Here's the No. 1 Dream College for High School Students Today (It Has a Giant Price Tag, But It's Not in the Ivy League)

It's also one of the toughest schools to get into.

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By Amanda Breen

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MIT Kresge Auditorium

College acceptances (and rejections) have been rolling in, and high school students are considering their options ahead of National College Decision Day on May 1.

The school at the top of students' lists? It's not Harvard, Princeton, Yale or any others in the Ivy League, but The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to The Princeton Review's 2023 College Hopes & Worries Survey.

Related: When This 22-Year-Old Graduated From MIT, He Thought He'd Be a Software Engineer. Instead, He Launched a Company That's Shaking Up the College-Admissions Game.

Students gave Stanford University and Harvard College the second and third spots on their lists, while parents ranked Princeton University first for their children, followed by Harvard College and Stanford University, per the survey.

MIT is one of the most difficult schools to get into with an acceptance rate of just under 4%, and it's also one of the most expensive: Tuition and fees, room and board and other student expenses totaled upwards of $79,000 this year, CNBC reported.

The survey revealed that 53% of students and 55% of parents say financial aid in the form of education loans, scholarships or grants will be "extremely" important in paying for college.

Additionally, the level of debt taken on to fund the degree emerged as both students' and parents' biggest concern about the application process.

Related: Does That College Diploma Really Matter for Success? | Entrepreneur

But many students and parents anticipate a major payoff anyway: 99% of respondents said they believe college will be "worth it," and 46% named the potential for a better job and higher income as the biggest benefit of a college degree.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and recently completed the MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

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