Scaling Ivy-Covered Walls: One Montco College Makes National List of Most Rigorous Admissions Policies

Several college students standing in a line
Image via Haverford College.

Two of the most difficult colleges to get into in the U.S. are local to the Phila. suburbs, and one is in Montgomery County. Natasha Dado, citing data compiled by Niche, enrolled her journalist skills to file the report for CBS News.

The Niche findings used several criteria to determine its 2023 college rankings, including acceptance rates and standardized tests.

Montgomery County’s Haverford College came in 40th as the most difficult nationally.

It has an acceptance rate of 18 percent. Niche has also ranked it 14th out of 969 for best small colleges in America. 

It placed just above the University of Notre Dame and below the University of Calif., Berkeley.

Even tougher for acceptance — according to Niche’s hard-to-qualify post-secondary educations — is Swarthmore College, ranked at No. 16.

Swarthmore, located in Delaware County, has just a nine percent acceptance rate. It is known for its biology, economics, and information science programs.

It was ranked just above Rice University in Houston and just below Bowdoin College in Maine for a rigorous time getting on campus.

The two local institutions are in good company, sharing the list with the ranked schools in order:

  1. Harvard University (five percent acceptance rate)
  2. Stanford University (five percent acceptance rate)
  3. Princeton University (six percent acceptance rate)
  4. California Institute of Technology (seven percent acceptance rate)
  5. Yale University (seven percent acceptance rate)

The University of Pennsylvania, with its nine percent acceptance rate, was listed as the 11th hardest college for entry.

See the complete list of the most difficult colleges to get into in the U.S. at CBS News.

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