Applying to colleges is stressful. You often don't know whether you've gotten accepted until well after you've submitted your application; therefore, it's useful to have safety schools as a backup. These are colleges you're almost certain that you'd get into if you were to apply.
We've compiled a thorough guide of the easiest colleges to get into in the United States. Find out which schools have the highest admission rates, which ones guarantee admission if you meet certain requirements, and which ones have the lowest average SAT/ACT scores.
What Is an "Easy College to Get Into"?
What an "easy college to get into" is will depend on your specific circumstances and application.
If you scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT or a full 36 on the ACT, most colleges will be easy to get into. For below-average students, schools that have high admission rates and low requirements will be easy colleges to get into.
Whatever your personal situation, having safety schools is critical to your college application strategy. You don't want to end up with no admission offers your senior spring, so it's important to have a few schools that you're almost certain will accept you.
Below, we've compiled three collections of schools that are easy to get into in their own way.
First, we'll look at schools in the US that have the highest admission rates, which means nearly all those who apply to them get admitted.
Next, we'll discuss schools with guaranteed admission—if you meet their requirements, they will guarantee you a spot, no matter what.
Finally, we'll introduce schools with the lowest average SAT/ACT scores. So if you're performing a bit below average on one of these tests, these schools will be a solid bet for you.
Top 100 Colleges With the Highest Admission Rates
The hardest schools to get into have admission rates below 10%. Harvard, for example, has an admission rate of just 3.43%. This means that out of 1000 students who apply, only 34 get in.
By contrast, the easiest colleges to get into have nearly 100% admission rates. So if you apply, you're almost certain to get in. Unlike community colleges (which also have 100% admission rates), the following schools are usually affiliated with state university systems.
Here's a list of the 100 colleges with the highest admission rates. All data comes from US News.
|Academy of Art University||San Francisco||CA||100%|
|Boston Architectural College||Boston||MA||100%|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale||FL||100%|
|Dickinson State University||Dickinson||ND||100%|
|Dixie State University||Saint George||UT||100%|
|Glenville State College||Glenville||WV||100%|
|Granite State College||Concord||NH||100%|
|Lake-Sumter State College||Leesburg||FL||100%|
|Lake Washington Institute of Technology||Kirkland||WA||100%|
|Lewis-Clark State College||Lewiston||ID||100%|
|Maharishi International University||Fairfield||IA||100%|
|Mary Baldwin University||Staunton||VA||100%|
|Montana State University — Billings||Billings||MT||100%|
|Montana State University — Northern||Havre||MT||100%|
|New England College||Henniker||NH||100%|
|New School of Architecture and Design||San Diego||CA||100%|
|Rochester College||Rochester Hills||MI||100%|
|South Florida State College||Avon Park||FL||100%|
|St. Petersburg College||St. Petersburg||FL||100%|
|Thomas More College of Liberal Arts||Merrimack||NH||100%|
|University of Maryland University College||Adelphi||MD||100%|
|University of Pikeville||Pikeville||KY||100%|
|University of Texas — El Paso||El Paso||TX||100%|
|Utah Valley University||Orem||UT||100%|
|Wayne State College||Wayne||NE||100%|
|Wilmington University||New Castle||DE||100%|
|Adams State University||Alamosa||CO||99%|
|Black Hills State University||Spearfish||SD||99%|
|Central Christian College||McPhearson||KS||99%|
|La Roche University||Pittsburgh||PA||99%|
|Martin Methodist College||Pulaski||TN||99%|
|Northeastern State University||Talequah||OK||99%|
|Shawnee State University||Portsmouth||OH||99%|
|University of Maine—Ft. Kent||Ft. Kent||ME||99%|
|University of Maine—Machias||Machias||ME||99%|
|University of Maine—Presque Isle||Presque Isle||ME||99%|
|Concordia University--St. Paul||St. Paul||MN||98%|
|Covenant College||Lookout Mountain||GA||98%|
|Eastern Oregon University||La Grande||OR||98%|
|The Evergreen State College||Olympia||WA||98%|
|National Louis University||Chicago||IL||98%|
|University of Mary||Bismark||ND||98%|
|University of the Virgin Islands||St. Thomas||VI||98%|
|Alabama State University||Montgomery||AL||97%|
|Bringham Young University — Idaho||Rexburg||ID||97%|
|California University of Pennsylvania||California||PA||97%|
|Mississippi University for Women||Columbus||MS||97%|
|Oregon Tech||Klamath Falls||OR||97%|
|University of Providence||Great Falls||MT||97%|
|Warner Pacific University||Portland||OR||97%|
|Wayland Baptist University||Plainview||TX||97%|
|Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green||KY||97%|
|Blue Mountain College||Blue Mountain||MS||96%|
|Brewton-Parker College||Mount Vernon||GA||96%|
|Eastern Washington University||Cheney||WA||96%|
|Grambling State College||Grambling||LA||96%|
|Grand View University||Des Moines||IA||96%|
|Lancaster Bible College||Lancaster||PA||96%|
|Life Pacific College||San Dimas||CA||96%|
|Louisiana State University—Shreveport||Shreveport||LA||96%|
|Pittsburg State University||Pittsburg||KS||96%|
|Portland State University||Portland||OR||96%|
|Saint Martin's University||Lacey||WI||96%|
|Sweet Briar College||Sweet Briar||VA||96%|
