The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (2023)

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (1)

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Not very long ago, Tulane was named the "#1 party school in America" by an education ranking site. Today, the New Orleans university is one of the hardest places to get into—and it’s not the only institution with an erstwhile reputation for fun that now requires far more than an affinity for Greek life and a healthy appetite for beer to gain entry.

As T&C reported earlier this year, the college admissions process in 2022 was something of a horror show. Traditional hacks for earning a coveted slot at one of the nation's prestigious institutions of higher learning have gone out the door. Recommendation letters from a famous person? Useless. Hoping for better odds with early decision? Not a chance. After Harvard released its admissions data for the year, revealing it had accepted a mere 3.2 percent of its applicants, a record low, parents and rising seniors everywhere began re-ordering their college wishlists.

Back in 2018, we published a list of 15 Alt-Ivies, colleges that had previously been classified as safety schools but that had slowly risen to become nearly as selective and sought after as Harvard, Yale, Brown, et al. Given the state of admissions today, we decided to create a new list to spotlight 15 additional schools that are experiencing dramatic increases in popularity. Once again we consulted with the college counseling service IvyWise, which examined changes in competitive acceptance rates, notable increases in applications, and other unique factors that are enticing prospective students.

Some of the results were expected—so-called Public Ivies, like the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia, made it, as did "Little Ivies," like Colgate. But some schools that made the list were a surprise. Take Northeastern: In just five years, the acceptance rate for that Boston university plummeted into the single digits.

Below, a list of 15 Alt-Ivies of 2022, along with the IvyWise team's rundown of why these are no longer just a safe bet.

Northeastern University

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (2)

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"Seemingly out of nowhere, Northeastern has shot onto the stage, with its acceptance rate plummeting into the single digits this past year. A phenomenal blend of an urban setting with a campus feel, the university's signature 100-year-old cooperative education (Co-op) program is as popular as ever, with students excited to get their hands in experiential learning. Northeastern has also made some splashes in the world of global education, offering one of the biggest freshman year study abroad opportunities through its Program. Despite the large undergraduate student population, traditions abound, from packing the arena for Northeastern hockey games, to the annual Underwear Run, to the Husky Hunt, a 24-hour city-wide scavenger hunt."

2022 acceptance rate: 6.79%
2017 acceptance rate: 27.44%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 67.85%

Georgia Institute of Technology

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (3)

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"As the drive towards technological fields related to computer science and the world of AI and Machine Learning skyrockets, students are setting their sights on Georgia Tech. Despite being one of few universities that returned to requiring tests in the 2021-2022 cycle, that didn’t keep the droves from applying. Incredibly selective for out-of-state students and becoming even more so for in-state students, Georgia Tech is the southern hub of innovation and a preeminent research institution, full of devoted scholars, who also love to cheer on their four-time national championship football team. You won’t find cutthroat competition here, but rather an immensely collaborative environment of students who love everything about science, technology, and engineering."

2022 acceptance rate: 17.00%
2017 acceptance rate: 23.40%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 60.65%

University of Texas — Austin

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (4)

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"The oldest of the Texas state institutions, UT Austin is a highly desired large public research institution for both in- and out-of-state students. With the top 6% of Texas high school graduates automatically admitted, UT Austin has become a reach, especially for students applying from out-of-state. A highly desired institution of higher education for future engineers, UT Austin is also a top destination for aspiring doctors, scientists, lawyers, and business professionals. It's impossible to escape the Longhorn spirit, whether it's the 100,000 voices unifying to sing “Eye of Texas” or “Texas Fight” while taking on rivals Texas A&M, or looking up the Tower as a symbol of the community’s mood."

2021 acceptance rate: 28.75%*
2017 acceptance rate: 36.49%
Increase in applications (2017-2021): 29.41%
(*2022 data not yet available)

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University of Virginia

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (5)

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"Known historically as 'Mr. Jefferson’s University,' UVA is a community steeped in both tradition and advancement. Students step on to Grounds (instead of campus) and navigate Jefferson’s original Academical Village and secret societies before graduating as a 4th year (since one should never be in their senior year in the pursuit of knowledge). Traditions such as Student Self Governance/Honor Council, volunteering around Charlottesville, or camping out in ‘Hooville’ before a major athletic game bring a variety of student voices and experiences together. Katie Couric, Tiki Barber, Tina Fey, Dawn Staley, Robert Mueller, and Steve Huffman are amongst the notable alumni cheering “Wahoowa” for the Cavaliers."

