We’ve seen way, way too many students build dangerously top-heavy college lists—like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, MIT, and … hm, guess I’ll add UC Irvine (28ish% acceptance rate) as a safety? (Note: 28% is not a “safety school.”) These students are likely falling prey to optimism bias. And if this sounds like you, then we’d highly recommend building a more balanced list, and adding one or two actual “safety schools” to give yourself some peace of mind.
To help you out, we've compiled this blog post on the easiest colleges to get into in the US. Here, you'll find information on:
Colleges with guaranteed admission policies
Colleges with 100% acceptance rates
Colleges with close to 100% acceptance rates
Colleges in the top 100 rankings with acceptance rates of 50% or above
One thing to note—we don’t usually recommend using college acceptance rates and rankings to decide where you should apply to college, as those metrics don’t actually tell you if the college will be a good fit for you (more on that here).
Still, if you're looking for a school with a guaranteed admission policy or a good safety school so you can also apply to some of the hardest colleges to get into with less anxiety, you'll find what you need in this blog post.
Let's get started!
TABLE OF CONTENTS(click to skip ahead)
- What exactly is an “easy college to get into?”
- Community colleges
- Colleges with guaranteed admission policies
- Colleges with 100% acceptance rates
- Colleges with close to 100% acceptance rates
- Good colleges with high acceptance rates
What exactly is an “easy college to get into?”
Typically, an "easy college to get into" is any college or university with a high acceptance rate or guaranteed admission for students who meet a set of minimum requirements.
Of course, the word "easy" is subjective, so an "easy college to get into" could also mean any college that has an average acceptance rate and for which you have above-average test scores and grades.
It’s also important to note that the easiest colleges to get into may not be the best fit for everyone. These colleges don’t always offer the same level of academic rigor as more selective colleges and universities.
Still, you can always start your college career at one college for one or two years and then transfer to a more selective school. For example, many students start at a community college and then transfer to a four-year college.
For a variety of reasons, a community college can be a great place to start your college education!
Community colleges typically have open admission policies—as in, they accept almost everyone. And even better, they generally offer significantly lower tuition rates than four-year universities.
Some other pros to attending a community college include:
Smaller class sizes, which can be a great way to ease into college while getting more personalized focus from professors(Video) Easiest Online Bachelor's Degrees in 2023! Graduate in less than 1 year?!
Flexible schedules with lots of night and weekend classes for convenience
Access to career counseling and job opportunities
If you decide that a four-year college or university is more your speed, don't worry! After one or two years at a community college, it’s usually not too difficult to transfer to a four-year college or university if you’ve maintained a good academic record. If you’re curious to see how that works, here’s a guide on how to transfer colleges. (Note: some community colleges have partnership agreements with four-year universities, guaranteeing the ability to transfer.)
There are also still plenty of colleges with high acceptance rates and even a handful of colleges with guaranteed admission policies.
Colleges with guaranteed admission policies
Guaranteed admission (also known as assured admission, full admission, or automatic admission) doesn't mean you can just apply to a college and automatically get accepted. You must still meet the college's minimum requirements, such as a certain grade point average, class ranking, or standardized test scores.
Here are some examples of colleges with guaranteed admissions policies:
Arizona State University: ASU offers guaranteed admission to Arizona residents who graduate in the top 25% of their high school class, or have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (unweighted) in core courses, or an SAT of 1120 (1180 nonresidents), or an ACT score of 22 (24 nonresidents).
University of Wyoming: UW offers assured admission to any applicant who has at least a 3.0 cumulative, unweighted GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and has completed the recommended high school curriculum requirements
Central Washington University: CWU offers guaranteed admission to high school seniors who earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and complete the recommended high school curriculum requirements
Here are a few more colleges with guaranteed admissions policies. Click the link to read the official requirements to see if you qualify:
As you can see from the examples, a "guaranteed admission" policy doesn't exactly guarantee you'll be accepted—it just makes it easier. So, don't forget to double-check the college's specific criteria and keep your grades up!
And if you really want a guarantee, then your best bet would be to apply to one of the colleges with 100% acceptance rates below.
Colleges with 100% acceptance rates
According to the U.S. News & World Report’s list of colleges with the highest acceptance rates, the following colleges have a 100% acceptance rate. This makes these colleges your safest bet if you truly want a guarantee of admission regardless of your grades, class rank, and standardized test scores.
Academy of Art University
Adams State University
Baptist College of Florida
Delta State University
Design Institute of San Diego(Video) THE EASIEST UNIVERSITIES TO GET ADMISSION IN CANADA FOR 2023 | Scholarships + High Acceptance Rates
Dharma Realm Buddhist University
Divine Word College
Florida SouthWestern State College
Grace Christian University
Lewis-Clark State College
Maharishi International University
Montana State University--Billings
New England College
Pensacola State College
Sacred Heart Major Seminary
South Florida State College
St. Petersburg College
Sul Ross State University
Unity CollegeUnity, ME
Universidad Adventista de las Antillas
University of Guam
University of Maine--Fort Kent
University of Maine--Presque Isle
University of Pikeville
The University of Texas at El Paso
Utah Valley University
Wayne State College
Weber State University
Western Nevada College
Colleges with close to 100% acceptance rates
The same list from the U.S. News & World Report also shows that the following colleges and universities have acceptance rates that are at least 97%.
