The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs…
The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School andThe Short List: Online Programsto find data that matter to you in your college or grad school search.
There are some colleges that are so popular that tens of thousands of prospective undergraduates seek acceptance each year.
More than 100,000 people applied for fall 2017 admission into the undergraduate program at the University of California–Los Angeles, which received more applications than any other ranked school in the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings. UCLA had about 13,800 more applicants than the school with the second-highest number of applicants: the University of California–San Diego.
Among the 10 schools that received the largest number of fall 2017 applications, the average number of applications was 75,870. That’s more than nine times higher than the overall average number of applications among the 1,269 ranked colleges that provided admissions statistics to U.S. News in an annual survey: 8,009.
At the other end of the spectrum, Marlboro College in Vermont had the lowest number of applicants: 120.
Eight of the 10 undergraduate institutions with the most applicants are public schools based in California. The remaining two are private schools based in the Northeast.
All but one of these 10 schools is a National University, which emphasizes research and offers a wide range of undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. California State University–Long Beach is the one exception; the school is classified as a Regional University, meaning that it offers a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs but few doctoral programs.
Below is a list of the 10 colleges that received the most applications for fall 2017 admission. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.
U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2018 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’ rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools or Best Online Programs. The application data above are correct as of Oct. 30, 2018.