Lisa Qian

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has accepted 1,972 students to the class of 2020 from a pool of 31,455 applicants, Yale’s largest-ever pool by more than 500 applications.

This year’s acceptance rate is slightly lower than last year’s rate of 6.49 percent, and is almost identical to the 6.26 percent rate for the class of 2018, which was Yale’s lowest acceptance rate ever. This is the fifth year in a row that Yale’s acceptance rate has remained in the 6 percent range, after hovering around 7.5 percent from 2009 to 2011. The class of 2020 will be the last class of roughly 1,360 students, as subsequent classes are set to expand by 15 percent for the four years after Yale opens its two new residential colleges in fall 2017.

“As we emerge from this incredibly challenging selection process, my colleagues and I are inspired by Yale’s extraordinary applicant pool,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said. “Students admitted to the class of 2020 represent all 50 states and 63 countries. They expressed interest in majoring in more than 70 Yale academic programs. They will graduate from more than 1,350 secondary schools around the world.”

Quinlan also spoke to the increasing diversity of Yale’s applicants, admitted students and freshman classes over the past several years. Since 2013, the number of applications from African-American students has increased by 36 percent. In the same period, the number of applicants who identify as members of a minority racial or ethnic group has increased 18 percent. Yale also admitted 51 students through the QuestBridge National College Match program in December.

Yale released its decisions at the same time as every other Ivy League school. Acceptance rates in the Ivy League remained relatively stable this year, with no school’s rate changing by more than 1 percentage point. Cornell reported the greatest change, falling from 14.9 percent to 13.96 percent. The acceptance rates at Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton dropped slightly as well. Harvard saw its admissions rate drop from 5.3 percent to 5.2 percent.

In addition to the 1,177 students admitted to Yale on Thursday, 1,095 were offered a place on the waitlist. Quinlan said that since students on the waitlist are not ranked, the Admissions Office prefers to keep a large pool to draw on to make its final decisions over the summer. Only about half of the students offered a spot on the waitlist will choose to remain on it, Quinlan said. Fourteen students were admitted from the waitlist for the class of 2018.

After an application-reading process in January and February, two admissions committees met per day for about five weeks. Director of Undergraduate Admissions Margit Dahl ’75 said that while the Admissions Office’s staff has expanded with the size of the applicant pool, very little has changed in Yale’s process since the late 1970s.

“In the ‘old’ days we could get through the applicant pool with only one committee over a somewhat shorter period of time, but the committee process itself has changed very little,” she said.

Dahl added that the committee also relies heavily on input from faculty and staff from the Yale College Dean’s Office. This year, 28 faculty members and 27 Dean’s Office staff participated in admissions deliberations for one to three days each, she said.

Quinlan acknowledged that this could be the most selective admissions year for some time due to Yale College’s coming expansion, but noted that it is hard to speculate on how the acceptance rate will be impacted in the future.

For admitted students interviewed, there was a common reaction to Thursday’s news.

“I’m speechless,” said Mohamed Anwer Akkari, an admitted student from Tunisia. “I can’t believe it.”

Akkari said he burst into tears after seeing that he had been accepted, adding that Yale was his first choice.

Jack Tubio, an admitted student from Davie, Florida, also expressed disbelief at having been accepted.

“I was in complete shock,” Tubio said. “I wasn’t really expecting a lot.”

Tubio, who was also accepted at the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt, said Yale is his first choice. As he has never visited campus before, Tubio said he is excited for Bulldog Days, when admitted students are invited to campus for three days of programming that showcase Yale’s academic, extracurricular and social offerings. Bulldog Days will be held this year from April 25 to 27.

Director of Outreach and Recruitment Mark Dunn ’07 said the Admissions Office also has other recruitment programs in place, all of which center around connecting admitted students with current Yale students.

Dunn said more than 300 current students have signed up to participate in the Admissions Office’s Prefrosh Advisors program, in which they will call admitted students with whom they share similar backgrounds or interests. Student employees will be hosting Virtual Student Forums for admitted students to ask questions about Yale, and other current students have put together a series of videos to showcase various aspects of campus life.

The yield rate for the class of 2019 was 69.5 percent.

  • fruck

    The most important number: >25% of Yale College graduates will enter the financial industry as new pawns

    • annette

      Yes, an unfortunate number but the supposed best and brightest have an inclination to chase the almighty dollar.

    • Mary Ann

      Who are you to criticise what others choose for their livelihoods? Your judgmentalism is narrow minded, ignorant and unappealing. Spend less time picking at others and more time examining your own heart, where there is obviously work to be done.

      How big a check did you write to Access Yale to reduce the student contribution once, and for all?

      If you are less than eleven years old, as your choice of comment name suggests, you shouldn’t be commenting here. And if you are at least eleven years old, you need to grow up and change your comment name.

    • Y11
  • frank

    Now admitted…everyone can have a good cry…OK you’re in…now what? Bulldog days…it’s college you get accepted or rejected or wait listed…kind of like going to a butcher shop…the guy cuts meat…that’s it

  • 15gladyskravitz

    Poor things. Think they are headed for a world class education but instead will find a place fraught with politically correct, progressive, liberal hot house orchids, who participate in the worst sort of groupthink and bullying. Those are just the professors and administrators, don’t even get me started on the students.

