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.