Yale College admitted a record-low 7.5 percent of applicants this year, a 0.8 percentage point drop from last year’s initial acceptance rate of 8.3 percent.
Yale accepted 1,951 students from its total regular and early applicant pool of exactly 26,000 applicants for the class of 2013, Dean of Admissions Jeff Brenzel told the News on Tuesday. The overall admit rate will rise slightly if Yale admits students from its waitlist, he added.
Compared to last year, a greater proportion of students were admitted in regular decision than were admitted in early action. On Tuesday, Yale admitted 1,209 of the 23,088 applicants in its regular decision pool, an initial regular admission rate of 5.4 percent. That pool included the 2,644 applicants deferred from the early action round.
Yale placed 27 percent fewer applicants on its waitlist this year compared to last; the number of students on the waitlist fell to 769 applicants, down from 1,052 for the class of 2012.
Last year, Yale’s final admit rate was 8.6 percent after students were admitted from the waitlist, Brenzel said. He added that he expects to accept students on the waitlist this year as well, but Brenzel said that he could not predict how many students on the waitlist ultimately would be accepted.
This year, the Admissions Office aims to matriculate a class of about 1,310, Brenzel said, down from 1,320 last year.
But the overall number of students admitted to Yale rose compared to the same time last year, when only 1,892 students had been offered a position in the class of 2012.
Yale admitted a greater number of students overall partly because a smaller proportion of the class was admitted early, Brenzel said. Past admissions statistics show that early applicants are more likely to enroll than those admitted during regular decision. While 80 percent of students admitted early last year chose to attend Yale, the overall yield — the rate at which accepted students matriculate — was 68.7 percent.
Yale received a record number of early action applications this year — up 13.7 percent from last year’s total —, but the University admitted fewer students early than it did for the class of 2012. Of the 5,556 students who applied early action to Yale, 742 were accepted, an acceptance rate of 13.4 percent.
Brenzel said Yale’s decision to admit fewer students early will likely exert “downward pressure” on Yale’s yield. He added that Yale’s yield could also fall this year because some students will choose not to attend Yale if they do not receive financial aid, opting instead for institutions that offer merit-based scholarships.
Frank Sachs, director of college counseling at the private Blake School in Minneapolis, said that Brenzel’s predictions are justified. Many strong Blake students considering schools like Yale have been courted by less-selective schools offering what Sachs called “astronomical” merit-based scholarships this year, he said.
Four other college counselors interviewed Tuesday agreed with Brenzel that the University’s yield is likely to decrease. But while the economy may raise concerns for some students, any drop in Yale’s yield will likely be small, said Bruce Bailey, director of college counseling at the private Lakeside School in Seattle.
Bailey said that Yale’s revamped financial aid program and its commitment to meeting all demonstrated student need will be attractive to many admitted students.
Several of Yale’s peer institutions also posted record-low acceptance rates this year. Harvard University announced Tuesday that it admitted 7 percent of applicants, making it the most selective school in the Ivy League. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology admitted a record-low 10.2 percent of applicants, MIT Dean of Admissions Stuart Schmill said. Brown and Columbia universities also announced their lowest-ever acceptance rates, admitting 10.8 and 9.8 percent of applicants, respectively, spokesmen for both universities said. Dartmouth College announced Tuesday that its acceptance rate dropped to a record-low 12 percent this year.
Princeton University announced Tuesday that its admissions rate rose slightly, up to 9.8 percent from 9.3 percent at this time last year.
The University of Pennsylvania also saw a small increase in its acceptance rate, which rose to 17.1 percent from 16.4 percent at this time last year, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported Tuesday. Cornell University had not announced its acceptance rate as of Tuesday evening.
Yale will host many hundreds of admitted students during its annual Bulldog Days, to be held on campus from April 20 to 22.