Yale admitted 795 students, 17 percent of its 4,662 early applicants, to the class of 2020 Tuesday evening. 53 percent of applicants were deferred for reconsideration in the spring, 29 percent were denied admission and 1 percent withdrew or submitted incomplete applications.
This year’s early acceptance rate is a slight increase from last year’s rate of 16 percent, and 15.5 percent for the class of 2018 two years ago. The number of early applicants has remained fairly consistent over the past two years, dropping just 0.6 percent this admissions cycle.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions plans to accept between 1,200 and 1,300 students during the regular decision round, aiming for a freshman class of around 1,360. The class of 2020 will be the last cohort of this size, as the number of students in each subsequent class is set to increase by about 15 percent with the opening of two new residential colleges in fall 2017.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said this year’s group was one of the most diverse his office has ever considered. He added that admissions committee members take care to admit students in the early round only when they are confident the students would be accepted during the regular admissions cycle.
“The Admissions Committee was impressed with the strength and diversity of this year’s early applicant pool across every dimension, and we are thrilled to offer early admission to this remarkable first group of students in the Class of 2020,” Quinlan said in a statement.
In recent years, the diversity of Yale’s applicant pool has grown significantly. Quinlan said applications from students who identify as members of underrepresented minority groups have increased 15 percent over the past two years, while applications from international students have grown 12 percent.
Director of Outreach and Recruitment Mark Dunn ’07 said connecting with a diverse group of prospective applicants is a priority for the admissions office. He said that in order to reach members of underrepresented groups, Yale sends out mailing letters and brochures, assigns representatives to travel around the world and maintains an active student blog and social media presence, among other endeavors.
Last month, Dunn speculated that two programs — the Yale Ambassadors program, which sends current students to high schools to speak with standout students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and the Multicultural Open House, which invites students and their families to campus to learn about Yale’s academic and cultural offerings — may also have contributed to the increase in diversity.
“In all these efforts, our goal is to reach a diverse audience with an authentic message about the Yale undergraduate experience that we think will appeal to students from all backgrounds,” Dunn said.
In addition to the nearly 800 students accepted Tuesday through early action, Yale admitted 51 students through the QuestBridge National College Match Program.
Quinlan said he is looking forward to reviewing more applications from QuestBridge finalists in the regular round, adding that the number of finalists who enroll as freshmen will likely be the highest in Yale’s history. Last spring, Yale made a commitment to the White House to increase college opportunity and socioeconomic diversity, including a promised increase in the number of QuestBridge finalists enrolling at Yale.
Harvard and Stanford, which have early action programs similar to Yale’s, released their early admissions decisions last week. Stanford admitted 9.5 percent of its early applicants, while Harvard admitted 14.8 percent, the lowest rate since it reinstated its early action program in 2011. Both Harvard and Stanford, as well as Princeton — which will release its early admissions decisions Wednesday afternoon — reported increases in the number of early applications they received.