Applying to colleges is stressful, and you often don't know whether you've gotten in until well after you've submitted your application. It's therefore useful to have safety schools as a backup. These are colleges that you're almost certain you'll get into if you 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 admissions rates, which schools give you guaranteed admissions if you meet absolute requirements, and which schools have the lowest average SAT/ACT scores.
What an "easy college to get into" usually depends on your specific circumstances and application. If you scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT or 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 zero admissions offers in your senior spring, so it's important to have a few schools that you're almost certain will accept you if you apply.
Thus, we've compiled three collections of schools that are easy to get into in their own way. First, we'll discuss schools in the US with the highest admission rates, which means nearly all the people who apply to them get admitted. Next, we'll find schools with guaranteed admissions - if you meet their requirements, they will guarantee you a spot, no matter what. Finally, we'll discuss schools with the lowest average SAT/ACT scores - if you're performing a bit below average, these schools are a good bet for you.
Colleges with the Highest Admissions Rates (Top 100)
The hardest schools to get into have admissions rates below 10% - Harvard, for example, has an admissions rate of 5.9%. Out of 1000 students who apply, only 59 get in.
In contrast, the easist colleges to get into have nearly 100% admissions rates - if you apply, you can almost certainly get in. Unlike community colleges (which also have 100% admissions rates), the below schools are usually affiliated with state university systems.
Here's a list of the 100 colleges with the highest admissions rates:
|Bismarck State College||Bismarck||ND||100%|
|City University of Seattle||Seattle||WA||100%|
|CUNY - College of Staten Island||Staten Island||NY||100%|
|CUNY - Medgar Evers College||Brooklyn||NY||100%|
|Daytona State College||Daytona Beach||FL||100%|
|Dixie State College of Utah||Saint George||UT||100%|
|Granite State College||Concord||NH||100%|
|Indian River State College||Fort Pierce||FL||100%|
|Jarvis Christian College||Hawkins||TX||100%|
|Metropolitan State University||St. Paul||MN||100%|
|Missouri Western State University||St. Joseph||MO||100%|
|New Mexico Highlands University||Las Vegas||NM||100%|
|Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City||Oklahoma City||OK||100%|
|University of Maryland - University College||Adelphi||MD||100%|
|University of Pikeville||Pikeville||KY||100%|
|University of the Potomac||Washington||DC||100%|
|Utah Valley University||Orem||UT||100%|
|Wayne State College||Wayne||NE||100%|
|Weber State University||Ogden||UT||100%|
|Western International University||Tempe||AZ||100%|
|Lewis-Clark State College||Lewiston||ID||99.80%|
|University of Texas - El Paso||El Paso||TX||99.80%|
|Brigham Young University - Idaho||Rexburg||ID||99.60%|
|Wilmington University||New Castle||DE||99.50%|
|Lyndon State College||Lyndonville||VT||99.30%|
|Montana State University - Billings||Billings||MT||99.30%|
|Virginia Intermont College||Bristol||VA||99%|
|Wayland Baptist University||Plainview||TX||98.60%|
|Utah State University||Logan||UT||98.50%|
|East Central University||Ada||OK||98.10%|
|Colorado Christian University||Lakewood||CO||97.60%|
|Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College||St. Mary-of-the-Woods||IN||97.50%|
|Missouri Southern State University||Joplin||MO||97.30%|
|Evergreen State College||Olympia||WA||97.10%|
|Ohio Christian University||Circleville||OH||97.10%|
|University of Sioux Falls||Sioux Falls||SD||97%|
|University of St. Francis||Fort Wayne||IN||96.80%|
|Indiana Wesleyan University||Marion||IN||96.70%|
|University of Akron||Akron||OH||96.50%|
|Wright State University||Dayton||OH||96.30%|
|Martin Luther College||New Ulm||MN||96.20%|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan||KS||95.90%|
|Wichita State University||Wichita||KS||95.80%|
|University of Montana||Missoula||MT||95.70%|
|University of Wyoming||Laramie||WY||95.50%|
|Colorado State University - Pueblo||Pueblo||CO||95.40%|
|University of Maine - Augusta||Augusta||ME||95.40%|
|University of Houston - Downtown||Houston||TX||95.10%|
|Bethel University||St. Paul||MN||94.90%|
|Lubbock Christian University||Lubbock||TX||94.90%|
|Berkeley College||Woodland Park||NJ||94.70%|
|Concordia University Texas||Austin||TX||94.60%|
|Berkeley College||New York||NY||94.20%|
