Record number of prospective first-years apply to Yale
The office of undergraduate admissions will read through more than 50,000 applications to decide the class of 2026.
Madelyn Kumar, Contributing Photographer
Yale received 50,022 applications to join the University’s class of 2026, the most in the school’s history.
The record-breaking pool includes the 7,313 early action applications prospective students sent to New Haven in December. The 2021–2022 cycle yielded seven percent more applications than the year prior and 42 percent more than 2019–2020.
“We do not measure success simply by the number of applications we receive,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan wrote in an email to the News. “Quality matters much more to the Admissions Committee than quantity.”
Nevertheless, the increase in applications is significant and could lead to a further drop in Yale’s acceptance rate. Last spring, Yale accepted 4.62 percent of 46,905 applicants, and in 2020, 6.4 percent of 35,220 were welcomed to join the class of 2024.
Though Quinlan said that “it is impossible to attribute direct cause and effect relationships” between various outreach strategies and the application yield, Mark Dunn, the director of outreach and communications at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, credited virtual outreach methods with the record applicant pool.
“The consistent increases in applications are a positive sign that our pivot to a virtual outreach strategy has been successful,” Dunn told the News. “Although there is no substitute for visiting campus — and we hope that we can continue welcoming campus visitors as soon as possible — it is clear that new virtual events have allowed us to connect with more prospective students and to feature amazing Yale students in a new way.”
The admissions office has employed virtual tours, online information sessions and video and poster campaigns to showcase the University. But Dunn also credited current students as the office’s “most valuable asset” in outreach.
Dunn noted that the increase in international student applicants outpaced domestic application growth this year, though both have risen in the past two application cycles. Last year, international applicants also accounted for the majority of the historic rise in applications.
“We are impressed by the variety of students throughout the world who are seeking the opportunity to study at Yale next year,” said Keith Light, associate director of admissions and director of international admissions. “We are truly seeing the very best prospects from more than 150 countries and territories from all four hemispheres.”
Regular decision applications were due on Jan. 2.