Editors' Note:
This chart was created to provide a baseline measure for the analysis in "The Selectivity Illusion," which explores the slipperiness of selectivity as a statistical index—how a school's selectivity is highly uneven, depending on who is applying and when, and how it is influenced by variables that have little or nothing to do with the quality of education.

  A SELECTIVITY DATABASE
2002 RankName of School (Year Founded)2002 Admit Rate2002 Early- Decision Admit Rate2002 Male Admit Rate2002 Female Admit Rate2002 SAT 25th Percentile2002 SAT 75th Percentile2002 Top 10% H.S. Class2001 Rank
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1861)16% 12%28%1420156099%2
2Princeton University (1746)11%31%10%11%1380156095%3
3California Institute of Technology (1891)21% 19%31%1470158099%1
4Yale University (1701)13%26%13%13%1370156095%5
5Harvard University (1636)11% 11%10%1400157090%4
6Stanford University (1891)13%23%13%13%1350154088%6
7Columbia University (1754)12%31%13%10%1320151084%7
8University of Pennsylvania (1740)21%39%20%22%1330150091%9
9Brown University (1764)17%27%18%16%1290150087%8
10Swarthmore College (1864)24%43%28%21%1350153090%11
11Washington University in St. Louis (1853)24% 25%22%1310148090%13
12Amherst College (1821)18%36%18%18%1310154082%12
13University of California at Berkeley (1868)25%   1180144098%10
14Duke University (1838)25%32%25%24%1320151089%16
15Dartmouth College (1769)23%33%21%24%1330152086%14
16Pomona College (1887)23%33%27%20%1340151084%20
17University of California at Los Angeles (1919)24% 23%25%1140139097%18
18Rice University (1912)24%32%24%24%1320152083%15
19Williams College (1793)23%39%21%24%1320151082%19
20Georgetown University (1789)21% 22%21%1280145080%21
21Cornell University (1865)29%43%28%30%1280147083%22
22Claremont McKenna College (1946)28%31%29%27%1280146082%24
23Harvey Mudd College (1955)37%50%29%61%1390154083%17
24The College of William and Mary (1693)35%54%43%30%1250144090%33
25Middlebury College (1800)27%27%29%26%1350149074%25
26Northwestern University (1851)33%53%34%32%1300148082%26
27Emory University (1836)42%61%41%43%1300146090%27
28Washington and Lee University (1749)31%55%32%30%1280144080%37
29Haverford College (1833)32%55%33%32%1280146080%29
30University of California at San Diego (1959)41%   1170137097%28
31University of Notre Dame (1842)34% 34%34%1270145082%30
32Bowdoin College (1794)25%28%23%26%1280145072%23
33University of Southern California (1880)30% 31%30%1240142080%32
34Barnard College (1889)34%45% 34%1250141084%35
35Wesleyan University (1831)28%44%30%27%1290147073%31
36Tufts University (1852)27%43%28%26%1250143072%41
37Davidson College (1837)34%58%35%34%1250144079%43
38University of Virginia (1819)39%40%39%39%1220142084%38
39University of Chicago (1891)42%   1310150078%40
40New York University (1831)28%39%27%29%1250143070%39
41Johns Hopkins University (1876)35%60%  1280149072%34
42Carleton College (1866)35%55%36%34%1280146070%45
43Carnegie Mellon University (1900)38%49%33%47%1270147072%36
44United States Air Force Academy (1954)17% 18%14%1210138057%44
45Vassar College (1861)31%50%39%28%1270143065%50
46Bates College (1855)28%38%29%27%1260143062%55
47United States Coast Guard Academy (1876)8% 8%8%1190135048%n/a
48United States Naval Academy (1845)12% 12%10%1090131057%42
49Boston College (1863)34% 35%32%1220140069%49
50Colgate University (1819)34%49%31%36%1240140068%57

Note: These rankings rely solely on three equally-weighted variables. Admission rate: each school's admission rate was subtracted from 1 and then multiplied by 100/3. SAT scores: 25th and 75th percentile SAT scores of matriculating freshmen were added together, and 800 was then subtracted to account for the test's minimum score of 400 out of 1600 points. The result was divided by 2400 to yield a value between 0 and 1, which was then multiplied by 100/3. High school class rank: the percentage of matriculating freshmen who placed in the top 10 percent of their high school classes was multiplied by 100/3. The three resulting values were then added together, and the schools were ranked according to composite score. The pool included U.S. doctoral universities, liberal-arts colleges, and service academies.

Copyright ©2003 The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.