Pasadena, California. Home to the Rose Bowl, beautiful art museums, and the California Institute of Technology, better known as Caltech. This prestigious university counts 17 Nobel laureates amongst its alumni and focuses heavily on STEM. So if you’re curious about the Caltech acceptance rate and what you can do to get in, then keep reading for more information.

What is the Caltech Acceptance Rate

The Caltech acceptance rate is 8%. Considering they received under 7,000 applications for this year and only 235 student enrolled, that 8% does not include a lot of people. Caltech does not release a lot of information about their incoming class, but here’s what we do know about them:

  •    a member of the Class of 2020 built a hover board from wood, tarp, and leaf blower
  •    100% of accepted students are in the top 25% of their graduating class
  •    99% of accepted students are in the top 10% of their graduating class
  •    another member of the Class of 2020 chases runaway chickens
  •    the average ACT score is 35
  •    the average SAT score is 2290 on the 2400 scale
  •    the average SAT score is 1550 on the 1600 scale
  •    one Class of 2020 member juggles cigar boxes

So what does this information tell us about the Caltech acceptance rate?

Essentially, we know that while not many people apply, the ones that do bring a strong academic background with them. But good grades and STEM fixation isn’t all there is to these students. As you can see, they bring an array of colorful interests with them. Caltech is looking for intelligence, but also personality. STEM does not equate to boring. Now that we know the Caltech acceptance rate and the students who made it in, let’s focus on how you can improve your application and your chances of being accepted.

How to Increase Your Chances of Being Accepted by Caltech

I already mentioned that the Caltech acceptance rate is small. It’s more in line with Ivy League schools when it comes to single digit acceptance rates. You also need to remember that Caltech didn’t receive even 10,000 applications during a time when competitive schools are receiving record breaking numbers of applications. In other words, because of how few applications Caltech receives, you still have a pretty good chance of being noticed. Follow my tips below to increase your chances of catching the attention of the Caltech admissions committee.

Find a College Consultant

Because of how competitive the admissions process is, you’re going to need a college consultant. I cannot emphasize enough how important working with a college consultant will be when you’re applying to Caltech. A college consultant’s job is to help your application be noticed by some of the most exclusive college admissions committees in the country. They’ll help you navigate Caltech’s application process and make sure you’ve done everything correctly.

Study and Get Good Grades

Caltech is an exclusive school and even though their curriculum is STEM-focused, you’ll need to take four years of English, math, social studies, and the sciences, at least three years of the same foreign language, and all the AP and IB classes you can handle. Be sure you have good grades in all of your classes and that you don’t have any weaknesses in math or science. I encourage all of my students to work with a tutor as often as possible to make sure they really understand the course material and can get help whenever they have questions. You should do the same to make sure your academic record is as strong as possible.

Master Your Standardized Tests

Find coach who has a high score in the standardized test you’re taking and work with them as often as possible. Caltech’s average scores are very high and having a coach on your team will help you get your scores high enough to be noticed. Use your scores on the Pre-ACT and PSAT to determine which standardized test you’re going to focus on taking. With your coach and even on your own, practice as much as you can with practice tests and test prep books. If you know there’s an area you’re struggling in, find official questions from that subsection and incorporate them into your practice.

Flaunt Your Passions

Preparing yourself for Caltech’s application process will require lots of time, energy, and dedication. You will need to spend a lot of time studying, doing homework, and practicing for the ACT or SAT. If you do too much of this without taking a break, you run this risk of burning yourself out and becoming increasingly anxious and depressed. So rather than chaining yourself to your desk for your entire high school career, be sure to balance your academics with some fun extra-curriculars. Whether you start a knitting club that donates hats and gloves to the homeless, take on a part-time job to help your family pay bills, or volunteer to clean up the parks in your neighborhood; bring your friends along and flex your leadership muscles. Your brain will thank you for the break.

The Caltech acceptance rate puts it in league with some of the toughest schools in the country. With it’s STEM-focused campus and Nobel laureate legacy, attending this school in Pasadena, California is an amazing opportunity. Their admissions standards are tough, but with the help of a college consultant, doing really well in school and on your standardized tests, while including extra-curriculars; you’re well on your way to having your application noticed by Caltech.

Are you interested in being one of Caltech’s select few? Let us know your thoughts below.