Yasmine Halmane, Contributing Photographer

Yale College admitted 837 students out of a record-high 7,939 early action applicants to the class of 2025 on Wednesday.

The number of admitted students corresponds to a 10.5 percent acceptance rate for early action — the lowest since at least 2008, and a significant decrease from the 13.8 and 13.19 percent early acceptance rates for the class of 2024 and class of 2023, respectively. This year’s early applicant pool was the largest in the College’s history, up 38 percent from last year’s pool of 5,777 applicants. The number of accepted students is slightly larger than the 796 and 794 applicants admitted early to the class of 2024 and class of 2023, respectively.

According to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 50 percent of early action applicants were deferred for reconsideration in the spring, 38 percent of applicants were denied admission and 1 percent of applications were withdrawn or incomplete.

“The Admissions Committee was very impressed with this year’s early applicant pool across every dimension,” Director of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan wrote in a press release. “Although high schoolers have dealt with countless challenges this year, the resilience, intellectual curiosity, and positive community contributions we’ve seen from our applicants has been inspiring.”

On Dec. 1, Yale College also admitted 72 students through QuestBridge National College Match — a non-profit organization that matches low-income students with over 40 selective colleges and universities. These students can attend Yale with no parent share financial aid award. The pool of 72 students is the second-largest that Yale has admitted through QuestBridge since the partnership began in 2007. Last year, QuestBridge matched 87 applicants with Yale.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s admissions cycle differs from years past. For the first time, Yale’s application process is entirely test-optional. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions announced the change in June, citing concerns about testing center closures due to the pandemic.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has also conducted all of its outreach virtually this year, as all in-person tours and events were canceled. According to Mark Dunn, director of outreach and recruitment and associate director at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, virtual information sessions and outreach events have been able to reach significantly more prospective students than in a typical year — 47,000 prospective students registered for joint virtual events featuring Yale in 2020, compared to around 8,500 in 2019.

“In a year when very few high school students could visit Yale or meet a representative in person, we didn’t know how our applicant pool would change,” Dunn wrote in a press release. “We worked hard to make sure our many new outreach initiatives were a strong substitute for an in-person visit. It was reassuring to see that many early applicants demonstrated a real appreciation of what makes the Yale experience special after they engaged with online programming.”

Dunn also cited the Yale Undergraduate Admissions Instagram account and events such as the Multicultural Open House — a two-week virtual event that showcased the cultural centers and various student groups through panels and performances — as ways the admissions office virtually engaged with prospective students.

Yale’s early admissions decisions are non-binding and newly-admitted students will have until May 1 to decide whether they would like to enroll. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is not planning to hold an in-person Bulldog Days, according to a recent press release, but is hoping to have virtual programming similar to last year’s “30 Bulldog Days of April,” which provided a month of online activities, classes and videos to admitted students.

Yale College will admit the majority of the class of 2025 through its regular application pool, with an announcement expected in late March.

The deadline to submit the regular decision application to Yale College is Jan. 2.

Amelia Davidson | amelia.davidson@yale.edu 

Amelia Davidson was the University Editor for the Yale Daily News. Before that, she covered admissions, financial aid and alumni as a staff reporter. Originally from the Washington D.C. area, she is a junior in Pauli Murray College majoring in American studies.