College acceptance rates are the ratio of people who apply, versus the people who are accepted. These are common statistics and actually very easy to find. They are usually reported with the school’s enrollment statistics in their marketing material or on their website.
Each year, a number of companies print up college directories. These huge volumes profile every college and university in the United States. For each school, they list contact information, web addresses, current tuition rates, the admissions process, important deadlines and other pertinent information.
You can also find useful trivia here, including the current acceptance rate. They typically report things such as the average test scores of admitted students, how many freshman graduate in 4-6 years, the most popular majors, the availability of financial aid, and other interesting demographics like the gender ratio and the ethnic and age breakdowns of the student body. Some even list student life information like student activities and clubs, athletics, housing options, and fraternities and sororities. These books can be found at your local library, or your high school’s college and career center.
Online College Directories
While these books are still alive and well, colleges admissions departments do live in the digital age. Most of these guidebooks have a free online counterpart, and a number of independent directories exist all over web. Petersons.com, is a reputable college directory and gives a detailed profile for each school. Another good one is onlinecollegedatabase.org. Their profiles are not as detailed, but they list basic statistics of every school, and then link to the school’s site.
The School’s Website
If you only want to know about one specific school, try the school’s website. Guidebooks and databases get their information from the schools themselves. These schools keep detailed records of their own demographics and enrollment statistics. They typically report the most useful information on their undergraduate admission page. If you want more detailed information, you can call the school’s admissions department and ask for their marketing package.
Your High School’s College and Career Center
High school guidance counselors are there to be your mediator from high school to college. Use them copiously. They usually have college search databases and recommended websites to help you choose the right school. They also can provide access to other helpful resources, like scholarship applications. Get to know your guidance counselor. He or she can likely be a good reference both now and in the future.
Whether you are just beginning your college search, or waiting in fear and trepidation for an acceptance letter, knowing your chances helps. Further, with the economic downturn in recent years, college enrollment is declining across the country. Many colleges are struggling to keep up, and may admit students that in earlier years they would have denied. Once you send in all of the material, craft the killer essay, and ask your references for letters, take a deep breath and know that you have done the best you could. College acceptance is now within reach.