Every year, millions of young people come to the USA in search of a better life. Many of them try to achieve it through enrolling at a state university, where the tuition fees are far more affordable. Yet, many of them are on pins and needles waiting for the admission call. For them, we have listed some of America’s most welcoming universities in the USA with the highest acceptance rates.
Most of the schools reviewed below are from the second echelon of American higher education, and yet the quality of training that you can expect to receive there is quite reasonable. All of them are four-year universities, not community colleges, offering both graduate and undergraduate programs.
USA Universities with Highest Acceptance Rates
1. University of Southern Mississippi
Our top choice of American university with the highest acceptance rate does not lack in traditions – the University of Southern Mississippi has been providing sustainable and affordable higher education to the young people in the state of Mississippi since 1910.
Now, it has just under 12,000 full-time students, pursuing degrees in more than 180 undergraduate and graduate programs. The tuition fees for Mississippi residents are $8,500 a year, while the one for out-of-state students and international students is just $10,500 a year.
These tuition fees are very affordable, but still, over 70% of all undergraduate full-time students receive some sort of financial aid. The most popular undergraduate programs at the University of Southern Mississippi are General Psychology, Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and Elementary Education and Teaching.
The student/faculty ratio at this school is seventeen to one, which is pretty good for a Second-tier university. Provided that you have $40 to pay the application fee and show some proof of successfully completing secondary education, your chances of getting admitted to the University of Southern Mississippi are pretty good!
2. Western Kentucky University
With roots dating back to 1906, this is the oldest and the best-known university in the state of Kentucky. It has been granting four-year degrees to young and ambitious people from western Kentucky and the region since 1922. Even though it is one of the universities in the USA with the highest acceptance rates, it provides a great education to its students.
Regarding the organization of Western Kentucky University, it is currently divided into five colleges. The ones that receive the highest number of applications from future undergraduate students are the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Science & Engineering. Obviously, the academic focus is equally distributed between the Humanities, Medicine, and Sciences.
The latest statistics show that the university has a little over 17,500 undergraduate enrollments every year. Compared to our first candidate, the gap between the in-state and out-of-state undergraduate candidates is a bit wider, regarding the annual tuition fees – $10,600 against $26,500.
The application fee of $45 is quite affordable and the deadline for filing an application is August 1st. Even if you can’t afford the out-of-state tuition fee, you should keep in mind that over 60% of all first-year students at Western Kentucky University qualify for some kind of financial aid.
3. Notre Dame de Namur University
- Average acceptance rate: 94%
Our third institution in our list of universities in the USA with high acceptance rates is a private Catholic university in Belmont, California. It was established back in 1851, and it is currently organized into three main faculties: The College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business and Management, and the School of Education and Leadership.
This is one of the few universities in the USA that offer evening Bachelor programs for working adults, as well as a wide variety of online graduate and undergraduate programs. Of its full-time undergraduate programs, the most popular ones are General Psychology, Management, and Business.
Its average undergraduate tuition fee is $35,000, which makes it a bit expensive, compared to the two schools reviewed above, but the good news is that over 80% of all first-year students qualify for some kind of financial support.
The application fee for this school is $50, and you should send in your SAT or ACT scores by August 1st. With an average acceptance rate of 94%, it is actually harder not to get admitted to Notre Dame de Namur University, as long as you have provided all the necessary documents.
4. The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Established in 1969, the University of Alabama at Birmingham currently has about 14,000 undergraduate students and just over 8,000 postgraduate students. Its main campus is at the very heart of Birmingham – the most populous city in Alabama.
This presupposes excellent opportunities for student entertainment, as well as for part-time employment. Under the cap of UAB, there is one college, as well as nine schools and one graduate school. Together, this university in the USA with high acceptance rates provides 55 bachelor’s degree programs, 58 master’s degree programs, and 39 Ph.D. programs.
A curious fact about this university is that it is, actually, the largest employer in the whole state of Alabama, providing 23,000 jobs. Yet, this university is not very popular abroad with only six percent of all students coming from outside the U.S.
The average tuition fee for undergraduate students from the state of Alabama is just over $10,000 a year, while out-of-state residents pay more than $24,500 a year. The most popular Bachelor’s programs are Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Health Services.
The application fee for this university is just $30, and the deadline for sending in your SAT or ACT scores is June 1st. While the University of Alabama at Birmingham has a high acceptance rate of 92%, its four-year graduation rate is just one-third of that – 32%.
5. University of Northern Colorado
This is a public university in Greely, Colorado, whose academic roots date back to 1889. At present, the University of Northern Colorado is a relatively small higher education provider with a total enrollment of just over 12,000 students. Of them, about 10,000 are undergraduates, and the rest are enrolled in some of the university’s postgraduate programs.
