Ivy League, elite schools’ early admission acceptance rates for Class of 2022 MIT has lowest on record, Dartmouth the highest

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

(Source: Harvard Admissions Twitter)

As universities and colleges completed sending out their early admissions offers for the Class of 2022 to hopeful high school seniors let us look at the continuing trend of record low acceptance rates among the Ivy League and most elite universities. Only six of the eight Ivy League universities released data on their early decision and early action cycle. Of the Ivies, Cornell University and Columbia University chose to withhold their data; however, Columbia released the number of applications they received. For the second year in a row, Stanford University, the country’s most selective college refused to release any early admission data. Like last year, they will release their data only after the regular admission cycle when they have finalized all their offers for admission to the Class of 2022.

As has been the trend, Ivy League, and elite universities are becoming more selective, and their early admission rates are falling after receiving a record number of applications. This year is no different the Ivy League and elite universities are continuing the trend and are on track for their most selective year as they choose the Class of 2022. Harvard was the most selective Ivy this early admission cycle, with a 14.5 percent acceptance rate. However, another elite university beat Harvard’s selectivity this early admission cycle. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had the lowest rate, with a record low 6.9 percent of applicants accepted to the Class of 2022. Dartmouth College on the opposite end had the highest acceptance rate with 24.9 percent.

The Ivy League:

Brown University

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Brown University admitted 738 students as part of their binding early decision program to the Class of 2022. This year the Ivy League school saw their largest number of applications for the early admission cycle, with 3502 high school seniors applying, 10 percent more than last year. Although Brown has, a higher acceptance rate than the Ivy League schools, it was a low for them, and Brown’s acceptance rate was only 21 percent for the Class of 2022.

In December 2016 as part of early decision admission for the Class of 2021, Brown accepted 695 applicants out of 3,170 applications for an acceptance rate of 21.9 percent. Brown set a record low for the Class of 2021 admissions. Last year Brown had a “record-low” 8.3 acceptance rate, admitting 2,027 applicants for their new freshmen class with just a 6.5 acceptance rate for regular decision. Brown saw a record 32,724 applications.

Columbia University

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, instead of releasing their early decision data, Columbia University only released the number of applications they received this cycle. That evening at 7 p.m. Columbia notified high school seniors whether they would be joining the Class of 2022. This year Columbia received 4,085 early decision applications to Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, just one less than for the Class of 2021.

For the Class of 2021, Columbia College had a lower acceptance rate, representing just 5.8 percent of their applicant pool. Columbia admitted just 2,185 from a record 37,389 applicants. For the Class of 2020, Columbia had a 6.04% acceptance rate, with 2,193 students accepted out of 36,292 applicants. Columbia is notorious for divulging the least information of all the Ivies about their incoming freshmen class only releasing more data for the upcoming application year.

Dartmouth College

On Thursday, Dec. 14, Dartmouth College sent out binding early decision acceptance notifications to 565 high school seniors, the smallest number of students of all the Ivy League schools. The college received a record number of applications, 2,270 applications, the first time the school had over 2,000 applications for the early admissions cycle. The college also had their lowest acceptance rate since the 2010 cycle with 24.9 percent; still, that percentage was the largest of all the Ivies. Dartmouth has filled up 47 percent of the Class of 2022 with those accepted for early decision.

In December 2016 as part of the early decision program for the Class of 2021, Dartmouth accepted 555 applicants out of 1,999 applications for an acceptance rate of 27.8 percent. Dartmouth College had one of their most selective years, accepting 2,092 students into the Class of 2021 out of 20,034 applications with an acceptance rate 10.4 percent, the second largest in the Ivy League. Dartmouth called last year’s class “the most academically accomplished and globally diverse class the College has ever accepted.”

Harvard University

Harvard College notified students by email on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2017, at 5 p.m. if they were accepted to the Class of 2022, rejected or waitlisted. Harvard admitted just 964 students to early action out of 6,630 applicants, an admission rate of just 14.5 percent to their early admissions program. Harvard is the most selective Ivy League college, and the elite Stanford University only beats it in the country.

In December 2016, Harvard admitted their lowest number of early applicants, accepting just 938 students out of 6,473 applications to their early admissions program for the Class of 2021. Their admissions represented just 14.5 percent of the applicant pool down only 0.3 percent from 2015. In total for the Class of 2021, Harvard admitted 2,056 students out of a record of 39,506 applicants, to have a 5.2 percent acceptance rate. Harvard admitted nearly the same percentage of early applicants as last year a 14.53 acceptance rate this year versus a 14.49 percent rate last year an addition of less than a half percentage point.

