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What do you mean by a "competitive" college?

Barron’s college selectivity ratings

What do we mean by a "competitive" college? The college admission’s selectivity/competitiveness ratings for each bachelor degree awarding institution were the only pieces of data not from NELS or ELS. The selectivity ratings were from Barron’s Profile of American Colleges. Colleges are rated as Most Competitive, Highly Competitive, Very Competitive, Competitive, Less Competitive, or Noncompetitive. All two-year and “special” institutions are rated as noncompetitive for this study. Here are some examples of each category:

 

Most Competitive (Highest selectivity ranking)  
 
Typically admitted

Students ranked in the top 10% to 20% in high school 
Admit fewer than 33% of applicants

School examples
Harvard (Northeast)
University of Florida (South)
Stanford  University (West)
University of Notre Dame (Midwest)
 

Competitive

Typically admitted  

Students ranked the top 50% to 65% in high school 
Admit between 75% and 85% of applicants

School examples
University of Nebraska (Midwest)
Temple University (Northeast)
University of Alabama (South)
Arizona State University (West)

Highly Competitive

Typically admitted

Students ranked in the top 20% to 35% in high school 
Admit between 33% and 50% of applicant

School examples
Brigham Young University (West)
Clemson University (South)
Northeastern University (Northeast)
Grinnell College (Midwest)

Less Competitive 
 
Typically admitted

Students ranked in the top 65% in high school
Admit more than 85% of applicants

School examples
California State-Fresno (West)
Indiana State (Midwest)
University of South Carolina at Aiken (South)
New England College (Northeast)

Very Competitive
 
Typically admitted

Students ranked in the top 35% to 50% in high school 
Admit between 50% and 75% of applicants

School examples
Ohio State University (Midwest)
University of Rhode Island (Northeast)
University of South Carolina (South)
University of Arizona (West)

NonCompetitive (Lowest selectivity ranking)
 
Typically admitted  

Any student who graduated high school
Admit 98% or more applicants

School examples
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (South)
University of Nebraska at Kearny (Midwest)
Wilmington College (Northeast)
Eastern Oregon University (West)

 

 


 

Posted: January 15, 2010

©2010 Center for Public Education

Home > Staffing and Students > Chasing the college acceptance letter > What do you mean by a "competitive" college?