Lukas Flippo, Photo Editor

On Wednesday evening, 800 students discovered that Yale offered them admission to the College’s class of 2026.

The students were admitted from a pool of 7,288 early action applicants — the second highest number in Yale’s history — which yields an acceptance rate of 10.9 percent. The acceptance rate rose slightly from last year when 10.5 percent of early action applicants, or 837 students, received an offer of admission. But both this year and last demonstrate increasing exclusivity compared to prior cycles. The class of 2024 and 2023 saw early acceptance rates of 13.8 and 13.2 percent and 796 and 794 students admitted, respectively.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions reported that an additional 31 percent of early applicants were deferred for reconsideration during regular decision deliberations, 57 percent were rejected and one percent were withdrawn or incomplete.

“We are delighted to offer admission to this first group of students in the Class of 2026,”

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan wrote in a press release. “But we also look forward to admitting a much larger group of students through our regular decision process this spring.”

Earlier this month, 81 QuestBridge students — high achieving, low-income applicants — matched with Yale through the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship, which marks the second highest number of matches in Yale and QuestBridge’s nearly 15-year-old partnership. These students arrive on campus next fall with a $0 parent share award, the College’s most generous financial aid package. 

Between QuestBridge and early action, Yale has offered spots to 881 potential members of the class of 2026, which marks a small decrease from the cumulative 909 admits Yale made at this point last cycle. Though the QuestBridge matches are required to accept their offer of admission, early action admits have until May 2, 2022 to decide if they will matriculate to Yale or not.

The class of 2026 will be the first to benefit from four years of financial aid enhancements Yale announced this fall semester. These adjustments, which go into effect for the 2022-2023 school year, include an aid expansion for Eli Whitney students and an elimination of the student income contribution.

“For most students receiving financial aid this new policy will reduce costs and increase the amount of Yale Scholarship by $7,500 over four years,” Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid Scott Wallace-Juedes said of the more affordable student share, which stems from the elimination of the student income contribution.

Other changes — like a child care subsidy for undergraduates and coverage of the marginal tax rate for international students — went into effect this fall and will continue to benefit the class of 2026. 

This cycle’s cohort of admitted students are expected to be the first since the class of 2023 to experience Bulldog Days, an on-campus admitted students program held each April. For the past two years, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced Bulldog Days online, turning the event, which previously lasted several days, into an almost month-long virtual extravaganza entitled “Bulldog Days of April.”

“The admissions office staff has been working closely with the university’s COVID response team and leaders across Yale College,” Quinlan wrote. “We are planning a safe event that will allow admitted students to experience life on campus and connect with the Yale community in person, if public health conditions allow.”

The Admissions Office’s Director of Recruitment Ashleigh Corvi said the office will continue to offer “many of the virtual events” it launched during the pandemic, which will enable admitted students to engage with the College and their future classmates even if they are unable to travel to Connecticut.

Still, Corvi emphasized that the admissions office “makes a special effort” to subsidize travel for low-income students and ensure that everyone may experience life at Yale before committing to the University. In 2019 — the last year Bulldog Days took place in New Haven — the admissions office extended travel grants to more than 500 admitted students.

Those wishing to apply to Yale through the regular decision pool have until Jan. 2 to submit their applications.

Jordan Fitzgerald serves as a University editor for the News. She previously edited for WKND and wrote about admissions, financial aid & alumni. She is a senior in Trumbull College majoring in American history.