Princeton University

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 3 pm, Princeton University sent out early action admission offers to 799 lucky school seniors to the Class of 2022. Princeton had a record number of applications this early action cycle with 5,402 applications with 8 percent more than last year and 57 percent more applications than six years ago in 2011. Because of the number of applicants, Princeton’s acceptance rate was a record low with only 14.7 percent of student accepted down from last year’s 15.4 percent.

In December 2016, Princeton accepted 770 applicants out of 5,003 applications for an acceptance rate of 15.4 percent as part of the “single-choice early action” program. Princeton first offered early action admission seven years ago. Students can only apply to Princeton in the early admission cycle, but they can notify the college of their decision by May 1. As Princeton points out the landscape now is radically different from 2011 when the college accepted 21.1 percent of early action applicants. Princeton’s acceptance rate for the Class of 2021 was “the lowest in school history.” The University invited just 6.1 percent of applicants to join the University, 1,890 students out of a “record” 31,056 applicants.

University of Pennsylvania

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 7 p.m. Ivy League school the University of Pennsylvania sent out 1,312 early decision offers of admission for the Class of 2022. This year Penn received a record number of applications, 7,074 students applied, and 15 percent more to the early decision program for the Class of 2021. As result, the college has its record lowest early admission rate in history at just 18.5 percent down from last year’s 23.2 percent.

The acceptance rate for the Class of 2022 is the lowest in the school’s history, still, the university did not actually admit that much fewer students than last year. Penn admitted 1,312 students this year and last year they accepted 1,354 students. Penn admits over half of the freshmen class through their early decision program. As the student paper, the Daily Pennsylvanian noted, “Last year approximately 55 percent of the total 2,445 spots available were filled by Early Decision applicants.”

In December 2016, Penn sent notifications to 1,364 students that they were accepted as part of the early decision program with a nearly 24 percent acceptance rate. The university targeted goal of 2,445 students enrolling in the fall. Last year, Penn hailed their Class of 2021 acceptance rate as the lowest in history, accepting 3,699 students from 40,413 applicants for “a record-low 9.15 percent acceptance rate.”

Yale University

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Yale notified the Class of 2022 their decisions on their early action admissions. This year Yale admitted only 842 students, the least out of all the Ivies, out of a record number 5,733 applications. The acceptance rate this early admission cycle was the second lowest of all the Ivies at only 14.7 percent behind Harvard’s 14.5 percent and the same as Princeton’s 14.7 percent.

Yale admitted fewer students than last year’s early admission. In December 2016, as part of early admission, Yale accepted 871 applicants out of 5,086 applications for an acceptance rate of 17.1 percent. Additionally, 1,181 students were placed on the waitlist. In previous years, Yale used to receive only about 4,700 applications each early admission cycle. Of all the Ivies, only Yale University increased the number of students they accepted for the Class of 2021, because of the two new residential colleges that are opening this fall. Yale admitted 1550 students to the Class of 2021 regular cycle. Yale accepted 2,272 students out of “record” 32,900 applicants, making a 6.9 percent acceptance rate.

Elite Universities:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Of all the elite and Ivy League universities that released their early admission data, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had the lowest acceptance rate for the second year in a row. On Thursday, Dec. 14, MIT sent out 664 early action offers of admission to high school seniors for a place in the Class of 2022. This year MIT received a record 9,557 applications, and their acceptance rate was a record low as well at only 6.9 percent. Of those that applied 65 percent, 6,210 students were deferred for the regular cycle, 26.1 percent, 2498 students were rejected; the remaining applicants withdrew from consideration.

For the Class of 2021, In December 2016, MIT had an acceptance rate of 7.8 percent after receiving a then-record 8,394 applications, which had been up 13.9 percent from the previous year. At the regular admission cycle, MIT admitted at 1,438 students out of 20,247 applications received. MIT is one of the most selective colleges, with corresponding acceptance rates. This was the third year MIT opened their early action admissions to international applicants.

Early decision is binding, meaning a student who applies and then is accepted is required to attend the university or college, while early action is non-binding, a student can be accepted and then decide against going to that particular school and can turn down their admission offer. Applying for early admission is not without its risks either, some schools have policies where if a student is rejected in the early admission cycle, cannot reapply for regular admission, however, some universities who do not accept students that applied for early admission, automatically consider them for regular admission.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University) is a Professional Librarian (CBPQ) & historian. Former editor @ History News Network & reporter @ Examiner.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store