2022 acceptance rate: 18.68%
2017 acceptance rate: 27.35%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 38.56%

Howard University

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (6)

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"Applications to Howard University have increased almost 75% in the last five years as the university affirmed its position as the “Harvard of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” It offers the largest amount of academic offerings amongst HBCUs with top majors being Biology, Political Science, and Public Relations/Communications. Renowned actress and artist Phylicia Rashad serves as Dean of the College of Fine Arts (recently renamed after the late notable alumnus Chadwick Boseman), solidifying Howard as a top university for the Sciences, Humanities, and Arts."

2021 acceptance rate: 35.26%*
2017 acceptance rate: 41.42%
Increase in applications (2017-2021): 74.79%
(*2022 data not yet available)

Tulane University

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (7)

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"Originally founded as a Medical University in 1834, then briefly known as the University of Louisiana before becoming the Tulane we all know today in 1884. Boasting its very own Blarney Stone and renowned Tiffany’s Windows, Tulane is a gorgeous campus set in the vibrant bustling city of New Orleans. With the motto 'not for one’s self, but for one’s own,' Tulane was the first research institution to incorporate public service as part of its core curriculum and is a leader in service learning education."

2022 acceptance rate: 8.50%
2017 acceptance rate: 21.50%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 17.91%

University of Miami

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (8)

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"The University of Miami’s mascot, the Ibis, is known to be the first to return after a hurricane signaling to others that clear skies are ahead. Similarly, this university has led the way in creating innovative majors for those seeking to solve critical problems, including 13 majors in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science alone. With strategic partnerships throughout Miami, Finance within the Herbert Business School continues to be a popular major for students. Students love the medium-sized community, tucked into the quiet streets of Coral Gables, but boasting enough school spirit to fill Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium as they cheer on their successful ’Canes football team."

2021 acceptance rate: 28.49%*
2017 acceptance rate: 37.71%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 50.65%
(*2022 data not yet available)

Colgate University

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (9)

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"Situated on a gorgeous campus tucked away in the rolling hills of upstate New York, this community considers 13 its lucky number. Founded by 13 men, 13 dollars, and 13 prayers, the university recently launched a billion-dollar campaign started by 13 women to continue to transform the community for the next century and make a Colgate education accessible to students regardless of their socioeconomic background. The Colgate experience leaves nothing to chance, offering 56 timely majors ranging from Astrogeophysics to Peace and Conflict Studies in addition to a slew of minors (including a new Global Public and Environmental Health minor) while embracing the interdisciplinary approach to a liberal arts education. Known for its tight-knit community and fiercely loyal alumni, Colgate students are encouraged to make connections outside of the classroom, whether it is partnering with the local Oneida Nation, participating in on-campus organizations, or traveling. Colgate is consistently named a top school for study abroad participation, with Colgate-led programs located in countries including Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland, as well as offerings in New York City and Washington, D.C."

2021 acceptance rate: 17.19%*
2017 acceptance rate: 28.14%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 148.89%

(*2022 data not yet available)

Wellesley College

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (10)

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"Widely known as the premier women’s college in the country, if not the world, Wellesley is one of the founding members of the Seven Sisters Colleges, an unofficial grouping of elite women’s colleges, meant at one point to be the female alternative for the Ivy League. Full of driven, high-achieving, and tenacious scholars, Wellesley empowers generations of young women and launched the careers of notable politicians Madeleine Albright and Hillary Rodham Clinton, social and environmental activist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, filmmaker Nora Ephron, and journalists Cokie Roberts and Diane Sawyer."

2022 acceptance rate: 13.00%
2017 acceptance rate: 28.59%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 79.23%

University of Michigan

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (11)

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"A favorite Early Action option for nearly every student applying in advance to one of the Single-Choice or Restricted Early Action Ivies, University of Michigan is the ultimate school for campus spirit, set in the quintessential college town of Ann Arbor, where Saturdays in the fall are filled with students and alumni cheering on the Wolverines football team. Despite the large size of the university, which offers more than 200 undergrad majors, all students find close-knit communities within the broader student population. Crucial as well to a successful undergraduate experience is embracing 'Michigan Time,' where every class begins 10 minutes late. Approximately 350 students enroll each year in Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Honors Program, which provides challenging courses, hands-on research, experiential learning opportunities, and a vibrant community for the academically ambitious."

