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Early Admissions Acceptance Rates The Most Competitive Yet in 2020

DEC 21, 2020 • 4 min read

In an unsure time in history, students are making big moves to ensure they have a secure future. Despite the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) still spreading across the world, plans to continue their education have not been derailed — in fact, there have been significant changes in admissions requirements, application numbers, and most notably, Early Acceptance rates.

Colleges and universities across the country and abroad have released statements, articles, and statistics pointing to increased application numbers during the 2020-2021 application cycle and, in particular, the number of applications submitted in the early rounds. As a result, acceptance percentages have plunged.

According to the Yale Daily News, Yale saw its largest applicant pool in the college’s history this year, up 38% from last year’s pool of 5,777 applicants. In the early round, 50% of EA applicants were deferred for reconsideration in the spring, and another 38% were denied admission.

Meanwhile, Dartmouth also reports its largest-ever pool of Early Decision applicants and will be welcoming its most diverse class yet in terms of race and socioeconomic status. Out of 2,664 applicants — a 29% increase from last year’s number — only 566 students were admitted in the ED round.

Rhode Island’s Brown University joins the ranks of Yale and Dartmouth with similar statistics: the university invited 885 out of 5,540 applicants to join the Class of 2025, boasting the biggest ED applicant pool in its history at 22% larger than last year.

For UPenn, factors such as test scores played a significant role despite many higher ed institutions going test-optional this year. UPenn reported that the middle 50% testing ranges for applicants were 1470-1560 on the SAT and 34-35 on the ACT, and saw a 23% increase from last year's 6,453 applicants — but only accepted 15% of its early decision applicants to the Class of 2025, down from last year’s 19.7%.

With an increased interest in students to apply in the Early Decision round, more and more universities are offering a second round of the binding ED deadlines which occurs around the same time as the regular decision round, but would likely increase the student’s chance of admissions. Admissions rates for both ED I and ED II are typically higher compared to regular decisions, with ED II being particularly advantageous for students that have been rejected or deferred from their ED I school.

As for Crimson, our students have already secured more than 170 offers for top UK universities (minus Oxford and Cambridge - with both universities not releasing their acceptance notifications until January 2021) and 120+ for the US Top 50. This 120+ includes multiple offers to every Ivy League school (besides Princeton who did not hold an early action round this year) + Stanford, MIT, Northwestern, John Hopkins, Caltech, NYU, UChicago, and many more.

Be sure to stay tuned as we will continue to share admissions news and our students’ achievements!

Shannon F.

Written by

Shannon F.

Shannon completed her Bachelors at Franklin University Switzerland where she majored in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies & minored in Social Justice and Sustainability. Shannon has a passion for learning new languages, environmental and social justice, and immersing herself in new cultures. Shannon has worked in higher education and now works as an Education Coordinator with Crimson. Shannon currently lives in Southern California and enjoys reading, water polo, yoga, and traveling.