Late last week, many colleges and universities released their last rounds of admissions decisions. At many of the country’s most exclusive schools, acceptance rates again declined, although often by just a smidgen. And in addition to the thousands of students accepted — and the many, many more rejected — there are also thousands of students now sitting on waiting lists.
This time of year it’s important to remember that when it comes to receiving a quality undergraduate education, it often matters more what you do in college than where you go. As admissions officials have said over and over again — often in a calming and soothing voice when talking to a heartbroken and rejected student — success can be found at any number of schools.
With that said, I know there’s a lot of obsessing over which schools accepted which students, so here’s a collection of this year’s data from a few of the country’s most selective institutions:
Stanford University, 5.69 percent
Stanford reports that it received a record 38,828 applications from around the world and accepted 2,210. Of those, 725 applicants who were accepted in December through the early action program. The Stanford Daily reports that another 813 students are on a wait-list. This year’s admit rate of 5.7 percent is the university’s lowest yet and makes it slightly more selective than Harvard.
Harvard University, 5.79 percent
Harvard reports that it received 35,023 applications for the Class of 2017 and accepted 2,029 students. This year’s acceptance rate of 5.8 percent is slightly down from last year’s 5.9 percent. For those accepted, about 10 percent are international students, and 53.4 percent are men. Outside of class and test-taking, 42 percent cited involvement in “music and other expressive and performing arts,” 35 percent have been involved with “debate and political activities, including student government, and 54 percent plan to participate in recreational, intramural or intercollegiate athletics.”
Yale University, 6.72 percent
The Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions received 29,610 applications and accepted 1,991 students, according to the Yale Daily News. The Class of 2017 will likely have about 1,350 students. Yale’s admit rate of 6.72 percent is a new low for the university — last year a whopping 6.8 percent of students were accepted. Yale received 4,520 early-action applications for this cycle and accepted 649 students, a 14.4 percent admit rate. Additionally, Yale placed 1,001 students on a wait-list.
Columbia University, 6.89 percent
Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science received 33,531 applications for the Class of 2017 and accepted 2,311 students, according to the Columbia Spectator. Overall, applications were up about 5 percent from last year. Within the first 30 seconds that Columbia posted its admission decisions online last week, 1,351 applicants had logged on to check. Within four minutes, the Spectator reports, a student from the Chicago suburbs became the first to indicate plans to enroll.
Princeton University, 7.29 percent
Princeton reports that it received a “near-record” of 26,498 applications for the Class of 2017 and offered admission to 1,931 students. Of those accepted, 697 applied through early action and were accepted in December. Another 1,395 applicants were wait-listed. Princeton’s acceptance rate of 7.29 percent is down from last year’s “record-low” of 7.86 percent. From the overall applicant pool,10,629 had a 4.0 grade point average and 13,802 had scores of 2100 or higher on the three sections of the SAT.
Princeton hopes about 1,290 will enroll this fall. Of those selected, 11.4 percent are international students, 50.2 percent are men, 61 percent attended public schools, 13.9 percent are first-generation college students, and 48.8 percent have self-identified as people of color, including biracial and multiracial students. Nearly 10 percent of the admitted students are the son or daughter of a Princeton alumni.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 8.15 percent
MIT received 18,989 applications this year and accepted 1,548 students through its early action and regular admissions processes, according to The Tech. The final decisions were nerdily announced on Pi Day at 6:28 p.m. The acceptance rate of 8.2 percent is down from last year’s 8.9 percent and 9.6 percent in 2011, according to The Tech.
Of those admitted, 48 percent are women, 16 percent are first-generation college students, 24 percent are underrepresented minorities, and 8 percent are international students. The Tech also notes that “a number of the admitted students noted that they had explored classes on edX, an online system of free courses from MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley.”
Brown University, 9.16 percent
Brown’s Office of College Admission reports that it received 28,919 applications and accepted 2,649. The Class of 2017 could be Brown’s most diverse class yet, with 45 percent of accepted students self-identifying as African American, Latino, Native American or Asian. Nearly 18 percent of those accepted would be the first in their family to attend college. Additionally, 45 percent are valedictorians or salutatorians. Brown is aiming for an incoming class of about 1,515 in the fall.
Dartmouth College, 10.05 percent
Dartmouth reports that it received 22,416 applications — the second-most ever — and then accepted 2,252. Of those, 464 were admitted in December through the early decision process. Of those who got in, 39.4 percent are valedictorians and 9.8 percent are salutatorians, plus 11.3 percent are first-generation college students, and 8.9 percent are international students. Nearly 9 percent of accepted students are the sons or daughters of Dartmouth alumni. Dartmouth plans for a freshman class of about 1,120.
University of Pennsylvania, 12.1 percent
Penn’s Office of Admissions reports that its applicant pool marginally increased to 31,280. Overall, the school admitted 3,785 students and hopes to have a freshman class of about 2,420 students. Another 2,800 students are on the wait-list. Of those admitted, 13 percent attended schools outside the United States, 12 percent are the children or grandchildren of alumni and 12 percent are first-generation college students.
Cornell University, 15.15 percent
Cornell reports that it received 40,006 applications, 5.8 percent more than last year and a record-high. The school accepted 6,062 students, down from the 6,119 accepted in 2012. That made for an admit rate of 15.2 percent, down from 16.2 percent last year and 18 percent in 2011. Additionally, 3,142 applicants were wait-listed. For those who got in, 24.9 percent are from underrepresented minority populations and 11 percent could be the first in their family to earn a college degree.