TOP 15 COLLEGES WITH HIGH ACCEPTANCE RATES

11/25/19

“Congratulations! You’ve been accepted,” are words all prospective students long to hear.  However, whether you get an acceptance letter or rejection letter largely depends on the colleges you apply to.  Some colleges and universities pride themselves on selectivity. Others strive to be more inclusive, providing a wider range of students with access to higher education.

Easiest Colleges to Get Into

We understand that going to an Ivy League school may look good on paper, but let’s face it, we’re not all Ivy League material.  Maybe you weren’t a straight A student, or perhaps you simply didn’t score that well on a standardized test. Whatever the case, one of these top 15 colleges with high acceptance rates might be a better fit for you.

We combed through thousands of rows of data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to compile our list of the top 15 colleges with high acceptance rates.  As we were going through that process, we realized that a high acceptance rate on it’s own doesn’t hold much weight.  In our opinion, a high acceptance rate is only meaningful if a school can also keep those students enrolled year after year, and graduate a high percentage of those enrolled. 

With that in mind, we filtered our list to only include schools that met all of the following criteria: 

  • Acceptance rate over 85%,
  • Retention rate over 80%,
  • And Graduation rate over 55%.

At this point, you’re probably wondering, ‘Well, which schools actually made the list?’ Let’s take a look.

Our List of Top 15 colleges with High Acceptance Rates:

  1. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
  2. Mount Carmel College of Nursing
  3. Benedictine College
  4. Transylvania University
  5. John Paul the Great Catholic University
  6. Loras College
  7. Waynesburg University
  8. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  9. Sweet Briar College
  10. Maryville University of Saint Louis
  11. Iona College
  12. Principia College
  13. Houghton College
  14. Otis College of Art and Design
  15. Providence Christian College

Applying to one of these high acceptance rate schools may offer you more confidence that you’ll gain admission. However, there are a few other factors you may also want to consider, including: cost, location, majors-offered, available program-format, and credit for military or life experience. We’ve included some of these data points below to help you make a more informed decision.

 We recommend reaching out to all the schools that interest you and gathering as much information as needed to ensure you find the right fit for you!

