Yale received 4,310 early applications for the Class of 2016 this year, marking an 18 percent decrease from 5,257 early applications for the Class of 2015, Dean of Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel told the News on Friday.

Brenzel said the return of early admissions programs at Harvard and Princeton contributed to Yale’s dip in early applications, since prospective students can only apply early to one of the three schools. Harvard and Princeton eliminated their early admissions programs on a trial basis in 2007, but announced in February that they would reinstate early applications for the Class of 2016.

Despite the decrease from last year, Brenzel said that that Yale’s early application numbers this year are actually about 20 percent higher than they were for the Class of 2011 — the last year that Harvard, Princeton and Yale all had early admissions programs. He added that he expects the number of candidates admitted early to Class of 2016 will fall somewhere between 650 and 750.

Princeton received 3,547 early applications this year; Harvard has yet to release its numbers.