2021 acceptance rate: 20.15%*
2017 acceptance rate: 26.50%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 40.27%

(*2022 data not yet available)

New York University

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (12)

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"The 'University Without Walls,' embedded within the city of New York, offers campuses in 14 other major cities, including Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Notable for skyrocketing to more than 100,000 applications the past two years, NYU is one of the top destinations in the US for international students. Through Tisch, students can experience the nation’s top program in professional training and scholarship in performing, cinematic, and emerging media arts. Most sought after in recent years are the Tandon School of Engineering and Stern School of Business, where students seek the educational foundation to have a positive impact on the ever-changing global society."

2022 acceptance rate: 12.20%
2017 acceptance rate: 27.66%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 64.04%

Oberlin College

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (13)

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"A college and conservatory in one, Oberlin has long been the first to champion critical work to push for societal progress, known since its founding as a home for progressively minded scholars. Just 40 minutes outside Cleveland, it's home to slightly less than 3000 quirky, socially aware, and intellectually curious students. It’s known for providing opportunities for learning and doing, bridging the gap between imagination and action to make ideas a reality. Notable for the fact that many Oberlin graduates go on to earn PhDs after graduation, students here find an immensely supportive environment that empowers them to flourish as individuals."

2022 acceptance rate: 9.23%
2017 acceptance rate: 33.72%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 33.21%

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University of California — Irvine

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (14)

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"No longer a sometimes-forgotten sibling of the most well-known UCs—UCLA and UC Berkeley—Irvine is now front and center amongst the most sought after of public state schools. Full of academically focused students, UCI’s majors of Biology, Computer Science, and Economics are among its most popular. UCI opened in the 1960s along with UC San Diego and UC Santa Cruz to meet growing demand for higher education stemming from the success of the GI Bill and the post-war Baby Boom. The campus was originally modeled after Central Park."

2021 acceptance rate: 28.96%*
2017 acceptance rate: 36.50%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 66.86%

(*2022 data not yet available)

Boston College

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (15)

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"A Catholic, Jesuit institution situated just outside Boston, student formation is at the heart of the BC experience. Dedicated to growth across academic, intellectual, personal, spiritual, and social dimensions, BC pushes students to use their education to tackle pressing societal challenges. Whether through the Lynch School for Education and Human Development, the Connell School of Nursing, the Carroll School of Management, or the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, grads go on to become leaders in healthcare, education, politics, and business, lifted up by the incredibly strong alumni network. School spirit runs high, too, whether they are packing the football stadium in gold ‘Superfan Shirts’ or competing in mud volleyball during the pre-finals Mudstock tournament each year."

2022 acceptance rate: 16%
2017 acceptance rate: 32%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 42.03%

Emory University

The Hottest College in Boston Is... Northeastern? (16)

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"Quickly becoming a hot school for aspiring business professionals and doctors, Emory has catapulted to the top of many students' lists and is no longer just another target school for Ivy League hopefuls. The medium-sized university in Atlanta offers students access to the larger research university campus of Emory University, as well as the smaller liberal arts college experience of Oxford College. Boasting a medical school with an acceptance rate below 5 percent and home to the largest healthcare system in Georgia, Emory is an amazing option for future healthcare professionals."

2022 acceptance rate: 15.82%
2017 acceptance rate: 21.80%
Increase in applications (2017-2022): 38.99%

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Leena KimAssociate EditorLeena Kim is an associate editor at Town & Country, where she writes about travel, weddings, arts, and culture.


Is northeastern better than Boston College? ›

WARNINGS: Based on net price alone, Northeastern University (NU) is the cheaper option.
Boston College (BC) vs. Northeastern University (NU) Overview.
Boston College (BC)Northeastern University (NU)
Total Undergraduates949113620
Average SAT Scores1260 - 14701340 - 1510
Acceptance Rate2928
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What is the rank of Northeastern University in Boston? ›

Northeastern University's ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #49.

What is Northeastern University famous for? ›

A private research university known for its emphasis on pre-professional education, Northeastern University sits on an urban campus in Boston. The school's signature cooperative co-education (co-op) programs enables students to alternate semesters of full-time academic study with semesters of full-time employment.

Which college is better northeastern or northwestern? ›

Northwestern University ranks #9 while Northeastern University ranks #40 in the US News and World Reports' National Universities Rankings 2021.

What GPA do you need for Northeastern? ›

Most students admitted have an unweighted GPA of 4.04 or above. The average GPA for accepted students at Northeastern is between 4.1 and 4.5.

Is Northeastern an Ivy League school? ›

There are eight total colleges that are considered to be Ivy League. These schools are Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities and the University of Pennsylvania.

