Yale received a record high number of early applications this year, marking a steep rise in its single-choice early action application total for the second consecutive year.
In this admissions cycle, 5,733 students applied early action to the Yale class of 2022, a 13 percent increase from last year, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Last year, the number was 5,086, and, in the three previous years the number of applications consistently hovered around 4,700. The number of early applications received this year surpassed the previous all-time high of 5,557 in 2008. Still, Director of Outreach and Communications Mark Dunn said Yale’s outreach strategy is focused on “improving the quality and diversity” of the applicant pool, rather than increasing the overall number of applicants.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan said this year’s pool reflects a continuation of some positive trends the Admissions Office has witnessed for several years.
“Although the single-choice early action pool offers only a limited glimpse into what this year’s overall applicant pool will look like, the strength and diversity of the pool is very encouraging as we plan to enroll our second first-year class of 1,550 students that builds on the positive trends of the past several years,” Quinlan said.
Quinlan added that, as the early action pool has grown, it has become “increasingly diverse,” with a larger number of applicants from groups traditionally underrepresented at Yale and in higher education more broadly.
This year, the increase in applications from “virtually every subgroup of applicants that the admissions office tracks,” including U.S. citizens and permanent residents who identify as members of a minority racial or ethnic group, first-generation college students and international students, outpaced the overall 13 percent increase, Dunn said. He added that the Admissions Office received applications from 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 98 foreign countries.
Dunn said it was impossible to draw a direct link between specific outreach programs and an increasing number of students from different backgrounds choosing to apply. However, he believes that certain programs — including mailing campaigns to high-achieving low-income students, the Yale Ambassadors Program and the Multicultural Open House — have been “especially successful in encouraging students from all backgrounds to apply.”
Earlier this month, Quinlan told the News that, for the past several years, the University has focused on outreach to students in lower socioeconomic backgrounds who “traditionally did not think of Yale as a realistic college option.”
Compared with the class of 2017, Quinlan said, the class of 2021 includes almost 100 more Pell Grant–eligible students. He added that, by the fall of 2020, he expects that the student body will contain more than 200 additional Pell Grant–eligible students compared with the student body of this past academic year.
Quinlan emphasized that these numbers do not take Yale’s international student population into account. Because Yale extends its need-blind admissions policy to internationals, he said, it is “one of the few American universities with an international student population that is truly socioeconomically diverse.”
Quinlan added that the number of QuestBridge Finalists admitted to Yale increased from an average of 75 to 80 between 2011 and 2013 to more than 160 last year. QuestBridge is a national nonprofit that connects high-achieving low-income students with colleges and other resources.
“The socioeconomic diversity of the Yale student body and the experience of our students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are among the most important priorities of my staff in the admissions and financial aid offices and of the Yale president, provost and board of trustees,” Quinlan told the News.
Last year, Yale admitted 17.1 percent of its early action applicants.
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