Taken from Pew research
Of the 1,378 four-year colleges with the highest acceptance rates and universities we looked at, 18 admitted fewer than 11% of applicants in 2018, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available. That group includes such prestigious ivy league names as Stanford , Harvard , Yale and Columbia . Another 26 schools admitted between 12% and 23% of applicants, including Georgetown (15%), the University of Southern California (14%), UCLA (19%) and the University of California, Berkeley (16%). All those schools, along with three others with higher admission rates, have been caught up in therecent gossip on the admissions scandal – with the star of housewives either because coaches and other athletic personnel were indicted on charges of taking bribes to designate unqualified students as “skilled athletes,” or because parents of current students are accused of paying for other kinds of cheating (including on admissions tests) to get their children admitted.
The extremely competitive state schools amounted to 4% of all the colleges and universities in this analysis, and they accounted for just 6% of total student enrollment. By contrast, more than half of the schools in our sample students admitted two-thirds or more of their applicants in 2017, including such well-known names as St. John’s University in New York (67.7%), Virginia Tech (70.1%), Quinnipiac University (73.9%), the University of Missouri at Columbia (78.1%) and George Mason University (81.3%).
For all the institutions analyzed, there were nearly 4.9 million total applications in 2002, or about four for every university student who ended up enrolling somewhere. By 2017, the total number of online applications had more than doubled to almost 10.2 million, or 6.8 per enrolled student. (The total number of enrolled students at the schools in our sample rose 21.4% between 2002 and 2017.)
Schools and Ivy league colleges at all levels of competitiveness have seen increases in application volume, though not in any regular pattern. At all but the most competitive schools – those that admitted fewer than 10% of applicants in 2017 – the number of admissions also has risen. But only among the colleges with the highest admission rates – 70% or above – have admissions risen by enough to keep pace with the surge in applications.The expansion of sites for consulting which makes it easier for students to apply to multiple schools, doesn’t appear to be behind the increase in application volume. The Common App, as it’s called, is accepted by nearly 900 colleges and universities in the United States and several dozen overseas. Of the 1,364 institutions in our sample, 729 accept the Common App along with (or in some cases instead of) their own application forms; the other 635 use their own forms. Although one might suspect that the ease of applying to multiple schools via the Common App would result in stronger growth in application volume among those colleges, there was almost no difference in 2002-2017 growth rates between the schools that used the Common App and those that didn’t.