Waiting for your acceptance letter to a US college or university can be stressful. What if we told you there’s a way to avoid the worry and anxiety?
The US is home to many colleges with high acceptance rates for international students.
By applying to one of these colleges with high acceptance rates, you have a higher chance of being accepted and living the “American Dream.”
Acceptance rates for colleges in the US can vary greatly between institutions.
Harvard University, Stanford University and Yale University are some of the top-ranked institutions in the US but also have some of the lowest acceptance rates for international students.
While many believe you need to attend a prestigious uni to get a quality education, that’s not entirely true.
What’s more important is that you find a uni that is the best fit for you.
The good news is there are many universities in the US with high acceptance rates offering great teaching, excellent curriculum, a diverse campus and a safe location.
You can save yourself a lot of the turmoil of waiting for acceptance by applying to one of these US colleges with high acceptance rates for international students.
But before we get into that, there are a few things you need to know about acceptance rates.
Everything you need to know about acceptance rates
When applying for university, international students often need to submit the following documents:
- Application form
- Standardised testing scores, like the SAT or ACT
- Proof of proficiency in English, like the IELTS or TOEFL
- Exam transcripts
- Proof of funds
Most of us think that these are the only documents that decide whether an international student is accepted or not. That’s not entirely true.
There are other factors that influence a US university’s acceptance rates for international students.
Some US universities have to follow government or internal regulations that limit how many international students that can enrol in a year.
This ranges between 10% to 20% of the total student population. These figures change according to the funding, academic programmes, and other institutional priorities every year as well.
Another quota that may influence whether you get in or not is the diversity quota.
This refers to the number of students from a certain country or region that a university would like to see more or less.
For example, if a uni currently has too many students from India, it may want to balance it out with more students from China or Russia, for example.
The level of study you’re applying to matters as well. US universities reportedly prioritise local students at the undergraduate level, but less so at the postgraduate level.
Thus, it may be easier for international students to enter master’s or PhD programmes, than for bachelor’s programmes.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused many colleges and unis to lose international students — to make up for this, many are offering flexibility in admissions and the way they teach to cater to their needs.
What makes these the colleges with high acceptance rates?
The easy universities to get into for international students share these traits:
- More flexible requirements for international students to apply. These may include lower TOEFL scores, making SAT or ACT scores optional, and more.
- Option to join pathway programmes. These refer to short-term courses to improve one’s English and/or get used to American campus life.
- Are located in states in need of more diverse residents.
- Have partnerships with colleges and universities abroad — such as the American Degree Transfer Programme, which allows students to complete their first year in their home country before transferring to a US institution.
13 colleges with high acceptance rates in the US in 2020
According to US News, here are the top 13 universities in the US that accepted the most international students in the year 2020:
|No.||University||Acceptance rate for international students in 2020|
|1||Colorado State University||100%|
|2||University of Toledo||98%|
|3||Kent State University||96%|
|4||University of Texas at Arlington||91%|
|5||University of Colorado Boulder||88%|
|7||Iowa State University of Science and Technology||83%|
|8||University of Massachusetts Boston||82%|
|9||Indiana University Bloomington||82%|
|10||University of Texas at Dallas||81%|
|11||Seton Hall University||81%|
|12||Long Island University||81%|
|13||University of Cincinnati||80%|
Fast forward to this year, and the list of universities with high acceptance rates in the US has changed quite a bit.
UniSearch and Research.com have conducted a study and found the top US colleges with high acceptance rates for international students in 2023.
Many of the top universities in the US have low acceptance rates for international students. But don’t let this dampen your spirits, as many universities in the US admit as many international students as possible each year.
These high acceptance rates do not mean these universities aren’t prestigious. Here, you will not only be guaranteed admission but quality education and teaching as well.
10 colleges with high acceptance rates in the US for 2023:
1. Marshall University
Situated on the border of Kentucky and Ohio is a university renowned for its beautiful campus, over 100 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and opportunity to conduct research.
Marshall University is a public institution that was established in 1837. However, it is known for so much more than that.
It has been recognised as one of the colleges with high acceptance rates for international students in the US. It accepts 98% of applications by international students.
2. North Dakota State University
Coming in second place with an acceptance rate of 95% is North Dakota State University.
The university offers over 100 undergraduate programmes to choose from, with various specialisations in agricultural sciences, business, communications, STEM and performing arts.
Founded in 1890, it has produced a long list of notable graduates since, including Humayun Ahmed, the Bangladeshi author of “Nondito Noroke” and US congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
3. The University of Memphis
The University of Memphis, situated in Tennessee, is the second-largest public college in the state — with over 200 study areas and 88 countries represented on campus.
Out of 13,700 applicants, 11,600 were accepted, which amounts to an acceptance rate of 85%.
This means that as long as you meet all the requirements, you will definitely stand a chance of studying at the University of Memphis.
4. Kansas State University
Kansas State University is one of the colleges with high acceptance rates for international students.
Ranging from 94% to 96%, the university is nearly an open admissions school, with almost every applicant securing enrollment.
Founded in 1863, the university has come a long way and has established three campuses nationwide.
This public university offers more than 300 programmes across various fields.
Kansas State University offers several scholarships to help students achieve their academic dreams. This includes the notable Presidential Scholarship for remarkable students.
5. University of Kentucky
At the University of Kentucky, your chances of getting accepted are much higher than most other institutions — a high 94%.
UK ranks among the top 20 public universities in the country.
6. University of Maine
You don’t have to worry about being accepted when applying to the University of Maine.
With a high acceptance rate ranging from 90% to 96%, you are almost guaranteed to get in.
Though not one of the top universities in the country, the University of Maine has much to offer.
It is one of the nation’s top 50 green colleges (The Princeton Review), a tobacco-free campus, and more 200 student clubs and organisations, among others.
7. East Carolina University
East Carolina University’s acceptance rate fluctuates between 88% to 94%.
It is home to over 100 undergraduate programmes and more than 75 master’s programmes.
For 11 years in a row, it has won the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award for its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
8. Arizona State University
If you apply to Arizona State University, you have an 88% chance of getting accepted.
This means you have an 88% chance of being part of a university which is a top producer of elite scholars for 10 consecutive years, winner of over 270 athletic championships and many Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners.
9. Northern Arizona University
According to US News, Northern Arizona University has a high acceptance rate, ranging between 78% to 82%.
To apply here, you need to submit an online application, a passport copy, official transcripts in English, English test scores and proof of financial support.
10. Michigan State University
While last on the list, Michigan State University still boasts a high acceptance rate for international students.
The university has an acceptance rate that ranges between 76% and 83% every year.
If you apply here, you have a 76% to 83% chance of benefiting from being part of a campus with 26.6% students of colour (8.7% international students) and a university ranked #1 public university for education abroad (US News & World Report).