Class of 2015 admit rate lowest ever

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Photo by Emily Wanger.

In line with its peer institutions, Yale’s admission rate dropped this year — from 7.5 percent in the last admissions cycle to 7.35 percent this year.

Yale is making a total of 2,006 offers of admission to the record 27,282 students who applied this year, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel said. Yale’s target class size will stay consistent this year, and Brenzel attributed the decreased admit rate to the rise in applications this year.

“The admit rate went down simply because applications went up,” Brenzel said. “We’re aiming at about the same number of places as last year, and we had a significant application increase, so our admit rate must go down as a result.”

The University joins Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and MIT in recording small decreases in admissions rate this year.

According to the Harvard Crimson, Harvard’s acceptance rate fell from 6.9 percent last year to 6.2 percent this year. Stanford fell from 7.2 percent to 7.1 percent according to the Stanford Daily, and MIT from 9.7 percent to 9.6 percent according to The MIT Tech.

Four college counselors interviewed said they were not surprised by Yale’s ever-lower admissions rate, which has fallen from 9.9 percent since 2007.

Nancy Beane, a college counselor at the Westminster Schools, a private Christian day school in Atlanta, Ga., said decreasing admissions rates are causing more students to apply to more schools.

“Every school seems to be getting incrementally harder to get into,” she said. “It worries me, especially with the number of applications out there. It’s gotten crazy.”

Beane added that some of her students applied to 15 schools or more because they were afraid they would not be accepted.

But she agreed with three other college counselors who said the .15 percent change in Yale’s admissions rate this year did not indicate a meaningful change in the school’s selectivity.

“It’s hard to get into Yale: it’s an easy thing to say and it’s true,” said Alice Kleeman, college and career advisor at the Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, Cali. “It was true last year, it’s true this year and it will be true next year.”

Yale admitted 65 more students initially this year than last year, when 1,941 applicants were admitted on April 1 last year out of a total pool of 25,869.

Leonard King, director of college counseling at the Maret School in Washington, D.C., said Yale accepts more students than it aims to take, knowing that it will lose some to peers like Harvard and Princeton. He added that he thinks next year, Yale may accept fewer students because Harvard and Princeton will offer early action for the first time in four years, taking some students who prefer those schools over Yale out of Yale’s regular decision pool.

Yale also offered 996 students a place on the waitlist for the class of 2015. Last year, Yale waitlisted 932 applicants, and eventually made offers of admission to 98 of them. With these additional offers of admission, Yale’s acceptance rate overall was 7.9 percent.

“We had another extraordinary applicant pool, and another challenging selection process,” Brenzel said. “We could not make the offers we would have liked to a large number of immensely talented students, almost all of whom will attend other great colleges and universities.”

Marissa Medansky, a senior at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illin. said she was very excited to be accepted to Yale after having been deferred in the early round. Medansky said she is “most definitely probably” going to come to Yale.

Students admitted to Yale, both on December 15 and yesterday, have until May 1 to accept their offer of admission.

Correction: April 4, 2011

A previous version of the article stated that Princeton’s admission rate dropped from 8.8 percent last year to 8.39 percent this year. In fact, 8.8 percent was the Princeton’s final acceptance rate, including students accepted off the wait list, and 8.18 percent was Princeton’s initial admission rate. Princeton experienced a .21 percent increase in admission rate from last year to this year, not a small decrease, as the article had originally stated.

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