|Trinity International University||Deerfield||IL||93.90%|
|Walla Walla University||College Place||WA||93.80%|
|Southern Wesleyan University||Central||SC||93.70%|
|Clarion University of Pennsylvania||Clarion||PA||93.50%|
|St. John's College||Santa Fe||NM||93.40%|
|Northern State University||Aberdeen||SD||93.30%|
|Tennessee Technological University||Cookeville||TN||93.20%|
|University of the Incarnate Word||San Antonio||TX||93.10%|
|Virginia Wesleyan College||Norfolk||VA||92.90%|
|Franklin Pierce University||Rindge||NH||92.70%|
|Mary Baldwin College||Staunton||VA||92.50%|
|Southern Oregon University||Ashland||OR||92.50%|
|Grand View University||Des Moines||IA||92.30%|
|Mansfield University of Pennsylvania||Mansfield||PA||92.30%|
|Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green||KY||92.30%|
|Western State Colorado University||Gunnison||CO||92.30%|
|Bard College at Simon's Rock||Great Barrington||MA||92.20%|
|Iona College||New Rochelle||NY||92.10%|
|University of Central Arkansas||Conway||AR||92.10%|
|South Carolina State University||Orangeburg||SC||92%|
|South Dakota State University||Brookings||SD||91.90%|
|Davenport University||Grand Rapids||MI||91.70%|
|Loyola University Chicago||Chicago||IL||91.40%|
|Northern Arizona University||Flagstaff||AZ||91.40%|
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% admissions rate, you should still create a target SAT score or target ACT score so you can figure out what minimum SAT/ACT score you need to get in.
Colleges with Guaranteed Admissions
Some colleges have policies that grant you automatically grant you admission once you fulfill 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!
What's the difference from the 100% colleges above? These schools are actually typically more selective for the overall population. For example, University of Texas at Austin has a 40.2% acceptance rate, but if you're a Texas resident and are in the top 10% of your class, you'll automatically be admitted.
These schools are therefore more competitive (and usually have a better reputation) than the schools in the list above, so if you qualify, these are good 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 their exact admissions policies.
California State University
Central Washington University
Mississippi State University
North Dakota State University
Oklahoma State University
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Southern Illinois University
Truman State University
University of Arkansas
University of Denver
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Las Vegas
University of Mississippi
University of Southern Mississippi
University of St Francis
University of Texas
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 already, some schools have very low SAT/ACT score averages. If you score above the average, you're very likely to be admitted. These represent some of the colleges that are easy to get into. Some of these schools have already appeared above, but here we show their 25th percentile and 75th percentile SAT scores (their ACT scores will be similar when you convert the SAT to the ACT).
|School||25th %ile||75th %ile|
|Northern State University||790||1120|
|North Park University||935||1168|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||940||1190|
|University of South Dakota||890||1200|
|University of Louisiana Monroe||940||1220|
|Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science||1066||1233|
|Saint Pauls College||800||1260|
|University of Michigan Dearborn||968||1260|
|Lincoln Christian University||1140||1291|
|Pine Manor College||990||1300|
|Edward Waters College||1050||1310|
|Kentucky State University||1016||1318|
|University of Missouri Kansas City||1000||1330|
|Virginia State University||1090||1335|
|School of the Art Institute of Chicago||900||1340|
|Fayetteville State University||1140||1350|
|University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff||1018||1353|
|Elizabeth City State University||1150||1360|
|Missouri Valley College||1190||1360|
|Texas Southern University||1100||1360|
|Grand View University||1140||1370|
|Savannah State University||1140||1370|
|North Carolina Central University||1160||1380|
What to Do Next
Even if you're applying to the nation's easiest colleges to get into, you'll still need to take the SAT or ACT.
Find out what the best SAT and ACT test dates are and how to organize your testing schedule.
Aiming high? Find out what it takes to get a perfect SAT score.
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 that 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:Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
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.