Getting into college is a big deal. Each year, the acceptance rates for competitive colleges decreases and this means it’s more difficult than ever to get in. Some schools have rates that fluctuate, as evidenced by the Class of 2020 admission rates. But the admissions requirements and what it takes for you to impress the admissions committees is becoming increasingly difficult as well. Let’s take a closer look at the Class of 2020 admission rates and some of the competitive schools in the country.

What are the Class of 2020 Admission Rates?

The Class of 2020 admission rates differed slightly from the national trend. As I mentioned before, accepting less students is the new cool thing to do. You can see this in the extra competitive schools like MIT and Princeton. I’ve put the Class of 2019’s admission rates next to the Class of 2020 admission rates so you can easily compare them.

Stanford made headlines, because its admission rate for the Class of 2020 dropped below 5%, even lower than the previous year’s applicants and lower than any of the Ivy League’s acceptance rates. It’s also the most exclusive school on this list and this has prompted more than its fair share of satirical responses. Stanford has been more exclusive than Harvard in terms of accepting students.

Here are the Class of 2020 admission rates for 24 universities across the country.

School Name Class of 2020 Admission Rate Class of 2019 Admission Rate
Brown University 9% 8.49%
Columbia University 6.04% 6.15%
Cornell University 14% 14.88%
Dartmouth College 10.5% 10.34%
Duke University 10.4% 10%
Georgetown University 16.4% 16.44%
Harvard University 5.2% 5.33%
Johns Hopkins University 11.58% 12.4%
Middlebury College 16.04% 17%
MIT 7.81% 8%
New York University 29.83% 30.67%
Northwestern University 10.69% 13.03%
Pomona College 9.1% 9.76%
Princeton University 6.46% 6.99%
Stanford University 4.69% 5.05%
Swarthmore College 12% 12%
Tufts University 14% 16%
University of Chicago 7.9% 7.83%
University of Pennsylvania 9.4% 10.1%
University of Southern California 16.49% 17.47%
University of Virginia 28.86% 28.48%
Vanderbilt University 10% 11%
Williams College 17.27% 16.8%
Yale University 6.27% 6.49%

One thing to keep in mind when you’re looking over these numbers is that some colleges receive more applications than others. In fact, some schools are receiving applications in record numbers, which is why their acceptance rates are so low. NYU received close to 64,000 applications, the latest in record-high student submissions. Harvard had almost 40,000 students trying to get accepted, almost 2,000 more than the Class of 2019. Essentially, the Class of 2020 admission rates are the result of more students applying and colleges not growing fast enough.

How to Improve Your Odds of Getting into College

I can’t promise you that following my advice will get you into a school as exclusive as Stanford or Harvard. Colleges with that level of exclusivity are evaluating you based on your application and on how well your brilliance will work with the rest of the entering class. That said, I can advise you as I do my own students, and this should help increase your chances of getting in wherever you choose to apply.

Get a College Consultant

There are so many questions that come up during the application process and I cannot stress enough how a college consultant can help you during this process. It’s their job to know the college application process inside and out, and they’re able to help you customize your applications to stand out during the admissions process.

Hit the Books

While some schools have a prerequisite program to prepare you for college, others simply ask for a “rigorous curriculum.” What this means is you’ll need around four years of your major academic areas like English, science, math, and social studies, and about three years pursuing the same foreign language. You should take as many AP and IB classes in those subjects as you can and work with a tutor to keep your grades as high as possible.

Rock the ACT or SAT

Standardized tests are used by colleges to determine how prepared you are for their academic demands. Use your scores from the Pre-ACT and PSAT to determine which test you’re going to focus on. It’s a better use of your time to only focus on one test instead of both. Practice, practice some more, and keep on practicing until your scores are at or above the averages for the schools you’re applying to. Focus on taking practice tests and work with a coach with a high score to help prepare you for the official standardized tests. Don’t be afraid to retake your tests. You can typically submit between four to six tests without jeopardizing your chances of admission.

Show Off Your Passions

Did you know that not taking a break from work can give you more anxiety and depression? College admission boards look at your extra-curriculars as a way to get to know you, see what makes you tick, and if you’re making a difference in the world. Make sure you schedule in time for after-school clubs, a part-time job, or volunteering in the community. You can give your brain a break and make yourself more appealing to the colleges you’re applying to.

The Class of 2020 admission rates are a great way for you to gauge how likely your acceptance is from those schools. Remember to do your research on the individual universities you want to send your application to. Each school is different and not all schools have admission rates as low as the ones in this article. You can improve your chances of being accepted by getting good grades, working with a college consultant, doing well on standardized tests, and leveraging your passions to make you more appealing to colleges.

What do you think of the Class of 2020 admission rates? Are you confident with your college application or feeling uncertain? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. We can’t wait to hear from you!