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Posted at 09:43 AM ET, 03/30/2011

Admission rate tightens at Harvard, Stanford, Princeton

Updated with news from Harvard and others.

We already knew that Harvard, Stanford and most of the other top-of-the-heap colleges saw record-breaking numbers of applications this year.

Now, admission rates are starting to trickle in. This is a better metric, because it corrects for application inflation — the phenomenon of students applying to greater numbers of schools. Many schools have seen applications double in the past five years but admit students at the same rate now as before because each admitted student is less likely to attend.

Stanford admitted 2,427 students from an applicant pool of 34,348. Both numbers are higher than last year. Stanford’s admission rate narrowed just a bit, from 7.2 percent last year to 7.1 percent this year.

Harvard admitted 2,158 of 34,950 applicants, an admit rate of 6.2 percent from a record pool. Harvard’s admission rate last year was 6.9 percent.

Princeton, too, was slightly harder to get into this year than last, its admit rate declining from 8.8 percent last year to 8.4 percent this year. Princeton offered admission to 2,282 of a record 27,189 applicants.

Admission rates last year hit historic lows: 7.5 percent at Yale, 9.2 percent at Columbia and 9.3 percent at Brown, in addition to the figures cited above.

Duke admitted 3,094 of a record 29,689 applicants, for an official admission rate of 10.8 percent for regular-decision applicants (although it comes out to 10.4 percent on my calculator). Last year’s admit rate was 14.8 percent, according to an account in the Duke Chronicle.

How are the other schools making out this year? A quick search suggests none of the others have released data yet; April 1 is the traditional notification date.

We do know results from the University of Virginia, the top public university on the East Coast. Of the 24,005 who applied, 7,750 got in, an admit rate of 32 percent, roughly the same as last year.

But U-Va. is expanding its freshman class, part of a multi-year effort to make more space for Virginians at the increasingly selective university. Absent that initiative, the admission rate would have declined to 31 or 30 percent.

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By  |  09:43 AM ET, 03/30/2011

Categories:  Admissions | Tags:  University of Virginia, Stanford University, college admissions

 
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