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
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%|
|Bismarck State College||Bismarck||ND||100%|
|Blue Mountain College||Blue Mountain||MS||100%|
|Boston Architectural College||Boston||MA||100%|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale||FL||100%|
|CSU — Bakersfield||Bakersfield||CA||100%|
|CUNY — College of Staten Island||Staten Island||NY||100%|
|CUNY — Medgar Evers College||Brooklyn||NY||100%|
|Dixie State University||Saint George||UT||100%|
|Donnelly College||Kansas City||KS||100%|
|Granite State College||Concord||NH||100%|
|Indian River State College||Fort Pierce||FL||100%|
|Lake-Sumter State College||Leesburg||FL||100%|
|Lake Washington Institute of Technology||Kirkland||WA||100%|
|Lewis-Clark State College||Lewiston||ID||100%|
|Metropolitan State University||St. Paul||MN||100%|
|Montana State University — Billings||Billings||MT||100%|
|Montana State University — Northern||Havre||MT||100%|
|New England College||Henniker||NH||100%|
|New Mexico Highlands University||Las Vegas||NM||100%|
|Penascola State College||Penascola||FL||100%|
|Rochester College||Rochester Hills||MI||100%|
|Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary||Wake Forest||NC||100%|
|South Florida State College||Avon Park||FL||100%|
|Thomas More College of Liberal Arts||Merrimack||NH||100%|
|Trident University International||Cypress||CA||100%|
|Union Institute and University||Cincinnati||OH||100%|
|University of Maryland University College||Adelphi||MD||100%|
|University of Pikeville||Pikeville||KY||100%|
|University of Texas — El Paso||El Paso||TX||100%|
|VanderCook College of Music||Chicago||IL||100%|
|Wayne State College||Wayne||NE||100%|
|Weber State University||Ogden||UT||100%|
|Wilmington University||New Castle||DE||100%|
|Adams State University||Alamosa||CO||99%|
|Belmont Abbey College||Belmont||NC||99%|
|Dickinson State University||Dickinson||ND||99%|
|Martin Methodist College||Pulaski||TN||99%|
|NewSchool of Architecture and Design||San Diego||CA||99%|
|University of Saint Francis||Fort Wayne||IN||99%|
|Valley City State University||Valley City||ND||99%|
|Alabama State University||Montgomery||AL||98%|
|Calvary University||Kansas City||MO||98%|
|Eastern Oregon University||La Grande||OR||98%|
|Lyndon State College||Lyndonville||VT||98%|
|Mississippi University for Women||Columbus||MS||98%|
|Saint Martin's University||Lacey||WA||98%|
|Santa Fe University of Art and Design||Santa Fe||NM||98%|
|University of Southern Mississippi||Hattiesburg||MS||98%|
|University of the Virgin Islands||St. Thomas||VI||98%|
|Wayland Baptist University||Plainview||TX||98%|
|West Virginia State University||Institute||WV||98%|
|Albany State University||Albany||GA||97%|
|Alliant International University||San Diego||CA||97%|
|Culinary Institute of America||Hyde Park||NY||97%|
|La Roche College||Pittsburgh||PA||97%|
|Palm Beach Atlantic University||West Palm Beach||FL||97%|
|University of Maine — Augusta||Augusta||ME||97%|
|University of Maine — Fort Kent||Fort Kent||ME||97%|
|University of Wyoming||Laramie||WY||97%|
|Watkins College of Art, Design & Film||Nashville||TN||97%|
|Wichita State University||Wichita||KS||97%|
|Wright State University||Dayton||OH||97%|
|Brigham Young University — Idaho||Rexburg||ID||96%|
|Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science||Los Angeles||CA||96%|
|Chestnut Hill College||Philadelphia||PA||96%|
|Eastern Washington University||Cheney||WA||96%|
|Evergreen State College||Olympia||WA||96%|
|Northwest Nazarene University||Nampa||ID||96%|
|Sterling College||Craftsbury Common||VT||96%|
|University of Kentucky||Lexington||KY||96%|
|University of the West||Rosemead||CA||96%|
|Arkansas Tech University||Russellville||AR||95%|
|College of Coastal Georgia||Brunswick||GA||95%|
|Colorado State University — Pueblo||Pueblo||CO||95%|
|Fresno Pacific University||Fresno||CA||95%|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan||KS||95%|
|Missouri Southern State University||Joplin||MO||95%|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester||NH||95%|
|Truett McConnell University||Cleveland||GA||95%|
|University of Maine — Presque Isle||Presque Isle||ME||95%|
|Warner Pacific College||Portland||OR||95%|
|Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green||KY||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.
The majority of college applicants are high school seniors, and most of the college application advice out there is aimed at them. But what do you do if you don't fall into this narrow category? Our eBook on how to prepare for and apply to college as a nontraditional student will walk you through everything you need to know, from the coursework you should have under your belt to how to get letters of recommendation when you're not a high school senior.
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 has a 36% 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.
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.
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.
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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.