Top Schools Send Out ED/EA Acceptances | This Week in Admissions News

23 DEC 2022

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This week, many US colleges sent out acceptances for their Early Decision I and Early Action rounds following a record-setting number of applications. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!

Top Schools Reveal Record Application Numbers as ED/EA acceptances sent out

The past week kicked off the initial round of acceptances at many US universities. Many top colleges, including Harvard and Yale, sent out their Early Decision, Early Acceptance and Single Choice Early Acceptance results. While enrollment has fallen over the past two years due to the Covid pandemic, it seems that early figures show a robust uptick in this year’s application numbers, Forbes has reported.

Many elite universities saw some of the most competitive application cycles in their history. UPenn received its highest volume of early applicants, totaling over 8,000. Yale saw its second-highest number of early applicants ever received, along with the lowest early acceptance rate in the last 20 years. Harvard reported that its acceptance rate of 7.56% is the second lowest for the early round of admissions to date. Duke also announced its lowest early admissions acceptance rate this year at 16.5%—down from 21% last year.

Initial data from Common App shows a 24% increase in distinct first-year applicants since the last pre-pandemic cycle in 2019-2020. There is also a 37% increase in underrepresented minority applicants as well as a 43% increase in first-generation applicants since the 2019-2020 cycle. Some of the most elite colleges and universities in the country also saw an increase in applicants from underrepresented groups. 

Before the Early Decision admissions were announced, through QuestBridge universities also accepted a record number of low-income students. QuestBridge, a US national nonprofit that connects low-income youth with leading colleges and universities, announced that 1,755 students had “matched” with the colleges of their choice in this year’s early admissions cycle — meaning universities will cover full cost of attendance! Of the 800 students admitted through Early Decision at Duke University, 55 were QuestBridge matches, an all-time high. Yale University admitted 66 students through QuestBridge this year. Emory University admitted 61 QuestBridge students in its entering class. And Washington University (St. Louis) admitted 75 QuestBridge Scholars. QuestBridge’s college partners include top liberal arts colleges such as Amherst, Pomona, Holy Cross, Colby and Carleton and major research universities such as Duke, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, University of Chicago, University of Virginia, Rice and Yale.

Other top stories in admissions news this week:

  1. In its list of top universities for 2023, Times Higher Education ranked China as the most-represented emerging economy country, with 11 universities in the top 200. Tsinghua University, in Beijing, took first place with a world ranking of 16th. There are 25 new African universities in the rankings, while Saudi Arabia and UAE have also made significant progress. Oxford University topped the list, followed by Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford and MIT to round out the top 5. 
  2. The Chronicle of Higher Education writes that in the 2021 fiscal year, academic institutions in the US spent $89.9 billion on research and development, up 4 percent from the year before. The University of California at Berkeley is no longer among the top 30 universities in research spending. New to the top 30 are Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Johns Hopkins, UC San Francisco, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, UPenn and University of Washington topped the list.
  3. Last fall, almost one in four newly enrolled graduate students was a student visa holder, according to a new report from the Council of Graduate Schools. The number of international graduate students increased by 95% from the previous year, while the number of Americans/domestic students starting graduate studies dropped by 4%. Overall, first-time enrollments increased by 9% between fall of 2020 and fall of 2021. Post-Covid data always raises the question of how much of the growth can be attributed to “pent-up demand.” It’s important to note that international graduate enrollments were rebounding from a pandemic low, having fallen 37% between Fall 2019 and Fall 2020 according to the report. 
  4. A legal advocacy group for students is suing the University of Southern California and 2U Inc., alleging that the school and the company that runs its online graduate programs in education defrauded students by using misleading U.S. News & World Report rankings to promote the courses, the Wall Street Journal has reported. The lawsuit, filed by the National Student Legal Defense Network, reportedly claims the university and the company misled students by suggesting the rankings for in-person education school classes applied to similar online classes, even though the courses had different selection standards.
  5. Duke received a record 4,855 Early Decision applications — the second highest number in Duke’s history — and admitted only 800 students, bringing the Early Decision acceptance rate to a record low 16.5%. This represents a 4.5% decrease from the 21% acceptance rate for the Class of 2026!
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