The easiest colleges to get into generally are the schools with above average acceptance rates, relaxed admissions criteria or even guaranteed admissions policies. However, applying to just the easiest colleges to get into on the list might not be in your best interest. With college admissions becoming more competitive than ever, applicants are seeking the easiest path to acceptance or looking for college application help to boost their chances of getting in. In this blog, we’ll look at the “easiest” colleges to get into, how you can choose the best colleges for you, and how to improve your chances of acceptance, no matter where you apply.
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Easiest Colleges to Get Into in the US
The easiest colleges to get into in the US are generally thought of as the colleges with the highest acceptance rates or the lowest admission standards. There are plenty of options for colleges which accept low GPAs or have guaranteed admissions, but college admissions statistics don’t tell you the whole story, and they can be misleading.
The average acceptance rate for all colleges in the US is around 68%. In other words, around 2 out of 3 students get accepted during the admissions cycle. Since some colleges have acceptance rates in the high 90s and above, and selective schools might have acceptance rates in the below 10% range, this means your chances of acceptance really depend on where you apply and other admissions requirements such as college essays, extracurriculars for college and college recommendation letters.
If your goal is to only apply to colleges where you are guaranteed admission, applying to colleges with high acceptance rates or guaranteed admissions policies is a good strategy. In general, an acceptance rate above 50% is considered high. Here is a list of colleges with very high acceptance rates:
Easiest Colleges to Get Into in the US Based on Acceptance Rate
- Arkansas Baptist College (AR) - Acceptance rate: 100%
- Kentucky State University (KY) - Acceptance rate: 100%
- Haskell Indian Nations University (KS) - Acceptance rate: 100%
- University of the District of Columbia (DC) - Acceptance rate: 96%
- University of Maryland Eastern Shore (MD) - Acceptance rate: 96%
- Chicago State University (IL) - Acceptance rate: 93%
- Mississippi Valley State University (MS) - Acceptance rate: 93%
- Rust College (MS) - Acceptance rate: 92%
- University of Texas of the Permian Basin (TX) - Acceptance rate: 91%
- Shaw University (NC) - Acceptance rate: 90%
- University of Pikeville (KY) - Acceptance rate: 89%
- Bluefield State College (WV) - Acceptance rate: 88%
- Columbia College Hollywood (CA) - Acceptance rate: 88%
- University of Maine at Presque Isle (ME) - Acceptance rate: 87%
- Delaware State University (DE) - Acceptance rate: 86%
- Jarvis Christian College (TX) - Acceptance rate: 86%
- Lincoln University (PA) - Acceptance rate: 86%
- Martin University (IN) - Acceptance rate: 86%
- Southern Arkansas University (AR) - Acceptance rate: 86%
- University of Texas at Tyler (TX) - Acceptance rate: 86%
If you want to know how to get into college with a low GPA or a low SAT and ACT score, you can take a look at these colleges with low average accepted GPAs and on average accepted lower SAT and ACT scores. You can also find colleges that do not require the SAT and ACT for admissions.
Easiest Colleges to Get Into Based on Average GPA
- Southern University at New Orleans (LA) - Average GPA: 2.8
- Kentucky State University (KY) - Average GPA: 2.9
- Alabama State University (AL) - Average GPA: 2.95
- Shaw University (NC) - Average GPA: 2.98
- Harris-Stowe State University (MO) - Average GPA: 3.0
- Jarvis Christian College (TX) - Average GPA: 3.0
- Texas Southern University (TX) - Average GPA: 3.0
- Tennessee State University (TN) - Average GPA: 3.0
- Voorhees College (SC) - Average GPA: 3.0
- Bluefield State College (WV) - Average GPA: 3.1
Here are our top strategies for getting into college with a low GPA:
Easiest Colleges to Get Into Based on SAT and ACT Scores
- Southwest Minnesota State University (MN) - SAT: 870-1080, ACT: 17-21
- Mississippi Valley State University (MS) - SAT: 710-920, ACT: 14-18
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (AR) - SAT: 710-920, ACT: 14-18
- University of Texas at El Paso (TX) - SAT: 910-1130, ACT: 17-23
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX) - SAT: 910-1100, ACT: 17-21
- Chicago State University (IL) - SAT: 720-920, ACT: 14-18
- Harris-Stowe State University (MO) - SAT: 790-940, ACT: 15-18
- Arkansas Baptist College (AR) - SAT: 700-930, ACT: 13-18
- Coppin State University (MD) - SAT: 840-970, ACT: 15-18
- Texas Southern University (TX) - SAT: 770-950, ACT: 14-19
Guaranteed Admissions Policies
There are some colleges in the US which have guaranteed admissions policies, provided you meet certain admissions criteria. This might be a minimum GPA or have a minimum SAT or ACT score. Often, these guaranteed admissions policies extend only to residents of the state where the school is located, or admits must meet other requirements of admission. If you do meet all these requirements however, you will be accepted.
