The University of Pennsylvania received 7.8 percent fewer early applications than it received last year, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported Thursday. Penn’s announcement reflects the greatest decline in early applications for an Ivy League school that has released this data so far. Yale and Dartmouth College increases in early applications of about 10 and 12.5 percent, respectively, and Brown University saw a small dip of about 4.5 percent. The economic downturn played a role in the application drop, Penn Admissions Dean Eric Furda told the Daily Pennsylvanian. Officials from the Penn Admissions Office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.