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Ivy Leagues Report Influx of 2020-21 Applications and Record-Low Acceptance Rates for the Class of 2025

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Yale UniversityIvy Leagues and other prestigious institutions are reporting record-high applications for 2021 admission, resulting in record-low acceptance rates this year.

This is, in part, due to many schools adopting test-optional policies to accommodate students who were not able to take standardized tests last year due to COVID-19 precautions.


Let’s dive into the data:

Princeton’s acceptance rate dropped to just 3.98% this year, and the prestigious institution reported a 14.6% increase in applications over last year’s admission season. 

Harvard’s acceptance rate dipped to 3.4%, and admissions reported receiving 57,435 applications this fall. That’s a lot of essays! (And a 43% surge in applications as compared to the previous season.)

Yale University accepted 4.6% of the 46,905 people who applied. The applicant pool grew by 33% over last year, when the school accepted 6.6% of applicants.

Columbia University reported receiving 60,551 applications, which means the number of people who applied for undergraduate admission last year could fill an entire stadium!! Only 3.7% of applicants were accepted.

Dartmouth College’s acceptance rate dropped to just 6.17% this year, “the lowest in Dartmouth history and the overall number of acceptances is the lowest number in 40 years,” according to Dartmouth News.

Brown University received 46,568 applications for the Class of 2025. Admissions offered acceptance to 2,537 hopefuls, resulting in an Early Decision acceptance rate of 15.97% and an overall acceptance rate of 5.4% for the Class of 2025. 

The University of Pennsylvania admitted 2,400 students from an applicant pool of 56,333. UPenn received 7,962 applications in Early Decision (1,194 earned admission) and 48,371 in Regular Decision (1,206 earned admission). This means admissions accepted 15% of Early Decision applicants and just 2.5% of Regular Decision applicants, resulting in an overall acceptance rate of 4.26% for 2021. 

Duke University reported offering admission to 2,855 students out of the 49,555 who applied (admissions also reported a 25% jump in applications received for the Class of 2025), resulting in an overall admissions rate of 5.8% in 2021.

New York University received over 100,000 applications this past year, and the metropolitan institution accepted just 12.8%, with the median SAT score for NYU’s Class of 2025 coming in high at 1540. 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) received 33,240 applications, up 66% from the year before. In the end, only 1,340 hopefuls (4%) were offered admission.

UCLA received an influx of applications, 28% more than the previous year, according to The Washington Post.

Don’t be discouraged.

The 2020-21 college admissions season was one of the most competitive in recent times. Students applied to more schools, which resulted in acceptance rates plummeting. 

If you didn’t receive the news you were hoping for, you are in the majority. We want to leave you with some words of encouragement from the admissions department at MIT

“If you are among the many stellar students to whom we are not offering admissions, then all I can remind you is that success is not always a straight line. That your path isn’t something [your dream school] sets you on, it’s something you make yourself. And if you spend the next few years trying to make wherever you are as amazing as you can (as you already are), then someday you’ll look back on [this] and realize it all worked out okay.”

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