Here’s a few colleges with guaranteed admissions policies:
- Texas A&M University - The "Academic Admit" program guarantees admission to Texas students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class and meet certain test score requirements.
- University of Arizona - The "Arizona Assurance" program guarantees admission to Arizona residents who graduate from an Arizona high school with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and meet certain test score requirements.
- Indiana University Bloomington - The "Direct Admit" program guarantees admission to Indiana residents who graduate from an Indiana high school with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and meet certain test score requirements.
- University of Alabama - The "Crimson Standard" program guarantees admission to students who meet certain GPA and test score requirements.
- University of Hawaii at Manoa - The "Rainbow Scholars" program guarantees admission to Hawaii residents who graduate from a Hawaii high school with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and meet certain test score requirements.
Theses options could be a good fit for college applicants who have a low GPA, low test scores or who want to take an easier route into college. However, applying blindly or exclusively to colleges on this list may not be in your best interests. The admissions data we’ve listed do not cover the full extent of college admissions requirements, and they don’t reveal how “good” or “bad” a school is.
Admissions data cannot tell you what school will provide you the best value of education for your money, or the best college experience.
Why You Shouldn’t Exclusively Apply to the Easiest Colleges to Get Into
Applying blindly to only the colleges with the highest acceptance rates or low GPA requirements has some downsides. A high acceptance rate does not always guarantee admission. It also doesn’t mean that a college is the right fit for you personally, that it will help you achieve your career goals or meet your educational needs.
Chances are, your odds of acceptance are better than you think, even at schools with lower acceptance rates or stricter admissions criteria. It’s best to do your research and consider the big picture. In other words, evaluate a school’s value, research matriculant data and compare it to your own applicant data. Also consider what you your future goals are and what you want out of your college experience. Choose a school based on how well it fits you, not its ranking or level of prestige.
There are also some other admissions factors to consider when choosing the right college for you:
How to Improve Your Chances of College Acceptance
Your GPA and standardized test scores are not everything, and they alone cannot earn you acceptance to the college of your choice. These make up only a small part of your overall application, and even the highest GPA cannot make up for a badly prepared or incomplete application otherwise.
There are a number of ways you can improve your chances of getting into college and strengthening your candidacy. Here is our guide to acing your college application:
1. Research the schools
Researching potential colleges not only helps you determine where you might be a good fit and where you might like to go to college. Researching different schools also gives you some insight into what admissions committees at those colleges are looking for in their applicants and what qualitative elements you should highlight in your application.
For instance, if a college values community service, service to underprivileged communities or volunteerism, you’ll know to highlight your work with soup kitchens, food banks or shelters. Knowing exactly what individual colleges value and are searching for in their students pays off, since it can help you answer tough interview questions like “what would you contribute to this college community?” or write a solid answer for the “why this college” essay secondary essay prompt.
In short, doing your research ahead of time can help you build a better, stronger application by tailoring it to the specific college you’re targeting. And it gives you a deeper understanding of the institution you’re hoping to attend in the future.
2. Learn the application system
As you may know, most colleges use the Common App system for all their college applications. This means it’s in your best interest to get familiar with the Common App’s various sections, such as the Common App activities section, the Common App additional information section and the Common App essay. Be sure to check which schools use the Common App system and which schools you might apply to do not use it, so you can keep your application packages organized.
Also note that colleges will send out secondary applications or supplemental college essays, and the process to submit these is different! Take some time to learn how the college application process works so there are fewer surprises down the road.
Knowing how the process to apply to college works, and what you need to do, will help avoid errors or common mistakes that could get your application thrown out or reduce your chances of getting in.
3. Ace the personal statement
Your personal statement, or college essay, is your time to shine. This is arguably the most important qualitative aspect of your entire application, and it can help you stand out and make a strong impression on the admissions committee. Your written application sections can be the tiebreaker between other competitive applicants.
Start with learning how to write a college essay and checking out some college essay tips. The college essay for individual schools might be different if they don’t use the Common App or are part of a unique university system. For instance, UC personal statements and UC activities and awards application sections look a bit different from the Common App. Check what the college essay topics are for the schools you’re applying to and reflect on any essay prompts listed. Be sure to also review the format, word count and instructions for any essays you need to write.
Once you’re ready to start brainstorming and outlining your essay, keep in mind that it needs to capture attention and have a good narrative flow. Your college essay introduction can be a powerful tool for commanding your readers’ attention and helping you stand out on the page. Learn how to start a college essay and explore different introductions. Once you have a few drafts, revise and rework your essay until its ready for a final proofread.
Here are some college essay examples to help inspire your own!
4. Highlight your experiences
As we said above, you want to highlight the experiences, extracurriculars, work experience and activities you have which are valued by the college you’re applying to. If a college is heavily involved in research, share any notable research experience you have or your key research interests you want to explore at college. If you’re applying to an arts program, share a portfolio of your best work.
