Each of the eight Ivy League schools released decisions today to fill the remaining seats in their incoming classes. The Ivy League institutions — Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell University — released their decisions on IVY DAY, 6th April 2021 for their Regular Decision applicants to the Class of 2025. (This year Princeton did not hold an Early round this past fall.)
The high volume of applications and the sobering admit rates leave students stunned once again. Here are figures that have been reported until this post:
At Harvard University, between the Early Action and Regular Decision rounds, total applications soared 43%. 57,435 students submitted applications — 10,866 in Early Action (747 earned admission) and 46,569 in Regular Decision (1,223 of whom earned admission). Overall, 3.4% of students earned admission to Harvard’s Class of 2025. To put these figures in historical perspective, 40,248 students applied and the admission rate stood at 4.9% for Harvard’s Class of 2024. In the past admit rates have hovered around the 4.5% mark, never dipping below it.
At Yale University, between the Early Action and Regular Decision rounds, total applications soared 33%. 46,905 students submitted applications — 7,939 in Early Action (909 earned admission, incorporating QuestBride admits as well) and 38,966 in Regular Decision (1,260 of whom earned admission). Overall, 4.62% of students earned admission to Yale’s Class of 2025.
At Princeton University, which opted against offering an Early Action program this year due to the pandemic, applications soared 12.56% — the lowest among the Ivies since the school opted to forego their Early round. In all, 37,601 students applied in Regular Decision. Of these applicants, 1,498 earned admission — marking an overall admission rate of 3.98% for the Princeton Class of 2025. To put these figures in historical perspective, 32,836 students applied and the admission rate stood at 5.6% for Princeton’s Class of 2024. In the past it has hovered between 5 to 6%.
At Columbia University, between the Early Decision and Regular Decision rounds, applications soared by 51%. Over 60,000 students submitted applications in the hope of earning admission to Columbia’s Class of 2025. In the Early Decision round, applications soared by a margin of 49%. Columbia is yet to release its actual figures.
At Dartmouth College, applications surged 33%. Between the Early Decision and Regular Decision rounds, 28,357 students submitted applications — 2,664 in Early Decision (566 earned admission) and 25,693 in Regular Decision (1,183 of whom earned admission). Overall, 4.17% of students earned admission to Dartmouth’s Class of 2025. These admit rates are less than half of previous years.
At Brown University, between the Early Decision and Regular Decision rounds, applications surged 29.4%. In all, 52,118 students submitted applications — 5,540 in Early Decision (885 of whom earned admission) and 46,568 in Regular Decision (1,652 of whom earned admission). Overall, 5.4% of students earned admission to Brown’s Class of 2025.
At the University of Pennsylvania, between the Early Decision and Regular Decision rounds, applications surged 25.07%. In all, 56,333 students submitted applications — 7,962 in Early Decision (1,194 of whom earned admission) and 48,371 in Regular Decision (1,206 of whom earned admission). Overall, 4.26% of students earned admission to UPenn’s Class of 2025 which in the past has never been below the 8.5% mark.
At Cornell University, applications were up big. In the Early Decision round, we believe the figure was up by around 36%. Cornell has not released its numbers yet
Why are admit rates so low this year?
If we were to take a guess, the main reasons for these soaring application numbers are:
1. Test optional: Students without test scores thought of trying their luck! And why not? The golden Ivy dream is so well entrenched in every student’s application journey.
2. Students had the time to write the demanding essays as they were stuck in a pandemic with nothing much to do. Parents' aspirations soar even higher so the pressure to fill in the Ivy apps was even greater.
3. The uncertainty surrounding admissions led students to apply to a greater number of schools.
The Ivy League brand and elite universities know how to market themselves. The lower the admit rates, the more coveted the school. This year has by far been difficult.