Admissions Rates: What should applicants expect this cycle?

With the 2023-2024 college admissions cycle coming to a close, many applicants are nervously awaiting their decision letters. With the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic still reverberating across college admissions and the Supreme Court’s striking down Affirmative Action expected to take effect in 2028, admissions rates for this cycle are likely to show new trends as colleges adjust to new policies.

According to last year’s admissions cycle, all Ivy League schools’ admissions remained well below 10%. Quad Education reported that Harvard University was the most selective at 3.3% while Cornell University was the least selective at 7.3%. All schools’ early decision or early action rates were significantly higher than regular admissions, with Dartmouth’s at the highest with 21%. This was also an historic year for Yale University, as, according to Forbes, it reached its lowest admissions rate ever: 4.35%.

Forbes also reported that many other elite colleges and universities had admissions below 10% this last cycle. For example, New York University accepted 8% of its applicants for the class of 2027, down from 12.2% for the class of 2026. The University of Southern California also decreased from 11.88% for the class of 2026 to 9.75%, according to Crimson Education.

However, the University of California system shows admissions increasing for California residents while decreasing overall. UCLA decreased from accepting 11% of applicants in the 2021-2022 cycle to 9% in the 2022-2023 cycle. Mirroring this trend, UC Berkeley decreased from 14% to 11% and UC Irvine decreased from 29% to 21%.

While college admission trends change each year, this season has seen policies changing at both the federal level and at individual colleges—including the elimination of legacy admissions at several top universities. If decreases from the 2022-2023 cycle are any indication, students should expect admissions rates, especially at top schools in the Ivy League and the UC System, to continue to drop.

Madison L.

Essay Specialist

Hamilton College

Applying to college? Find out more about our college counseling services here!

Submit Comment

Leave Your Comment