Yale News

Yale’s class of 2025 arrived on campus last Friday as one of Yale’s most diverse classes of all time, as well as its largest incoming class in recent history.

The first-year class contains 1,789 students, which is about 200 more than a typical incoming class. The increase can be attributed to a record-high 335 students who opted to take gap years after originally being admitted to the class of 2024.

The class of 2025 is one of the most diverse in recent years: 51 percent of the class is comprised of United States citizens who identify as students of color, and students come from 48 states and 68 countries. Fifty-five percent of the class is female, as compared to 48 percent for the class of 2024, and 63 percent of the class attended public schools, down slightly from 67 percent for the class of 2024.

“The members of the Admissions Committee were blown away by the level of academic strength, extracurricular accomplishment, social commitment, and personal resilience our applicants displayed this year, despite the countless pandemic-related hardships and disruptions they experienced,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan wrote in a statement. “Selecting the class from such a large group of applicants was daunting, but we maintained our commitment to thoughtful, whole-person review, and I am confident that this group of new students is exceptionally well prepared to thrive at Yale.”

The class of 2025 was admitted to Yale with a record-low 4.6 percent acceptance rate after Yale saw soaring application numbers in part due to virtual outreach and the elimination of its standardized testing requirements. Despite the large number of 2024 admits who took gap years, Yale admitted a typical number of students during its early and regular decision processes for the 2020-21 application cycle.

Yale’s decision to keep admit levels the same has resulted in Yale’s largest class since just after World War II.

“Over the past 18 months, the faculty and staff of Yale College have shown ingenuity, perseverance, and commitment to providing a Yale undergraduate education in challenging circumstances,” Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun wrote in a press release. “They are all looking forward, as I am, to welcoming this large and diverse group of new students to campus.”

Over 50 percent of the class of 2025 is receiving a need-based financial aid award, with awards averaging $61,500 — up $6,400 from the average award for the class of 2024. Sixteen percent of students in the class are the first in their family to attend college, down from the 19 percent of students in the class of 2024.

The class of 2025 also includes a record-high 131 students who applied to Yale through QuestBridge, a national nonprofit that matches low-income students with selective colleges.

Mark Dunn, director of outreach and communications at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, told the News that the class of 2025 is “unlike any other that’s arrived at Yale” due to its large size and its admission during the COVID-19 pandemic. But even with the challenges of the pandemic, Yale was able to admit a class full of similar students to years past, Dunn wrote in an email to the News.

“In the most important ways, this class is exactly like the classes that have arrived at Yale in previous years,” Dunn wrote. “These new students are curious, ambitious, committed to their communities, and are open to having a transformational experience at Yale.”

In addition to publishing a complete profile of the class of 2025, the Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions for the first time published a combined profile that includes demographic statistics about both the class of 2024 and the class of 2025.

Dunn told the News that the admissions office has frequently thought about the two classes together due to the large number of students who took gap years.

“Together, the classes of 2024 and 2025 are an especially extraordinary group of accomplished young people who have persevered through the countless disruptions of the pandemic to arrive at Yale ready to thrive in all the facets of on-campus life,” Quinlan told the News. “Since March of 2020, these students have taken many varied paths to reach New Haven, and I am delighted that they are all finally together in this special place.”

Certain changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as virtual outreach initiatives and the elimination of standardized testing requirements, remain in place for the 2021-22 admissions cycle. 

The early admissions deadline for the class of 2026 is Nov. 1.

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.