With the regular-decision pool acceptance rate at a record-low 8 percent, Yale mailed admissions decisions to prospective members of the Class of 2008 Thursday.

The University accepted 1,280 students regular decision out of over 15,600 applicants. Overall, 1,950 students were offered spots in the class for an acceptance rate of 9.9 percent, also a record low.

The Admissions Office received a record-high 19,674 applications for the class of 2008, Dean of Admissions Richard Shaw said. He said he expects Yale’s overall acceptance rate to be among the lowest in the Ivy League.

“First of all, I feel happy for those who made it,” Shaw said. “I wish I could be there when they receive their letters or turn their computers on — On the other hand, I feel bad for the nine out of 10 who didn’t make it.”

Those accepted represent all 50 states and 59 foreign countries plus Canada, where students from six provinces were accepted, Shaw said. He said 42 percent of those accepted are ethnic minorities, 8 percent are international, 950 are women and 1,000 are men.

“It’s a very nice and diverse class. And we’re very pleased with that,” Shaw said.

Applicants could view Yale’s decisions online beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday. Shaw said Thursday afternoon that he expected many students would access their online decisions before 8 p.m. Much planning goes into making sure the site does not crash from the high volume, he said.

“The kids hit the system,” Shaw said. “Within two hours we’ll have a very high percentage of students who know their decision — We’re trying to ensure [all the site traffic does not] take the whole system down.”

The task for the Admissions Office is to end up with its target of 1,310 students in the Class of 2008, Shaw said. He said with the switch to single-choice Early Action this year, yields will be difficult to predict, especially for the early pool.

“They’re not 99 percent anymore,” Shaw said, referring to the early yield.

Now that Yale no longer has a binding Early Decision program, early applicants do not have to commit until May 1, like regular-decision applicants. Shaw predicted an 80 percent yield for the early pool. The regular pool’s yield is usually around 54 percent, he said.

“We just don’t know,” Shaw said. “Right now, I think we’ll take a few kids off the wait list.”

The University has not accepted students on the wait list in recent years, Shaw said. Six percent of the total applicant pool was offered a position on the list this year, he said.

Although the early acceptance rate — 16.6 percent — was approximately twice that of the regular rate, Shaw said it might have been “tougher” in the early pool because of the level of competition. He said no preference is given to early applicants.

As part of its recruiting effort, the Admissions Office will make an effort to call each accepted student and will hold its annual Bulldog Days weekend for accepted students April 19 and 20, Shaw said.

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