Ivy League schools are the most selec­tive.

The Washington Post Sunday - - OUTLOOK -

There are eight schools in the Ivy League: Brown, Columbia, Cor­nell, Dart­mouth, Har­vard, the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, Prince­ton and Yale. All pri­vate schools in the North­east, they came to­gether in 1954 as a sports league, with the term “ivy” re­fer­ring to the ivy grow­ing on their cam­puses.

Th­ese days they’re known as some of the most selec­tive col­leges in the United States, with sev­eral ad­mis­sions coach­ing busi­nesses pitch­ing them­selves as ca­pa­ble of win­ning pay­ing cus­tomers th­ese cov­eted spots. The least choosy among the Ivies, Cor­nell, took 14 per­cent of ap­pli­cants for the Class of 2020; the most choosy, Har­vard, took just 5.4 per­cent.

But th­ese aren’t the most selec­tive schools around. Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity of­ten takes less than 5 per­cent, the small­est share of ap­pli­cants, and it isn’t in the Ivy League. MIT, Cal­tech and the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago, all with ac­cep­tance rates of about 8 per­cent for the Class of 2020, are more selec­tive than some of the Ivies, too. Plus, many schools may take a higher pro­por­tion of ap­pli­cants but are equally picky about their cre­den­tials: A lib­eral arts school like St. John’s would look du­bi­ously at a sa­vant en­gi­neer from a tech­ni­cal high school who hadn’t taken hu­man­i­ties classes in his fi­nal years.

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