The university is organized in five major colleges with the most popular of them being the College of Performing and Visual Arts, the Monfort College of Business, and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.
The university’s student/faculty ratio is 18 to 1, which is not bad for a second-tier higher school. Surprisingly, however, the four-year graduation rate of the University of Northern Colorado is just under 30%. Looking at the average undergraduate tuition fees, they are about 9,500 a year for Colorado residents and just over $21,000 for out-of-state students.
The international enrollments at the University of Northern Colorado for the latest admissions cycle are just 359 in number. If you would like to be one of these students, keep in mind that the application deadline is August 1st. The application fee is $45 and the latest announced admission rate of this university is 89%.
6. Murray State University
- Average acceptance rate: 87%
Next on our list of universities in the United States with high acceptance rates is Murray State University, which is a small public university in Murray, Kentucky. Its latest total enrollment is about 9,500 students. Of these, over 8,000 are undergraduate students, and the rest have been enrolled in one of this school’s post-graduate programs.
In addition to the main campus in Calloway County, this university also has academic divisions in Henderson, Paducah, and Madisonville. Established back in 1922, Murray State University is now the 12th-best regional university in the South of the USA. It offers more than sixty Bachelor’s programs and over 40 Master’s Programs.
During the latest admission cycle, this university has attracted more than one thousand international students coming from 66 different countries. The average tuition fee for Kentucky residents is just over $9,000 a year, while out-of-state students pay about $24,500 a year.
The most popular undergraduate programs at Murray State University are in Liberal Arts, Engineering, and in Health Services. The application fee is $40 and the deadline for sending your ACT or SAT scores to Murray is August 17th.
7. Auburn University
As we go to the list, our candidates seem to become more selective. Our seventh choice in universities in the USA with the highest acceptance rates began its existence on February 1st, 1856 as the East Alabama Male College – a Liberal Arts school under the Methodist Episcopal Church. It was not until 1960 that it assumed its current name.
Nowadays, Auburn University has a total enrollment of more than thirty thousand students and some 23,000 of them are full-time undergraduate students. Nationwide, this is the 115th-best university in the USA. This is a somehow expensive second-tier school with an average undergraduate tuition fee for in-state students in the amount of $11,200 a year, and for out-of-state students – 30,500 a year.
Interestingly, this was one of the first higher schools in the country to offer its students a two-year Master’s program in Interior Design. Popular undergraduate programs are Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Journalism, and Marketing.
If you would like to apply to this university, bear in mind that the acceptance rate is 84% on average, and the deadline for sending in your papers is June 1st. The $50 application fee is non-refundable and the SAT or ACT scores of the applicant should be sent in by February 1st.
8. Sonoma State University
On the eighth position on our list is a university located in “The Golden State” of California. This should not surprise you, as the top places are occupied by higher education providers in the American South, who traditionally have fewer applicants.
When talking about California, however, we should bear in mind that this is the state where Hollywood is, and young people would usually give a year of their life to live and study there. Sonoma State University began its existence under the name Sonoma State College in 1960, and it was not until 1978 that it assumed its current name.
The academic focus at Sonoma State University is equally divided between Arts & Humanities, Business, and Economics, and, of course, the emblematic program for the state of California – Winemaking & Management. The university now has a little over 9,000 students and about 8,000 of them are on undergraduate programs.
With a high average acceptance rate for US universities at 82%, it should not be very difficult to secure admission at Sonoma State University. For a California-based school, this university is surprisingly cheap – the average undergraduate tuition fee for home students is under $8,000 a year. Their out-of-state peers have to pay just under $20,000 a year.
9. Henderson State University
- Average acceptance rate: 80%
The ninth school on our list is Henderson State University. It was established in 1890 under the name Arkadelphia Methodist College. The school assumed its current name in 1904. Today, it is the only representative of the state of Arkansas in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.
This university with high acceptance rates has a total enrollment of just under 4,000 students, which makes Henderson State University a relatively small higher education provider. Of these, about 3,600 are undergraduate students. The most popular programs for them ate Business, Psychology, and General Studies.
This is a very affordable university as well. The average tuition fee for undergraduate students from Arkansas is just $8,500 a year, while the fee for out-of-state students is about $10,000 a year. If you are planning to apply for Henderson State University, please bear in mind that the application deadline is rolling, while ACT/SAT scores are accepted by August 1st. With an average acceptance rate of 80%, this is a moderately selective higher school.
10. The University of Hawaii at Hilo
- Average acceptance rate: 78%
The University of Hawaii at Hilo is a member of the University of Hawaii’s higher education system. It was established in 1941 as Hawaii College, and it was not until 1947 that the university assumed its current name. The University of Hawaii at Hilo has been offering its students 4-year programs since 1970.
