Yale accepted 649 students from its early applicant pool this year, yielding a 14.4 percent early acceptance rate for the class of 2017.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions received 4,520 applications this year — a 4.4 percent increase from 4,323 last year — and this year’s acceptance rate is slightly lower than last year’s 15.7 percent. Out of the total early applications received this year, 2,529 were deferred and 1,302 were rejected. The decisions were released to applicants online this afternoon.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel said in an email to the News that the admissions office looks forward to “addressing the number of outstanding applications still to come.”

“We were blessed once again that an incredibly strong and incredibly diverse group of the world’s highest achieving students made Yale their first choice school in the early process,” he said.

Harvard announced yesterday that it accepted 18 percent of its 4,856 early applicants, and Dartmouth accepted 29.5 percent of its 1,574 early applicants on Monday. The remaining five Ivy League schools have not yet released their admissions decisions.

Early applications increased across the board at many selective universities this year, with the number hitting a record-high for some schools, such as Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania. Harvard and Princeton experienced increases of 10 percent and 15 percent, and Dartmouth was the only school in the Ivy League to report a decrease.

Harry Munroe, a high school student from Maine, said he applied early to Yale in order to know his decision as soon as possible. After visiting the campus four times, Munroe said, Yale became his top-choice university.

“I didn’t know about the increase in applications, but it doesn’t bother me much,” he said. “I have confidence that the admissions officers will let me in if they see some sort of spark in me. I know that I’ve done all I can to get in.”

Jawaan Wallace, director of college counseling at Brentwood School in California, said she has seen a consistent increase in students at her school applying early to college for the last 10 years.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in early applicants, and we see it happen pretty much every year — but this year was particularly record-breaking for us,” Wallace said. “I think overall the message that students are hearing is that they’ll have some sort of advantage [by applying early], whether it’s them thinking that it shows interest or the numbers reflecting a greater number of acceptances.”

Minutes after the decisions became available for students to view, online forum CollegeConfidential erupted with excited posts from accepted applicants. “Can’t believe this is happening,” one student wrote, while another posted “can’t believe it’s real.”

Accepted applicants have until May 1 to make a final decision and can apply to other colleges in regular admissions rounds.