Institution Name Location Acceptance Rate Retention Rate Graduation Rate Out-of-State Tuition Credits for Life Exp Credit for Military Online Programs Offered
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts Merrimack, NH 100% 100% 72% $21,000.00 Implied no Implied no Implied no
Mount Carmel College of Nursing Columbus,OH 99% 67% 67% $19,759.00 Yes Yes Yes
Benedictine College Atchison, KS 97% 80% 56% $27,730.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Transylvania University Lexington, KY 95% 82% 67% $35,770.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
John Paul the Great Catholic University Escondido, CA 95% 81% 63% $24,000.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Loras College Dubuque, IA 95% 76% 57% $31,418.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Waynesburg University Waynesburg, PA 95% 76% 56% $23,160.00 Yes Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Philadelphia,  PA 93% 76% 57% $35,646.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Sweet Briar College Sweet Briar,  VA 93% 72% 57% $36,520.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO 92% 83% 56% $26,070.00 Yes Yes Yes
Iona College New Rochelle, NY 92% 75% 57% $35,482.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Principia College Elsah, IL 91% 88% 71% $28,320.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Houghton College Houghton, NY 91% 80% 66% $31,040.00 Yes Yes Yes
Otis College of Art and Design Los Angeles, CA 91% 80% 65% $42,370.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Providence Christian College Pasadena, CA 91% 61% 60% $28,522.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Bethel College-Indiana Mishawaka, IN 90% 79% 58% $27,580.00 Yes Yes Yes
Marquette University Milwaukee, WI 89% 89% 58% $39,300.00 Yes Yes Yes
Willamette University Salem, OR 89% 86% 71% $47,840.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Whitworth University Spokane, WA 89% 85% 64% $41,086.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Gordon College Wenham, MA 89% 83% 61% $35,180.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Taylor University Upland, IN 87% 90% 71% $32,640.00 Yes Yes Yes
Centenary University Hackettstown, NJ 87% 78% 58% $31,156.00 Yes Yes Yes
Mills College Oakland, CA 87% 77% 58% $44,765.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Randolph College Lynchburg, VA 86% 67% 60% $37,540.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Wheaton College Wheaton, IL 85% 93% 81% $35,190.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
John Carroll University University Heights, OH 85% 86% 57% $38,490.00 Yes Yes Yes
Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA 85% 83% 74% $42,890.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Saint Michael’s College Colchester, VT 85% 83% 69% $43,315.00 Yes Yes Implied no
McDaniel College Westminster, MD 85% 81% 63% $41,800.00 Yes Yes Yes
University of St Thomas Saint Paul, MN 84% 88% 60% $40,224.00 Yes Yes Yes
University of Puget Sound Tacoma, WA 84% 86% 72% $47,840.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Niagara University Niagara University, NY 84% 83% 56% $30,500.00 Yes Yes Yes
Simpson College Indianola, IA 84% 80% 62% $36,969.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Hanover College Hanover, IN 84% 79% 65% $35,750.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Pacific University Forest Grove, OR 84% 79% 64% $42,594.00 Yes Yes Yes
Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, MA 83% 88% 63% $19,140.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Franciscan University of Steubenville Steubenville, OH 83% 87% 70% $25,970.00 Yes Yes Yes
Samford University Birmingham, AL 83% 87% 59% $29,640.00 Yes Yes Yes
Calvin College Grand Rapids, MI 83% 87% 57% $33,100.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Catholic University of America Washington, DC 83% 86% 62% $43,300.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Bethel University Saint Paul, MN 83% 85% 63% $36,060.00 Yes Yes Yes
Immaculata University Immaculata, PA 83% 78% 59% $26,500.00 Yes Yes Yes
American Jewish University Los Angeles, CA 83% 50% 63% $29,592.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
St Mary’s College of Maryland St. Mary’s City, MD 82% 87% 67% $27,098.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Saint Mary’s College of California Moraga, CA 82% 86% 63% $45,536.00 Yes Yes Implied no
George Fox University Newberg, OR 82% 83% 59% $34,500.00 Yes Yes Yes
Merrimack College North Andover, MA 82% 81% 65% $37,910.00 Yes Yes Yes
Grace College and Theological Seminary Winona Lake, IN 82% 79% 58% $22,918.00 Yes Yes Yes
Roger Williams University Bristol, RI 82% 79% 56% $30,326.00 Yes Yes Yes
College of Saint Benedict Saint Joseph, MN 81% 87% 77% $42,690.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Belmont University Nashville, TTN 81% 85% 57% $31,300.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Endicott College Beverly, MA 81% 84% 67% $31,454.00 Yes Yes Yes
Huntington University Huntington, IN 81% 80% 57% $24,694.00 Yes Yes Yes
University of New England Biddeford, ME 81% 78% 60% $35,240.00 Yes Yes Yes
