Ivy League acceptance rates at record lows

College confusion

With applications soaring, would-be scholars may find the road to academia even more challenging than in the past. Image: Vectorportal/Flickr/CC BY

As applications increase, many Ivy League schools are becoming more selective in the acceptance of students. Some institutions are posting record low enrollments. Those hoping for an Ivy League education may find the selection process more rigorous than in the past.

Nearly all report lower rates

Thursday the nation’s eight elite “Ivy League” schools announced their admission decisions for next fall. Most of them accepted fewer-than-normal students, some at record levels. Only two accepted more students than in the previous year.

Harvard had lowest rate

Harvard had the lowest acceptance rate among Ivy League schools. The admissions department will be sending acceptance notices to only 2,032 students out of the 34,302 who applied. That is a rate of 5.9 percent, which is also the lowest rate ever for the prestigious institution. In 2011, the rate was 6.2 percent.

William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of admissions, said given a larger amount of applications, the lower rate was necessary to ensure the school’s high rate of graduation:

“We have always been conservative about the number of acceptances sent out at this time of year in order to avoid the possibility of overcrowding. Harvard’s high graduation rate — typically 97 to 98 percent — leaves little margin for error.”

Other record lows

Five of the Ivy League schools accepted students at all-time-low rates. In addition to Harvard, Princeton accepted 2,095 students for 2012, or only 7.9 percent of all applicants. Cornell University will welcome 37,812 new students in the fall, or just 16.2 percent of those who applied. Dartmouth posted a record low of 9.4 percent, and the University of Pennsylvania accepted its personal low of 12.3 percent of those who applied.

[Putting troops first. Military payday loans here.]

Yale sees drop

Yale also saw a decrease in acceptances from the previous year, although it was not a record-breaking number for the institution. Of the record high number of applications — 28,974 students — Yale will be welcoming only 1,975, or 6.8 percent. That rate was 7.4 percent in 2011.

Jeffrey Brenzel, Yale’s dean of undergraduate admissions, also blamed the larger pool of applicants for the rate drop:

“We had another extraordinary applicant pool, and another challenging selection process. We could not make offers to a large number of immensely talented young men and women.”

Rates up at two schools

Brown and Columbia universities were the only Ivy League schools Thursday to accept more students than they did for the 2011-2012 school year. Brown accepted 9.6 percent of applicants, as opposed to 8.6 percent in 2011. Columbia accepted 2,363 students, which is 7.4 percent of the 31,851 applications it received. Last year, only 6.9 percent were admitted.


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