Record-Low Admission Rates at Top Colleges

Early data for 2018 shows record breaking low admission rates at top schools. Let C2 help with your college admissions!

Each spring, colleges begin to announce their admission rates for the incoming freshman class. For the past several years, these announcements have followed a downward trend with rates dipping lower and lower. This year is proving to be no exception. As admission rates at top colleges are announced for the class of 2022, many headlines include the phrase “record low.” All of the Ivy League schools with the exception of Yale reached record low admission rates this year. Stanford topped the list at 4.6%. They held the title of lowest admission rate last year and beat its own record by admitting .3% less of applicants.

Some of the early data at top ranked colleges

School Class of 2022 Admit Rate Class of 2021 Admit Rate Percent Change
Princeton University 5.5% 6.1% -0.6%
Harvard University 4.6% 5.2% -0.6%
University of Chicago 7.1% (est.) 8.7% -1.5%
Yale University 6.3% 6.9% -0.6%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 6.7% 7.1% -0.4%
Columbia University 5.5% 5.8% -0.3%
Stanford University 4.3% 4.6% -0.3%
University of Pennsylvania 8.4% 9.1% -0.7%
Duke University 8.3% 9% -0.7%
Northwestern University 8.4% 9% -0.6%
Dartmouth College 8.7% 10.4% -1.7%
Cornell University 10.3% 12.5% -2.2%
Brown University 7.2% 8.3% -1.1%
Rice University 11% 16% -5%

 

This year’s admissions season

Here are some fun – or not so fun – facts about this year’s admissions thus far:

  • Harvard admitted just 2.4% of regular admission applicants, but the early action admission rate was 14.5%.
  • Yale is the only Ivy League to not break its own record low admission rate. It basically tied it at 6.29%.
  • Of the more than 35,000 students who applied at Princeton, only 1,941 received admission. More than 14,000 had 4.0 GPAs and nearly 18,000 scored above 1400 on the SAT.

What should I do with this info?

We don’t share such information just to depress you. These numbers can offer some useful information, too:

  • Applying early is still worth it. At most schools that have released admission data, the admission rates among the early pool of applicants were substantially higher than the admission rates among regular decision applicants.
  • Good grades and test scores aren’t enough. These objective numbers get your application past the first round, but not necessarily to the top. Because so many applicants at top schools also have great grades and test scores, you need more! After grades and test scores, most colleges consider the essay and demonstrated interest to be among the most important factors for admission. Make sure your essays are fantastic and show that you’re dedicated to attend that school. That you can boost your chances of admission.
  • Getting into a top college isn’t quite as unlikely as winning the lottery, but it’s still a long shot. Even top students aren’t guaranteed admission. Always, always apply to a handful of safety schools, no matter how strong your application profile might be.

College admission counseling is important. Many students rely on their public school counselors for college guidance, but the average public school counselor is responsible for nearly 500 students – there’s just not enough time to provide every student with the detailed and customized advice necessary to navigate the path to a top tier college. Use every resource available to you in order to make sure you’re doing everything you can to improve your chances of admission to your dream college.