Saint Johns University Collegeville, MN 80% 88% 66% $42,574.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Hendrix College Conway, AR 80% 83% 64% $43,720.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
International Business College-Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, IN 80% 0% 76% $13,960.00 Implied no Implied no Implied no
Misericordia University Dallas, PA 79% 85% 64% $30,030.00 Yes Yes Yes
Saint Norbert College De Pere, WI 79% 83% 67% $35,878.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Assumption College Worcester, MA 79% 82% 70% $35,510.00 Yes Yes Yes
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Albany, NY 79% 80% 71% $32,840.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Goucher College Baltimore, MD 79% 78% 57% $42,600.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Siena College Loudonville, NY 78% 88% 72% $35,435.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Ursinus College Collegeville, PA 78% 85% 74% $50,360.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame, IN 78% 84% 75% $39,980.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Canisius College Buffalo, NY 78% 83% 63% $34,966.00 Yes Yes Yes
Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA 77% 91% 72% $43,700.00 Yes Yes Yes
Messiah College Mechanicsburg, PA 77% 88% 71% $33,320.00 Yes Yes Yes
Wartburg College Waverly, IA 77% 79% 65% $38,710.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH 77% 79% 57% $18,696.00 Yes Yes Yes
Wheelock College Boston, MA 77% 76% 56% $34,950.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Centre College Danville, KY 76% 91% 83% $40,500.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH 76% 89% 70% $38,960.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA 76% 89% 63% $34,000.00 Yes Yes Yes
Moravian College Bethlehem, PA 76% 82% 65% $40,293.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
University of Scranton Scranton, PA 75% 87% 73% $42,910.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Marywood University Scranton, PA 75% 86% 56% $32,190.00 Yes Yes Yes
Loyola University Maryland Baltimore, MD 75% 85% 76% $46,160.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Manhattan College Riverdale, NY 75% 85% 59% $38,200.00 Yes Yes Yes
University of Redlands Redlands, CA 75% 82% 65% $47,722.00 Yes Yes Yes
Hope College Holland, MI 74% 88% 64% $32,490.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Elizabethtown College Elizabethtown, PA 74% 87% 72% $45,350.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT 74% 86% 71% $44,420.00 Yes Yes Yes
Xavier University Cincinnati, OH 74% 84% 66% $37,000.00 Yes Yes Yes
Seattle University Seattle, WA 74% 84% 64% $42,120.00 Yes Implied no Yes
The University of the Arts Philadelphia, PA 74% 82% 58% $43,100.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
DeSales University Center Valley, PA 74% 81% 58% $34,500.00 Yes Yes Yes
Whittier College Whittier, CA 74% 78% 60% $45,720.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Kalamazoo College Kalamazoo, MI 73% 90% 77% $46,350.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Bryant University Smithfield, RI 73% 90% 76% $41,700.00 Yes Yes Implied no
California Lutheran University Thousand Oaks, CA 73% 85% 60% $40,880.00 Yes Yes Yes
University of Mary Washington Fredericksburg, VA 73% 84% 59% $21,278.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Eckerd College Saint Petersburg, FL 73% 82% 60% $42,428.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Lebanon Valley College Annville, PA 73% 81% 68% $40,990.00 Yes Yes Yes
Emmanuel College Boston, MA 73% 78% 56% $38,584.00 Yes Implied no Yes
University of Dayton Dayton, OH 72% 90% 62% $41,750.00 Yes Yes Yes
Creighton University Omaha, NE 72% 89% 67% $37,086.00 Yes Yes Yes
Knox College Galesburg, IL 72% 87% 69% $44,191.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Stonehill College Easton, MA 72% 86% 83% $41,300.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA 72% 86% 63% $36,394.00 Yes Yes Yes
Rockhurst University Kansas City, MO 72% 86% 60% $35,800.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Salve Regina University Newport, RI 72% 84% 69% $38,386.00 Yes Yes Yes
DePaul University Chicago, IL 72% 84% 56% $38,410.00 Yes Yes Yes
Dordt College Sioux Center, IA 72% 81% 61% $29,480.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Westminster College New Wilmington, PA 72% 78% 63% $34,830.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Lancaster Bible College Lancaster, PA 72% 76% 57% $21,900.00 Yes Yes Yes
Wittenberg University Springfield, OH 72% 72% 59% $37,930.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Ithaca College Ithaca, NY 71% 83% 69% $42,884.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Lewis & Clark College Portland, OR 71% 83% 66% $48,628.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL 71% 83% 64% $41,470.00 Yes Yes Yes
Juniata College Huntingdon, PA 71% 81% 67% $43,050.00 Yes Implied no Yes
Albion College Albion, MI 71% 79% 56% $42,560.00 Yes Yes Implied no
Ohio Wesleyan University Delaware, OH 71% 78% 64% $44,430.00 Yes Implied no Implied no
King’s College Wilkes-Barre, PA 71% 73% 61% $34,630.00 Yes Implied no Yes

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