Most Selective Universities

AP US Government and Politics

What is the most selective college in your state?

National Center for Educational Statistics


  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What was most surprising about this information?

  3. What was the least surprising about this information?

  4. How many of these most selective schools had you never heard of before?

  5. How many of these schools have you applied to?

  6. What about these most selective schools makes so many people want to apply to them?

  7. Are the most selective schools always the best?

  8. In what way does any of this information affect you?

  9. The most selective college in America is not Harvard, Stanford, or even the Naval Academy. The most selective school in America is the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. How's that feel????

  10. What do you think is the least selective school in America?

  11. Most of these most selective schools are private. Most of them cost tens of thousands of dollars a year to attend. In many other wealthy countries, public education is free or almost free. The US is home to some of the world's best schools, but most of them are extremely hard to afford. What is your opinion of this US university system?

  12. In some wealthy countries college is basically free. Do you think the U.S. government should work to make college more affordable?

  13. In general, do you think that college is a good investment? 

  14. What do you think is the most important factor when considering what college to attend?

  15. Talk to an adult you really admire and ask them about their university experience.


Learning Extension

Browse the US News list of the most selective colleges in the US for 2016, then read this NY Times story on getting in to your dream school.


Action Extension

  1. The more applications a college gets, the more selective it become. Let's all apply to Kalamazoo College and see what happens to their selectivity ranking.

  2. Talk about this map with your parents and friends and see if there's a great college or university for you out there.

  3. Apply to Duke University. Tell them they are your backup school. See how they react.