Harvard Acceptance Rate Falls To Record Low

Columbia University Statue

Photo: Diane Bondareff/AP Images

Yesterday the consortium of Ivy League institutions announced acceptance rates for the Class of 2016 after placing hundreds of thousands of envelopes in the mail. One thing remained certain when results went live at 5:00 p.m. EST: it’s harder than ever to get in.Of the eight universities, admittance rates declined at each besides Brown and Columbia. 

Harvard College sent large envelopes to 2,032 seniors today, a small portion of the 34,302 person applicant pool. That marks a record low admittance rate for the institution, at 5.9 per cent. Last year Harvard offered spots to 6.2 per cent of those who applied. 

Yale College offered admission to just 6.8 per cent of applicants to its undergraduate program, the university announced this afternoon. Last year Yale admitted 7.7 per cent of applicants when including those accepted off the waiting list.

“We had another extraordinary applicant pool, and another challenging selection process,” Dean of Undergraduate Admission Jeffrey Brenzel said. “We could not make offers to a large number of immensely talented young men and women, virtually all of whom will be successful students at other great colleges and universities.

At Princeton University, the acceptance rate declined to 7.9 per cent, from 8.5 per cent a year earlier. The University of Pennsylvania recorded an acceptance rate of 12.3 per cent this year, compared to last year’s final rate of 12.4 per cent. Upstate in Ithaca, Cornell registered a significant decline, with an admit rate of 16.9 per cent. 

“This year’s applicant pool is the second-largest in the University’s history,” the Undergraduate Admission Office at Princeton said in a statement. “During the past eight years, the University has seen a 95 per cent increase in applications.”

Columbia University saw a slightly higher admittance rate to the class of 2016, at 7.4 per cent, up marginally from the 6.9 per cent rate recorded last year. Meanwhile, Providence, R.I., based Brown University admitted 9.4 per cent of its 28,742 applicants, up from last year’s all-time low of 8.7 per cent.

The news caps a season of high anxiety amongst the nation’s senior class and highlights the increasing difficulty of gaining acceptance into an Ivy League institution.

Click here for updates as universities report acceptance rates >

Below, acceptance rates for the Class of 2016, as they roll in. 

  • Babson College: 29.0 per cent
  • Barnard College: 21.0 per cent
  • Brown: 9.6 per cent
  • Claremont McKenna: 12.4 per cent
  • Columbia: 7.4 per cent
  • Cornell: 16.2 per cent
  • Dartmouth: 9.4 per cent
  • Duke: 11.9 per cent
  • Elon University: 51 per cent
  • George Washington U.: 32.7 per cent
  • Hamilton College: 27.1 per cent
  • Harvard: 5.9 per cent
  • Johns Hopkins: 17.7 per cent
  • Macalester College: 34.7 per cent
  • Muhlenberg College: 45.5 per cent
  • N.Y.U.: 35 per cent
  • Northwestern: 15.3 per cent
  • Occidental College: 39 per cent
  • Olin College: 17.4 per cent
  • Princeton: 7.9 per cent
  • Tufts: 21.2 per cent
  • U. of Florida: 41 per cent
  • U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: 25.7 per cent
  • U. of Pennsylvania: 12.3 per cent
  • U. of Richmond: 30 per cent
  • U. of Rochester: 34 per cent
  • U. of Southern California: 18 per cent
  • U. of Virginia: 27.4 per cent
  • Washington and Lee University: 18 per cent
  • Wesleyan: 19.7 per cent
  • Williams College: 16.7 per cent
  • Yale: 6.8 per cent

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