Is Northeastern a rich kid school? ›

Northeastern University. The median family income of a student from Northeastern is $150,900, and 65% come from the top 20 percent. About 2.4% of students at Northeastern came from a poor family but became a rich adult.

Is Northeastern hard to get into? ›

Admission to Northeastern is highly competitive. The university received 64,279 applications to its incoming 2020-2021 class and accepted just 13,199—an overall acceptance rate of 20%.

Is Northeastern an elite school? ›

The US News & World Report ranks Northeastern University #176 in Best Global Universities making it one of the world's most elite universities. Northeastern is also a top school ranked at #49 on the National College Rankings.

What kind of students go to Northeastern? ›

What kind of person should attend this school? ANYONE AND EVERYONE!!! Northeastern University is attended by individuals who believe in success, the wealth of knowledge and experience. Students are passionate about their prespective future and share an enthusiasm for their desired major.

Are students happy at Northeastern? ›

Northeastern University is a welcoming place with a strong student community of motivated students who are driven in their social and academic lives. Our university is in Boston, literally in its backyard. A person who is closed minded or not used to hearing the pulse of the city may not like living so close to one.

Is Northeastern a hard school? ›

In my experience, Northeastern's academics are rigorous, but fulfilling. The business program is no joke as well as the Sciences, Architecture and Engineering programs. Professors love class participation and it can take you a long ways.

Is NYU or northeastern harder to get into? ›

Is New York University (NYU) or Northeastern University (NU) Harder to get into? Which school is easier to get into? If you're looking at acceptance rate alone, then Northeastern University (NU) is more difficult to get into.

Is it harder to get into northeastern or Northwestern? ›

If you're looking at acceptance rate alone, then Northwestern University is more difficult to get into. However, each college is looking to fill its incoming class with a variety of students with different strengths, backgrounds, etc.

Is northeastern a Tier 2 school? ›

Tier 3 schools include UT Austin College of Liberal Arts, UIUC, Villanova, Haverford, Northeastern, Brandeis, Case Western Reserve, Occidental, Washington and Lee, Virginia Tech, UC San Diego, Lafayette College, DePauw, and Rutgers.

Is Boston College hard to get into? ›

The acceptance rate at Boston College is 27.2%.

For every 100 applicants, 27 are admitted. This means the school is very selective. If you meet Boston College's requirements for GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and other components of the application, you have a great shot at getting in.

What is the average GPA at Boston College? ›

Average GPA: 3.96

The average GPA at Boston College is 3.96. This makes Boston College Extremely Competitive for GPAs.

What is the average GPA for Boston University? ›

Average GPA: 3.71

The average GPA at Boston University is 3.71. (Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA. With a GPA of 3.71, Boston University requires you to be above average in your high school class.

Is Northeastern worth the money? ›

Ultimately, although tuition is very expensive at Northeastern, it is well worth the price. You will have a much higher chance of finding a job upon graduation, and you will truly be prepared for the real world with your education from Northeastern.

Why is MIT not ivy? ›

Conclusion. The only reason Duke, MIT, and Stanford aren't Ivy League colleges is that they didn't excel at sports when the Ivy League was created. These 3 colleges easily rank among the top 15 best schools in the U.S., and offer similar career prospects and education standards to Ivy League schools.

Which is the easiest Ivy League to get into? ›

Based on the information provided above, you probably noticed that Cornell University has the highest acceptance rates out of all the Ivy League schools and can therefore be classified as the easiest Ivy league school to get into.

Is northeastern difficult? ›

How Hard Is It to Get Into Northeastern University? Admission to Northeastern is highly competitive. The university received 64,279 applications to its incoming 2020-2021 class and accepted just 13,199—an overall acceptance rate of 20%.

Is Boston College Worth the Cost? ›

On average, a bachelor's degree from Boston College will cost you about $239,144. This is based on an average price (with and without aid) of $59,048 and a typical 4.05 years to graduate.
That Degree May Cost You $239,144 in Total.
Estimated Avg Total Cost of Degree$239,144
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What Boston College is known for? ›

Boston College, the first institution of higher education to operate in the city of Boston, is today among the nation's foremost universities, a leader in the liberal arts, scientific inquiry, and student formation.

What GPA is required for Boston College? ›

With a GPA of 3.96, Boston College requires you to be at the top of your class. You'll need nearly straight A's in all your classes to compete with other applicants. You should also have taken plenty of AP or IB classes to show your ability to excel in academic challenge.


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