  • 15gladyskravitz

    By the time comments post, the article is gone. Gee, could that be purposeful?

  • jeffJ1

    It’s a little odd, given how obsessed Ivy League schools are with comparing themselves to one another, and how dominated this article is by a chart featuring all the Ivy’s admit rates, that the author omits the fact that a different school altogether – Stanford – had the lowest admit rate in the country this year.

    • John C

      The number of applications that a college gets is heavily influenced by local demographics. 86% of American students attend a college within 500 miles from home, and over half attend a school within 100 miles. The Ivies share a common applicant pool in the Northeastern US. Stanford does not; it shares its applicant pool more with the UC schools but because its class size is much smaller, its acceptance rate is lower than the top UC schools.

      • jeffJ1

        Yes, and something like 80% of all college students are attending a 2-year college. I recognize that this is a complicated topic. But the idea that the Ivies draw primarily from the northeast while Stanford draws primarily from the West Coast is a) enormously outdated and b) irrelevant to the fact at hand – Stanford has a lower admit rate than any Ivy, period.

        • John C

          (a) Before you claim it’s “outdated”, you would need to prove it by showing the geographical breakdown of the applicants for Stanford and Harvard. I say Stanford draws the majority of its applicants from California. California students who do well in school usually stay in California. They apply to a bunch of UC schools and Stanford as a reach school (and there aren’t any schools comparable in prestige to Stanford there). If they get rejected from Stanford, they just attend a UC school. They don’t have a compelling reason to go outside the state because they can get a great education at a bargain price. Stanford effectively has a college application monopoly in California, the state that has by far the largest population among the 50 states and home to 9 of the top 10 colleges that get the largest number of applications in the US. In contrast, Harvard does not have a college application monopoly in the Northeast, because there are at least a dozen Ivies and liberal arts schools that it competes with for attention.
          (b) On the contrary, geographical considerations are very relevant to this issue. What is irrelevant is your “fact” that Stanford has a lower admit rate than any Ivy, because comparing the admit rate is a meaningless exercise if the applicant pools are different. Walmart has an even lower acceptance rate, for example. I know that at the end of the day, all you want is to be able to brag, but I don’t think you quite deserve that.

          • guest


          • John C

            What’s sad are your posts on multiple college newspapers. Maybe consider changing your settings so that people can’t read your previous posts.

          • jeffJ1

            LOL okay, sorry my pointing out a simple fact got you so worked up.

          • John C

            I’m simply pointing out why your so-called “fact” is irrelevant. Sorry you couldn’t come up with a meaningful rebuttal.

          • jeffJ1

            I’m sorry I can’t be bothered to engage any further with this! Good luck thinking it all through.

          • John C

            Good! If you don’t write nonsense, we are all better off.

        • John C

          84% of California students attend college in California.
          California students stay in their state. They apply to a bunch of UC schools and Stanford. If they get rejected from Stanford, they attend a UC school. Stanford accumulates applications simply by being in California and having no real competition.

          44% of Massachusetts students, 55% of New York students, 51% of Rhode Island students, and 55% of Pennsylvania students attend college in their own state. There are dozens of Ivies and liberal arts colleges that compete with each other for applications.

          Comparing admit rates is meaningless if the applicant pools are different.

          • guest

            oy vey. Sad.

  • randomyalie

    Color me surprised; perhaps Yale’s admissions team has done a good job of hiding the current campus climate. As a current junior, the amount this place has changed since I arrived here almost defies what I would have thought was anywhere near feasible. Whereas it was once kind of like, “Yeah most people here are liberal, maybe don’t go around saying you don’t support abortion,” today’s climate is more like “If you don’t post 10 Facebook updates a week saying how big of a problem rape culture is others will think you’re misogynistic.”

    It’s increasingly difficult for white students to interact with minorities, for fear of accidentally committing as grave of a “microaggression” as asking someone foreign looking “Where are you from?” and being punished for being insensitive.

    And it’s increasingly difficult for men to have sexual relationships with Yale women, for fear of the woman regretting her decision several months later, claiming it was rape to a Title IX coordinator, and having you expelled.

    In the short run, my guess is Yale will be continue to be a top university on the basis of its prestige, network, and endowment alone. But if Yale doesn’t make drastic changes soon, it’s hard for me to see how it could possibly remain one of the country’s top universities for that much longer. While we spend huge amounts of money on clubs that literally exclude students based on race (cultural centers), prioritizing hiring diversity over hiring excellence, and eliminating the ridiculously low tuition for students on financial aid, other schools are pumping that money into their academic departments. Yale has already been overtaken by schools like Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, and Princeton in almost every academic department (excepting maybe ethnic/gender studies), and realistically it probably won’t be long until schools like University of Michigan, Duke, and Rice start to pass us.

    I met many of my best friends here, took some great classes, and have a pretty good job lined up. I guess if I could go back to my senior year of high school, I would still come to Yale, just for those few things. But I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this school to anyone considering colleges today, even if it means choosing a substantially less prestigious school like Vanderbilt or Dartmouth. If you are a high school senior reading this who got admitted to both Yale and other schools, I implore you, choose somewhere else.

  • Mike

    Duke..20%.. Georgetown 15 %… Princeton 7%…