The World's Most Exclusive University Accepts Less Than 1.5 Percent of Applicants

Akhilesh Ravishankar, Flickr  // CC BY-ND 2.0
Akhilesh Ravishankar, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) in Pilani, India, isn’t likely to appear on anyone's list of safety schools. Each year, 180,000 prospective freshmen apply to the flagship campus, and of that pool only 2600 students receive acceptance letters. According to Business Insider, that makes BITS more exclusive than any Ivy League university, or any other college in the world.

The United States is home to plenty of schools with cutthroat application processes. Less than eight percent of candidates who apply to MIT are invited to enroll, while Harvard accepts just six percent of its annual applicants. But BITS breaks that fraction down even smaller: In 2012, the institution boasted an intimidating acceptance rate of just 1.47 percent.

While college hopefuls in the U.S. have the option to pad their resumes with extracurricular activities, students looking to get into BITS have nothing to hide behind. An applicant's chances of getting in rest solely on how well he or she does on the BITSAT—the school’s very own version of the SAT. (Test-takers need to score at least 75 percent in order to be considered.)

Academics fortunate enough to join the ranks of BITS students receive a world-class education in engineering, science, technology, pharmacy, management, or the humanities. They also have the honor of following an impressive roster of alumni: President and co-founder of SanDisk Sanjay Mehrotra and founder chairman of Onida Electronics Gulu Mirchandani are some notable former students. As for the vast majority of candidates who are rejected, BITS has a few secondary campuses around India where they might find better luck in applying.

[h/t Business Insider]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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BIC Just Launched a Line of Break-Resistant Crayons and Colored Pencils for Kids

BIC is offering crayons that are break-resistant and paper-free.
BIC is offering crayons that are break-resistant and paper-free.
Walmart

A child’s first lesson in coloring with crayons may also be their first lesson in frustration. Wax crayons can snap, grow to a dull edge, or prompt children to keep peeling off paper that now hangs over the tip. BIC, a company best known for pens, is offering an alternative—their new BIC Kids crayons ($2) available at Walmart are break-resistant, paper-free, and able to keep smudges off hands.

The crayons are a little tougher than your normal coloring tools, making it less likely they’ll snap in a child’s hands. Triangular in shape, they’ll also remain on the table instead of rolling out of reach.

BIC

The line also includes washable markers that can maintain their tip even if the cap is accidentally left off for up to a week and colored pencils that are break-resistant and won’t splinter even if they happen to snap.

Over on Walmart.com, you can find a pack of 10 BIC crayons for just $2, a pack of 10 washable markers for $3, and a pack of 12 colored pencils for $2. You can also grab a deal of six packs of 24 crayons each for just $10.

[h/t Simplemost]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.