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10 Colleges That Received the Most Applications

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 and The Short List: Online Programs to 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.

[Read: A Complete Guide to the College Application Process.]

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.

[Read: 8 High School Seniors Share College Acceptance Stories.]

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.

School Number of applications U.S. News rank and category
University of California–Los Angeles 102,242 19 (tie), National Universities
University of California–San Diego 88,428 41, National Universities
University of California–Irvine 85,102 33 (tie), National Universities
University of California–Berkeley 85,057 22 (tie), National Universities
University of California–Santa Barbara 80,319 30 (tie), National Universities
University of California–Davis 70,214 38 (tie), National Universities
New York University 64,007 30 (tie), National Universities
California State University–Long Beach 61,806 26 (tie), Regional Universities (West)
Boston University 60,825 42 (tie), National Universities
San Diego State University 60,697 127 (tie), National Universities

Don’t see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find application statistics, complete rankings and much more. Sign up for the U.S. News Extra Help: College Admissions free email newsletter to receive expert advice twice a month.

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.

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10 Colleges That Received the Most Applications originally appeared on usnews.com



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