Yale College tied its record for the lowest admit rate on the books, accepting 7.5 percent of applicants to the class of 2014, the same percentage admitted at this point last year.
But Yale is the only school in the Ivy League that did not see its acceptance rate drop this year. A total of 1,940 students have been offered admission from an applicant pool of 25,869 students, said Jeff Brenzel, the dean of undergraduate admissions, on Thursday. A total of 932 students have been placed on the waitlist, compared to 769 last year, Brenzel said.
This year’s admissions cycle closely resembles that of last year, with similar numbers of students admitted in the early and regular decision rounds. Yale accepted 1,210 students in the regular decision round this year, holding steady compared to the 1,209 students admitted at the same time last year. Factoring in the 2,639 who were deferred for early admission, the regular admit rate stands at 5.2 percent.
This year Yale saw a slight decline in application numbers to 25,869 from 26,000 last year, and the number of admitted students has also fallen from 1,951 to 1,940 this year. Because both numbers fell proportionally, the admit rate stayed about the same.
But the number of students placed on Yale’s waitlist rose 21 percent compared to last year, though the figure is still smaller than the waitlist for the class of 2012. Last year, Yale admitted only seven students off the waitlist because more students matriculated than expected. While Brenzel said he intends to admit students from the waitlist, he said he cannot predict how many will ultimately be accepted in May.
“Each year, we waitlist the number of students we think we might want to reconsider later,” Brenzel said.
Although this year’s matriculation rate will be difficult to predict, Brenzel said he does not expect yield to increase or decrease by more than one or two percentage points. Last year’s matriculation rate was 67.9 percent.
Yale’s peer institutions have continued to set record low admissions rates. Harvard posted a 6.9 percent admit rate, a drop of 0.1 percent from last year. Stanford’s admissions rate stood at 7.2 percent, down from 7.6 percent last year, marking the first year in recent memory that Stanford’s admit rate has been lower than Yale’s at this point in the process. Princeton’s admit rate fell to 8.2 percent from 9.4 percent last year, while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology saw its admissions rate drop to 9.7 percent from 10. All other Ivy League colleges have admitted fewer students this year.
“Once again, the applicant pool was truly extraordinary, making the selection task tremendously difficult,” Brenzel said in e-mail to the News. “The consolation for turning away so many immensely talented students is knowing that virtually all Yale applicants will be attending great colleges and universities.”
The seven guidance counselors interviewed Thursday said they were not surprised that admissions rates for highly selective colleges tightened even further after this year. Judging from college decisions that have already been released, all guidance counselors said they have noticed stiffening competition with more qualified students being unexpectedly rejected and waitlisted.
Leonard King, college counselor at the private Maret School in Washington, said the increasingly tight admit rates at top colleges are making it very difficult to predict whether a student will be admitted.
“This obviously doesn’t make me happy because our students will have less chances of getting into Yale,” he said.
Similarly, Nancy Beane, college counselor at the private Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Ga., said Ivy League admissions officers she met at a conference recommended that she encourage students to apply to more schools this year to account for increasingly unpredictable admissions decisions.
The result, Beane said, is that her students are now submitting an average of seven college applications, almost double the number submitted six or seven years ago.
But while many of Yale’s peer schools saw a jump in applications this year, Martha Lyman, director of college advising at Deerfield Academy, a private boarding school in Deerfield, Mass., said the rapid growth in applicant pools does not provide information about the quality of the applicant pool.
“Many kids are applying to more colleges because they are less and less certain about the outcome,” she said.
Other college counselors have lamented the race to the bottom in admissions rates. Skip Zickmund, director of college counseling at Mullen High School in Denver, Colo., said the falling admit rates reflect an effort by top-tier colleges to keep up with each other in terms of selectivity.
“It’s like keeping up with the Joneses,” Zickmund. “It doesn’t make sense for Yale to keep such a large waitlist.”
Students accepted to the class of 2014 will have until May 1 to decided whether to matriculate this fall. Bulldog Days, Yale’s three-day admitted students’ event, will be held from April 19 to 21.
Correction: April 4, 2010
An earlier version of this article misreported last year’s overall matriculation rate. The final yield for the class of 2013 was 67.9 percent, not 68.7 percent. In addition, the graph accompanying the article was originally mislabeled. The admissions rates represented are for the classes of 2010 to 2014, not the years 2008 to 2012.