Yale Daily News

Yale College admitted 2,234 students to the class of 2026, with its acceptance rate falling to a record 4.46 percent for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

The admitted students come from a pool of 50,015 applicants, which is the largest applicant pool in Yale’s history. In December, 800 were accepted through early action, while 81 matched with the University through QuestBridge, a program designed to recruit first-generation, low-income students with top universities across the country. The 81 matches represent the second highest number of matches to Yale since the University first began its partnership with QuestBridge in 2007. 46 students who were admitted the previous admissions cycle are also set to join the class, and Yale offered 1,000 students spots on the waitlist to join the class of 2026.

In terms of demographics, the University admitted students across 49 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and 58 countries.

“The applicant pool’s strength and diversity are always more important to the admissions committee than its size,” Jeremiah Quinlan, Yale’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, told the News. “By these measures, the students who were admitted to Yale College this cycle are truly extraordinary. The committee was deeply impressed by their academic and extracurricular achievements, their wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, and the positive contributions they have already made to local and global communities.” 

The University accommodated the large number of applicants by hiring new staff members, but maintained a whole-person review process for each student.

The University has expanded its outreach strategy by hosting virtual tours, online information sessions and video and poster campaigns. Current students, however, were noted by the admissions office to be the admissions office’s most valuable outreach tool.

Administrators attributed the uptick in applicants to pandemic factors, such as new forms of internet outreach as well as new test optional policies which have affected schools across the nation, including Yale.

Admitted students from the class of 2026 have become subject to a plethora of changing circumstances surrounding the University’s policies. They were the second class year to apply without a standardized test requirement and the first cohort to be invited to New Haven for Bulldog Days since 2019.

“For decades, Bulldog Days has been a special experience for both admitted and current students,” Quinlan said. “I am excited to re-establish this important campus tradition and am grateful to the countless students, faculty, and staff across Yale College who will help to make this year’s event a success.”

But the University has also faced criticism over its admissions policy.

In January, the University and other members of the 568 Presidents Group, which consists of 17 elite universities that collaborate in their financial aid policies, were sued following accusations that the collaboration violated antitrust law.

“These facts, the amended complaint contends, illustrate that the defendants easily had, and continue to have, the financial means to provide more generous financial aid awards to their students – in particular, for low- and middle-income families struggling to afford the cost of a university education and to achieve success for their children — if the defendants were not colluding,” a news release from the plaintiffs’ legal team read.

The University raised the Yale College term bill from $77,750 to $80,700 on February 21, a 3.8 percent hike to term costs from the previous year.

William Porayouw covers Woodbridge Hall and previously wrote about international affairs at Yale. Originally from Southern California, he is a sophomore in Davenport College majoring in political science and economics.