This year, it was harder than ever to become a Yalie, as the University’s overall acceptance rate for the Class of 2010 hit an Ivy League record low of 8.6 percent, the Admissions Office announced Thursday.

Yale accepted 1,823 students this year from a total pool of 21,099 applicants, a pool 8.5 percent larger than last year’s. The acceptance rate for the regular decision pool of 18,976 — which included 1,961 students deferred from early admission — was 5.8 percent. In the early round of admissions, 724 of 4,084 applicants were accepted for a 17.7 percent acceptance rate, also a record low.

“Yale has been an extremely strong undergraduate program for many years,” Levin said. “It takes time for a reputation to spread, but I think we’ve seen a remarkable change in the external perception of the quality of Yale College.”

Not all the Ivies have released their admissions figures for this year, but Yale had the lowest acceptance rate released so far.

At Harvard, 9.3 percent of applicants were accepted, as 2,109 students were admitted out of a pool of 22,753. Columbia’s acceptance rate was 9.6 percent, with 1,653 students accepted out of 17,148 applicants. At Cornell, 6,927 students were admitted out the 28,097 applicants, for a 24.7 percent acceptance rate.

Last year also marked a record admissions low for Yale, with 9.7 percent of 19,448 applicants receiving admission to the Class of 2009. Yale admitted 18 percent of its early action applicants and 7.5 percent of its regular decision applicants last spring.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel said Yale accepted 57 fewer total students than last year in hopes of achieving a yield of about 1,310. Last year, Yale witnessed a record-high 71.3 percent yield, an accomplishment that Brenzel attributed to recent changes in the financial aid policy. Last spring, Yale eliminated the parental contribution for families with an annual income of under $45,000 and reduced it for families earning between $45,000 and $60,000.

Brenzel said 700 students, about 3 percent of the total applicant pool, were placed on the wait list this year.

Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said he is pleased with the high volume of applications the University received this year, but that this increased interest also has its downsides.

“The size and strength of our applicant pool puts Yale in an unusual position,” he said. “On the one hand, we are blessed with the opportunity to draw on virtually every kind of background, every sort of talent, and an extremely broad range of accomplishments in choosing our students. On the other hand, as the number of applications increase, we have the challenge of turning away many, many extraordinary students who we would love to have here and who we know would make a unique personal contribution to the Yale community.”

Students admitted for the Class of 2010 will represent all 50 states and 52 countries. Slightly more men than women were admitted, with 895 women and 925 men deemed Eli material. Approximately 44 percent of admitted students are minorities or international students.

Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Dartmouth College and Stanford University have not yet released their regular decision figures.

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