Some colleges ask you to share more about your background and experiences in supplemental essays or a college diversity essay. Use these opportunities to distinguish yourself from other candidates and make your application as unique, genuine and impressionable as possible.
If you’re short on experiences or volunteer work, learn how to find internships for high school students or check out summer programs for high school students that pertain to your interests.
5. Nail the college interview
The college interview is another excellent way to stand out from the crowd. It allows the admissions committee to put a name and face to your application, and you can share additional information about yourself not covered elsewhere in your application. Ivy League interview questions especially are interested in learning more about you. And almost every college will ask you the “tell me about yourself” college interview question.
You can get some college interview prep help from an advisor or ask someone to participate in a mock interview with you so you can practice for your interviews. Even if you don’t get a college interview invitation, interviewing is a critical skill to master, so it’s a wise idea to learn the basics and get comfortable answering interview questions.
Here’s our guide to acing your college interview!
6. Turn your weaknesses into strengths
Even if you experience a setback in your application, or you’re worried that you have some gaps that could lead to a college rejection letter, there are some additional ways you can bridge those gaps and tackle those setbacks. One of the most common setbacks for applicants is being waitlisted, which can feel like an outright rejection.
Colleges receive thousands of applicants, and you may find yourself on a college waitlist. If you’re not sure how to get off a college waitlist, or you’re wondering if being waitlisted is the same as being rejected, don’t worry. It’s still possible to get accepted off of the waitlist, and colleges accept waitlisted applicants all the time. If you are waitlisted at your top choice college, consider sending a college letter of intent to your number one choice to make a last-minute case for acceptance. If you’re eyeing a few colleges and want to give your application a boost, you can include a college interest statement in your application.
7. Ask for college application help
Lastly, one of the best things you can do to give yourself a leg up and get into the college you want is ask for college application help. This can be as simple as looking at a college essay review service to proofread your essays and give you some expert feedback on your writing. Or it might be hiring a college admissions consulting service to walk you through the entire college application experience and coach you on crafting a stellar application.
Applying to college is a huge step, and the college experience is an important part of your life. While there are many easier colleges to get into out there, they may not all be the right fit for you. So, it’s better to choose colleges based on your own criteria, rather than jumping straight to the easiest colleges to get into. For instance, if you’re worried about a low GPA, apply to colleges that accept a lower GPA score or have no minimum GPA requirement. If you’re concerned about affordability, look at public state-run colleges. In the end, it’s better to build your college application list based on your own educational requirements and values, not solely based on the admission requirements of all the colleges out there.
1. What is the easiest college to get into?
It’s hard to say definitively what college is easiest to get into. In general, colleges with high acceptance rates or lower standards of admission, such as colleges with guaranteed admission policies, are easiest to get into. Community colleges, online universities and public state colleges are typically the easiest to get into as these institutions prioritize accessibility and affordability for students.
2. Which college has the highest acceptance rate?
Some of the colleges with the highest acceptance rates are Arkansas Baptist College, Kentucky State University and Haskell Indian Nations University, all of which have acceptance rates of 100%.
3. What is the lowest GPA colleges will accept?
In general, most colleges have a 2.5, 3.0 or even higher GPA cutoff for admissions, however, some colleges may accept a lower GPA. Some colleges will accept a GPA of 2.0 or even lower, but as these colleges are not considered as selective, they may not offer robust academic programs or opportunities. Generally, admissions decisions are not made on your GPA alone.
4. What is the easiest college to get into in Canada?
Athabasca University is considered the easiest college to get into in Canada for its relaxed admissions criteria and open admissions policy for online coursework.
5. Are the easiest colleges to get into worth it?
While the “easiest” colleges to get into might not be considered very selective or “good” schools, they may be the right fit for some applicants or provide the college experience they are looking for. It’s better to choose which schools to apply to based on your preferences and applicant profile instead of a school’s ranking or apparent prestige.
6. What are the most affordable colleges that are easy to get into?
The location and type of university can determine how affordable tuition is, as well as the cost of living in the school’s location. Some schools that are generally easier to get into and are affordable for students are USC, CUNY, University of North Carolina, Eastern Illinois University and Weber State University.
7. How can I improve my chances of college acceptance?
To improve your chances of college acceptance, compare your applicant profile to matriculant data from colleges to see where you would be a competitive or above average applicant. Look for schools that value your experiences and interests, and highlight these in your application. It’s also worth noting that your GPA and standardized test scores are only a part of your overall application. You need to write killer college essays and ace your college interview to make a strong impression on the admissions committee.
8. How do I choose the right college for me?
Check out a college’s mission statement, core values and academic program for the degree you want to study. Do your own personal values align? Is the curriculum of interest to you? Does this school offer interesting opportunities for you to explore your desired career? Does the culture of the school appeal to you? Researching schools is the first step in the process of figuring out if a particular college is worth applying to or not.
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