Baker University - 99%
Barton College - 99%
Belmont Abbey College - 99%
Benedictine College - 99%
Blue Mountain College - 99%
Central Christian College of Kansas - 99%
Central Methodist University -- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - 99%
Clarion University of Pennsylvania - 99%
Colorado State University-Pueblo - 99%
Columbia College (SC) - 99%
Dickinson State University - 99%(Video) Top 10 Easiest Schedules for the 2023 College Football Season
Emmaus Bible College - 99%
The Evergreen State College - 99%
Fairmont State University - 99%
Florida National University - 99%
Middle Georgia State University - 99%
Mississippi University for Women - 99%
Northeastern State University - 99%
Prescott College - 99%
Southern Virginia University - 99%
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor - 99%
University of Saint Francis - 99%
Wilmington University - 99%
Alabama State University - 98%
Asbury University - 98%
Bethel University (IN) - 98%
Chestnut Hill College - 98%
Davenport University - 98%
Eastern Kentucky University - 98%
Eastern Oregon University - 98%
Goldey-Beacom College - 98%
Holy Apostles College and Seminary - 98%
Jamestown Business College - 98%
La Roche University - 98%
Marshall University - 98%
Missouri Southern State University - 98%
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico--Arecibo - 98%
Portland State University - 98%
Rochester University - 98%
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota - 98%
Southeastern Louisiana University - 98%
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - 98%
University of St. Thomas (TX) - 98%
University of the Virgin Islands - 98%
University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee - 98%
Washburn University - 98%
Western Kentucky University - 98%
Wisconsin Lutheran College - 98%
Brigham Young University--Idaho - 97%
California State University, Fresno - 97%
California University of Pennsylvania - 97%
College of Coastal Georgia - 97%
Criswell College - 97%
Grand View University - 97%
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania - 97%(Video) The EASIEST College Degrees!
National Louis University - 97%
New Mexico Tech - 97%
Nicholls State University - 97%
Oklahoma Christian University - 97%
Post University - 97%
Southwest Baptist University - 97%
University of Maine at Farmington - 97%
University of Maine--Machias - 97%
University of Toledo - 97%
Good colleges with high acceptance rates
Every year, the U.S. News and World Report also rank the top national colleges and universities. At the top of these rankings, you'll find popular colleges like Harvard with acceptance rates below 4%.
But as you go further down the list, quite a few schools are ranked in the top 100 with acceptance rates of at least 50%. Even though these colleges are nowhere near as easy to get into as the ones listed above, those odds are still pretty good!
So, suppose you've got the academic profile to aim for highly selective colleges. In that case, you may be able to consider one or more of the following colleges as "easy to get into" or at least good options for safety schools.
|College||Fall 2021 Acceptance Rate||2022-23 National Ranking|
|George Washington University||50%||62 (tie)|
|Univeristy of Maryland, College Park||52%||55 (tie)|
|Pepperdine University||53%||55 (tie)|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||53%||51 (tie)|
|Southern Methodist University||53%||72 (tie)|
|Stevens Institute of Technology||53%||83 (tie)|
|University of San Diego||53%||97 (tie)|
|University of Washington Seattle||53%||55 (tie)|
|Santa Clara University||54%||55 (tie)|
|Texas Christian University||54%||89 (tie)|
|University of Connecticut||56%||67 (tie)|
|Virginia Tech||56%||62 (tie)|
|Baylor University||57%||77 (tie)|
|Colorado School of Mines||57%||89 (tie)|
|The Ohio State University||57%||49 (tie)|
|Fordham University||58%||72 (tie)|
|The Pennsylvania State University||58%||77 (tie)|
|Brigham Young University - Provo||59%||89 (tie)|
|Syracuse University||59%||62 (tie)|
|UC Santa Cruz||59%||83 (tie)|
|University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign||60%||41 (tie)|
|University of Wisconsin - Madison||60%||38 (tie)|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||60%||67 (tie)|
|Yeshiva University||62%||67 (tie)|
|American University||64%||72 (tie)|
|Texas A&M University||64%||67 (tie)|
|UC Riverside||66%||89 (tie)|
|University of Masschusetts - Amherst||66%||67 (tie)|
|University of Pittsburgh||67%||62 (tie)|
|Rutgers University - New Brunswick||68%||55 (tie)|
|New Jersey Institute of Technology||69%||97 (tie)|
|Purdue University - West Lafayette||69%||51 (tie)|
|University at Buffalo - SUNY||70%||89 (tie)|
|University of Delaware||70%||89 (tie)|
|Auburn University||71%||97 (tie)|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||73%||62 (tie)|
|Gonzaga University||76%||83 (tie)|
|Elon University||78%||89 (tie)|
|University of Illinois - Chicago||79%||97 (tie)|
|University of Colorado Boulder||80%||97 (tie)|
|Michigan State University||83%||77 (tie)|
|Indiana University - Bloomington||85%||72 (tie)|
|Marquette University||86%||83 (tie)|
|University of Iowa||86%||83 (tie)|
|UC Merced||87%||97 (tie)|
While college admissions can be nerve-wracking, colleges and universities like the ones we've shared in this blog post can provide a safety net to ensure that anyone who wants to go to college can.
And if you need support with any part of the application process, check out our college application hub with in-depth resources on everything from building a college list to applying for financial aid.
Special thanks to Ameer for writing this blog post.
Ameer is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about college admissions and career development. Prior to freelancing, Ameer worked for three years as a college admissions consultant at a Hong Kong-based education center, helping local high school students prepare and apply for top colleges and universities in the US. He has a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Spanish Linguistics from UCLA. When he’s not working, Ameer loves traveling, weight lifting, writing, reading, and learning foreign languages. He currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand.
Top values: Growth / Diversity / Empathy