Acceptance rate hits record low

The prospective members of the Class of 2010 navigating Yale’s campus today are part of an elite group. These high school seniors survived the most selective admissions process in Ivy League history to be offered slots in Yale’s next freshman class.

Of the 21,099 students who applied to Yale this year, 1,823 — 8.6 percent — were offered admission. The group of admitted students represents all 50 states and 57 countries around the world. Last year, 9.7 percent of the 19,448 applicants to Yale were admitted.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel said that he is pleased with the caliber of students in next year’s class and that the University must now try to convince them to spend their college years in New Haven.

“Yale is blessed,” he said. “We are able to select from among the most qualified and varied applicants in the world. Now our job is to persuade our admitted students that Yale is unequivocally their best choice for an undergraduate education.”

Almost all of the accepted students were high achievers in high school, as about 95 percent were in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes. And the members of the class of 2010 were no slackers when it came to the SAT, either: The middle 50 percentile of the admitted class scored between 700 and 800 on both the verbal and math sections of the SAT, Brenzel said.

Racial diversity is also a pronounced feature of the class, as 41 percent of accepted students are from minority backgrounds, on par with last year’s 42 percent. Roughly 42 percent of those admitted for the class of 2010 are white, while 17 percent did not list their racial backgrounds or marked the “other” category on the applications.

More black and Latino students applied early action this year, Brenzel said, a phenomenon he attributed to a greater understanding of the nonbinding nature of early action admissions, which the University adopted beginning with the class of 2008.

This year, approximately 10 percent of admitted students are foreign citizens, and there was a 5 percent increase in the number of international applications received. Last year, 9 percent of students admitted to the class of 2009 were from outside the United States.

Brenzel said Yale is working diligently to recruit students from other countries.

“Clearly, Yale’s internationalization efforts and the launch of many joint projects abroad are creating the kind of interest we expected with respect to Yale College,” he said. “We are now being targeted by top students in most parts of the world.”

In addition to racial diversity, socioeconomic diversity is also a hallmark of the class. About 65 percent of accepted students applied for financial aid. This class is the second to benefit from Yale’s most recent financial aid reforms, made last year, in which the parent contribution was eliminated for students from families earning under $45,000 and was reduced for students from families with an annual income between $45,000 and $60,000.

While most applicants did not designate their intended majors, some did make note of their current first-choice major. The top choices, in order, were molecular, cellular and developmental biology; engineering; political science; economics; ethics, politics and economics; English; international studies; economics; history; mathematics; and chemistry.

More men than women were accepted, with 928 men and 895 women given the opportunity to attend Yale next year.

According to Brenzel, the University is hoping for 1,310 of the admitted students to attend Yale next year, which would represent a 72 percent overall yield rate. Last year, a record 71.3 percent of admitted students decided to become Elis.

This year, 17.7 percent of early action applicants and 5.8 percent of regular decision applicants were accepted to Yale. Of the 4,084 early applicants, 724 were admitted. For regular decision, 1,099 of the 18,976 who applied were accepted.

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