81%

126.46%

7.71%

$191,400

11%

69%

Barnard College

196

86%

131.00%

25.45%

$190,100

15%

100%

Duke University

194

92%

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

$186,700

12%

42%

Princeton University

192

94%

140.48%

-0.43%

$186,100

25%

61%

Williams College

191

85%

87.80%

-7.31%

$185,800

19%

99%

Tulane University of Louisiana

188

89%

304.09%

18.72%

$180,700

8%

61%

Johns Hopkins University

184

89%

229.88%

38.42%

$177,300

20%

22%

Northwestern University

178

91%

166.64%

0.85%

$171,200

20%

38%

Carleton College

178

79%

69.54%

-12.21%

$172,400

14%

100%

Harvard University

176

95%

112.59%

-9.98%

$168,800

17%

28%

Stanford University

175

95%

137.39%

-0.62%

$167,500

18%

40%

Haverford College

174

82%

75.99%

12.84%

$168,700

15%

100%

Pomona College

173

91%

179.85%

1.53%

$166,500

19%

100%

Swarthmore College

172

91%

231.91%

-1.84%

$165,500

20%

100%

University of Southern California

168

84%

126.60%

18.66%

$161,400

17%

43%

Rice University

168

89%

248.00%

50.45%

$160,800

16%

53%

Denison University

165

72%

172.15%

9.40%

$160,400

12%

100%

Amherst College

164

88%

104.89%

0.93%

$158,200

24%

100%

University of Virginia-Main Campus

161

77%

177.35%

27.01%

$155,500

13%

68%

Carnegie Mellon University

161

83%

56.86%

24.20%

$154,700

14%

49%

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

159

74%

169.34%

24.17%

$154,000

20%

65%

Cornell University

158

89%

211.40%

66.62%

$151,600

15%

62%

Columbia University

158

93%

#N/A

#N/A

$150,900

20%

27%

Northeastern University

157

80%

336.71%

-9.52%

$150,900

12%

66%

Rhode Island School of Design

156

73%

66.36%

-1.67%

$151,400

16%

78%

New York University

155

79%

162.66%

114.36%

$149,300

19%

52%

California Institute of Technology

154

93%

137.95%

5.14%

$146,300

11%

40%

Harvey Mudd College

151

82%

122.90%

20.11%

$145,400

14%

100%

Boston University

147

80%

121.34%

-19.08%

$141,000

17%

52%

Wellesley College

146

80%

118.93%

0.35%

$141,000

23%

100%

Emory University

145

81%

198.72%

6.58%

$139,800

21%

50%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

144

93%

91.37%

3.88%

$137,400

20%

39%

University of Chicago

142

93%

360.83%

70.86%

$134,500

13%

40%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

140

75%

152.12%

30.16%

$135,100

21%

64%

Vassar College

137

75%

52.25%

-15.52%

$132,800

20%

100%

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

136

79%

331.11%

46.52%

$130,000

11%

42%

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

132

82%

8.21%

-2.80%

$127,300

30%

91%

Case Western Reserve University

130

70%

523.72%

76.83%

$125,700

18%

47%

Babson College

126

73%

107.90%

51.51%

$121,200

14%

74%

University of California-Berkeley

125

83%

167.15%

65.19%

$119,900

21%

73%

California Institute of the Arts

125

73%

-6.24%

13.33%

$120,900

23%

65%

Grinnell College

125

81%

310.96%

1.96%

$119,700

18%

100%

University of California-Los Angeles

110

86%

167.24%

50.36%

$104,900

25%

71%