With about 3,000 students, this is a rather small university on the Main Island of Hawaii. They study in 33 undergraduate and three graduate programs. Foreign students also come here to pursue a degree in Hawaiian Studies. Marine Biology, Volcanology, and Astronomy.
One of the most popular Master’s programs that this university offers is Hawaiian Language and Literature. This is one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the USA. The most recent average acceptance rate of this school is 78%. The tuition fee for students from Hawaii is about $10,500 a year, while all other students pay about $20,000 a year.
11. Concordia University of Chicago
- Average acceptance rate: 75%
The 11th position on our list is for a representative of Chicago – one of the most emblematic cities in the USA. It was established back in 1864, so it is a higher education provider with long traditions. Concordia University Chicago is relatively small – its total enrollment does not exceed 1,500 students. This school has a strong religious affiliation with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
It is hardly surprising, then that most of its programs are religion-focused, but there also are some programs in the domain of Liberal Arts. In contrast to many of the universities reviewed above, this is a rather expensive university with an average tuition fee for undergraduate students of about $32,000 a year. Finally, the university has an excellent student/faculty ratio of just 10 to 1, which means that the quality of the education that each student receives at Concordia is very high.
12. University of Idaho
At number twelve is a public educational institution founded as far back as 1889 in Moscow, Idaho. Today, the University of Idaho has got a total of ten colleges with the most popular of them being the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of Law, and the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.
This university with high acceptance rates has a total enrollment of about 11,500 students, and more than 10,000 of the study at the main campus in Moscow. One of the most exotic Master’s programs that this university offers is Contemporary Russian Culture, while two of the most popular undergraduate programs are in Mechanical Engineering and General Finances.
This is a fairly selective university with an average acceptance rate of just over 70%. Also, only one-third of all freshmen manage to complete the four years of study at the University of Idaho. The student/faculty ratio at this university is 14 to one, which is very good for a public university.
13. San Francisco State University
As we move down the list, the universities become more and more selective. Our thirteenth candidate has an average acceptance rate of just 70%. Founded back in 1899, San Francisco State University is now a large second-tier university with more than 29,000 students.
Studying at SFSU, as this school is known for short, is fairly cheap. Its average tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is just over $7,000 a year, while their out-of-state fellows pay just over $19,000 a year.
What SFSU is most famous for is its College of Ethnic Studies with some of the most popular of its undergraduate programs being that in African Studies, La Raza Studies, and Asian American Studies. Its College of Engineering is also highly popular.
Actually, San Francisco State University is the 82nd best higher school for Engineering in the USA. if you would like to join the international student community at SFSU, please note that the application deadline is November 30th. There is an application fee of $55, which is non-refundable. You should also send in your SAT or ACT scores by January 23rd.
Not only is San Francisco State University selective, as we mentioned above, but its programs for undergraduate students are also very challenging. In fact, only 18% of all freshmen manage to complete the full four-year course of study.
14. Drake University
The 14th spot on our list of the U.S. universities with the highest acceptance rates is for Drake University – a rather selective school, whose average admission rate is just a notch under 70%. This private university was founded back in 1881 in Des Moines, Iowa. It is now the third-best university in America’s Midwest and the second-best college for veterans in the country.
Drake University is a relatively small higher education provider with just over 5,000 students. They study at its six colleges and schools, with the most popular of them being the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Law School, and the College of Business and Public Administration. Our research has shown that Drake University has got one of the strongest undergraduate programs in Journalism in the USA.
With a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Drake provides an exceptionally high level of graduate and postgraduate training. However, the high-quality education that Drake’s students receive comes at a price. With an average tuition fee for undergraduate students of over S40,000 a year, this is one of the most expensive universities on our list.
15. North Central University
- Average acceptance rate: 65%
Whereas most high-admission universities are public and usually contain “state” in their name, our last candidate in the list of universities with the highest acceptance rates in the US is a private institution established as far back as 1930. Furthermore, it has got strong religious affiliation and most of the offered undergraduate programs are focused on the history and development of Christianity through the ages.
Most of this university’s graduates are trained for ministerial, that is to say clerical, offices across the USA. It is therefore not surprising that North Central University has got a total enrollment of just over 900 students a year. In addition, only a quarter of those nine hundred young people manage to earn a degree after four years of rigorous academic training.
Finally, this is also a rather expensive higher school with an average undergraduate tuition fee of over $24,000 a year. If we add the S7,500 payable for room and board per year, the total cost of attendance soars to over $31,000 a year. With an acceptance rate of 65%, this is the most selective of U.S. universities with the highest admission rates.
I hope that this article on the universities in the USA with the highest acceptance rates was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!