The Office of Undergraduate Admissions released regular admissions decisions yesterday for what will be Yale College’s largest freshman class in history with 2,272 students admitted from a record pool of 32,900 applicants.
The admitted students represent 6.9 percent of the total applicant pool, which includes both regular decision and early action applicants. This year’s acceptance rate is slightly higher than last year’s rate of 6.27 percent.
The increased size of the newly admitted class comes as a result of the addition of Yale’s two newest residential colleges, Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin colleges, which will open in the fall and increase the size of Yale College by roughly 800 students over four years. In the past, Yale has admitted about 2,000 students for a freshman class of about 1,350. The Admissions Office is aiming for a total class of roughly 1,550 freshmen entering this fall.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said that even with a larger number of admitted students, admissions officers felt confident that they did not sacrifice anything to admit an extremely qualified group of students.
Quinlan also explained that the Admissions Committee reviewed many more applications from highly qualified students than they were able to admit.
“Although we were thrilled to send out more offers of admissions this year, I remain humbled by the selectivity of our admissions process,” Quinlan said. “Virtually all of the students we denied will be successful students at other great colleges and universities.”
According to a statement from the Admissions Office, students admitted to the class of 2021 come from all 50 states and 68 countries, graduating from more than 1,500 secondary schools around the world. This admissions cycle continued the trend of the past several years, as the proportion of applicants and admitted students who identify as members of underrepresented groups has steadily increased.
In addition to the 2,272 students who were accepted, another 1,181 students were offered a spot on the waiting list. As in years past, the Admissions Office is unsure if it will be able to make any offers to students on the waiting list, which is unranked, according to Director of Outreach and Communications Mark Dunn ’07.
Cory Zhou, a senior at Smithtown High School-West in New York who learned of his Yale acceptance on Thursday, said he was not expecting the news.
“I actually opened [the decision] on my bus home from a badminton match, and everyone was cheering me on because they know how much I love Yale,” Zhou said. “When I opened it I saw a video that was buffering, and I started shaking because I was like, ‘Is this real?’ And I finally got the singing bulldogs and literally exploded, and the entire bus exploded with me. I was crying, and everyone was so happy for me.”
Craftsbury Academy senior Amy DelaBruere, an admitted student from Vermont, said that she felt “complete and utter disbelief” upon learning of her acceptance. DelaBruere opened her decision outside while walking her dog.
“I had just gotten home from track and field practice, and even though I really just wanted to sit on the couch and keep hitting the refresh button, he was desperate to go outside,” said DelaBruere, a prospective English major. “I saw my decision while walking down the road, trying to manage holding my dog’s leash and still open my account on my phone. When I saw the Yale class of 2021 video pop up, I stopped dead and nearly had a face-plant when my dog started pulling me down the road.”
“Who would have guessed that I could go from small-town northern Vermont to New Haven, Connecticut?” DelaBruere added.
All seven other Ivy League schools also announced their regular decisions today. Every Ivy League college other than Yale posted a decrease in its acceptance rate this year except for Harvard, the acceptance rate of which remained at 5.2 percent.
This post was updated to reflect the version that ran in print on March 31.