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]