|University of Kentucky||Lexington||KY||96%|
|University of Saint Francis||Fort Wayne||IN||96%|
|University of Wyoming||Laramie||WY||96%|
|Arkansas Tech University||Russellville||AR||95%|
|Chestnut Hill College||Philadelphia||PA||96%|
|Northwest Nazarene University||Nampa||ID||96%|
|Sterling College||Craftsbury Common||VT||96%|
|University of the West||Rosemead||CA||96%|
|Arkansas Tech University||Russellville||AR||95%|
|Austin Peay State University||Clarksville||TN||95%|
|Gwynedd Mercy University||Gwynedd Valley||PA||95%|
|Lindsey Wilson College||Columbia||KY||95%|
|Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania||Lock Haven||PA||95%|
|Mount Aloysius College||Cresson||PA||95%|
|Trinity Washington University||Washington, DC||DC||95%|
|University of Toledo||Toledo||OH||95%|
|University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee||Milwaukee||WI||95%|
As you can see, these are definitely some of the easiest schools to get into. Applying to any of these schools will give you a great shot at getting in.
For schools that have less than a 100% admission rate, you should still create a target SAT score or target ACT score so you can figure out what minimum SAT/ACT score you'll need to get in.
Colleges With Guaranteed Admission
Some colleges have policies that grant you automatic admission once you've fulfilled their academic criteria. The school will usually require a minimum GPA and/or a minimum SAT/ACT score. If you exceed these guidelines, you're in!
But what's the difference from the 100% admission colleges above?
Guaranteed admission schools are typically more selective for the population as a whole. For example, the University of Texas at Austin has a 32% acceptance rate overall, but if you're a Texas resident and are in the top 6% of your class, you'll be automatically admitted.
These schools are therefore more competitive (and usually have better reputations) than the 100% admission schools listed above. So if you qualify, these are solid bets for safety schools.
Each school has different criteria, but we've done the hard work of gathering all the schools in one list for you. Just click on the school to see its admission policies.
- Arizona State University
- California State University
- Central Washington University
- Florida Public Universities
- Kansas State University
- Middle Tennessee State University
- Mississippi State University
- Missouri State University
- Montana State University
- North Dakota State University
- Oklahoma State University
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
- Southern Illinois University
- Texas A&M University
- Truman State University
- Tulane University
- University of Arizona
- University of Colorado
- University of Houston
- University of Iowa
- University of Kansas
- University of Mississippi
- University of Nevada
- University of Southern Mississippi
- University of St. Francis
- University of Texas
- University of Wyoming
- Washington State University
If you pick one, this might be the easiest college to get into for you.
Colleges With the Lowest SAT/ACT Scores
Aside from the schools listed above, some schools have very low SAT/ACT score averages. If you score above the average, you're very likely to be admitted. As a result, the following list represents some of the colleges that are easy to get into.
While some of these schools have already appeared above, here we'll be showing the middle 50% (average range) of SAT/ACT scores, wherein the lower score refers to the 25th percentile and the higher score refers to the 75th percentile.
Another important factor in college apps is how long it will take you to graduate. Learn what the average bachelor's degree length is and how to graduate on time (or early!) with this article.
Even if you're applying to the easiest colleges to get into, you'll still likely need to take the SAT/ACT. Find out your SAT target score/ACT target score based on where you're applying.
Not sure how to organize your test-taking schedule? Learn what the best SAT/ACT test dates are and get tips on coming up with an ideal schedule for you.
Aiming for a perfect SAT/ACT score? Get the rundown of what it takes in our guides on how to get a full 1600 on the SAT and how to get a full 36 on the ACT.
Even if you feel your chances at college are low right now, we still heavily encourage you to try to improve your SAT or ACT score. Increasing your SAT score by 120 points or your ACT score by 3 points will completely change the quality of school you can get into. This can have a huge impact on your salary after graduation.
At PrepScholar, we've built the leading online SAT/ACT prep program. It's special because it customizes your prep program to you—you'll improve the most by spending the least time studying. Best of all, we offer a score-improvement guarantee: if you don't improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points, we give all your money back.
Sign up for our 5-day free trial today:
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As co-founder and head of product design at PrepScholar, Allen has guided thousands of students to success in SAT/ACT prep and college admissions. He's committed to providing the highest quality resources to help you succeed. Allen graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and earned two perfect scores on the SAT (1600 in 2004, and 2400 in 2014) and a perfect score on the ACT. You can also find Allen on his personal website, Shortform, or the Shortform blog.