Shannon Gundy, undergraduate admissions director at the University of Maryland, surprises Bemnet Zewdie in January with news that he has been accepted at College Park. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

How low can they go?

Every year, it seems, the frenzy intensifies as admission rates decline at many top-tier colleges and universities. The phenomenon is driven by skyrocketing application totals. Here is a look at rates reported for the Class of 2019 at selected schools, compared with what they were a year ago. Keep in mind figures are preliminary. There is some oscillation as wait-lists evolve. Admission rates at a few schools — for example, MIT, Cornell, Duke and Yale — actually edged upward this year.

Figures are drawn from school officials, news releases, student newspapers and other campus publications. They include early and regular decision offers.

Amherst College: 1,176 admits out of 8,566 applicants, 13.7 percent. (Last year: 13.0 percent)

Bates College: 1,208 offers out of 5,636 apps, 21.4 percent. (Last year: 24.8 percent)

Bowdoin College: 1,009 offers out of 6,790 apps, 14.9 percent. (Last year: 14.9 percent)

Brown University: 2,580 offers out of 30,397 apps, 8.5 percent. (Last year: 8.6 percent)

Claremont McKenna College: 698 offers out of 7,152 apps, 9.8 percent. (Last year: 10.1 percent)

Columbia University: 2,228 offers out of 36,250 apps, 6.1 percent. (Last year: 6.9 percent)

Cornell University: 6,234 offers out of 41,907 apps, 14.9 percent. (Last year: 14.0 percent)

Dartmouth College: 2,120 offers out of 20,504 apps, 10.3 percent. (Last year: 11.5 percent)

Duke University: 3,534 offers out of 31,150 apps, 11.3 percent. (Last year: 10.8 percent)

Grinnell College: 1,580 offers out of 6,414 apps, 24.6 percent. (Last year: 26.8 percent)

Hamilton College1,301 offers out 5,434 apps, 23.9 percent. (Last year: 25.9 percent)

Harvard University: 1,990 offers out of 37,305 apps, 5.3 percent. (Last year: 5.9 percent)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 1,467 offers out of 18,306 apps, 8.0 percent. (Last year: 7.7 percent)

Middlebury College: 1,512 offers out of 8,894 apps, 17.0 percent. (Last year: 17.3 percent)

Princeton University: 1,908 offers out of 27,290 apps, 7.0 percent. (Last year: 7.3 percent)

Stanford University: 2,144 offers out of 42,487 apps, 5.0 percent. (Last year: 5.1 percent.)

Swarthmore College: 950 offers out of 7,817 apps, 12.2 percent.  (Last year: 16.8 percent)

University of Chicago: 2,365 offers out of 30,192 apps, 7.8 percent. (Last year: 8.4 percent.)

University of Notre Dame: 3,577 offers out of 18,156 apps, 19.7 percent. (Last year: 20.8 percent)

University of Pennsylvania: 3,697 offers out of 37,276 apps, 9.9 percent. (Last year: 10.0 percent)

Yale University: 1,962 offers out of 30,237 apps, 6.5 percent. (Last year: 6.3 percent)

***

From Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

American University : 5,864 offers out of 16,689 apps, 35.1 percent. (Last year: 45.8 percent)

Georgetown University: 3,202 offers out of 19,481 apps, 16.4 percent. (Last year: 16.6 percent)

George Washington University: 9,117 offers out of 19,852 apps, 45.9 percent. (Last year: 43.3 percent). Note: GW was the subject of a 2014 Post story that looked inside the workings of an admissions committee.

Johns Hopkins University: 3,065 offers out of 24,717 apps, 12.4 percent. (Last year: 15.0 percent)

University of Maryland : 12,484 offers out of 28,326 apps, or 44.1 percent. (Last year: 47.4 percent). Note: Thousands of others, not included in these figures, are offered admission starting in the spring semester, a U-Md. initiative that is unusually broad compared to the practice of other schools.

University of Virginia : 8,789 offers out of 30,854 apps, 28.5 percent.  (Last year: 28.9 percent)

For colleges below, figures are given for Class of 2018. We will update this post as we gather new data.

California Institute of Technology: (Last year: 8.1 percent)

Carleton College: (Last year: 22.0 percent)

Colgate University: (Last year: 25.5 percent)

Davidson College: (Last year: 21.0 percent)

Emory University: (Last year: 25.9 percent)

Harvey Mudd College: (Last year: 13.9 percent)

Northwestern University: (Last year: 12.9 percent)

Pomona College: (Last year: 12.1 percent)

Rice University: (Last year: 14.1 percent)

Smith College: (Last year: 40.4 percent)

Vanderbilt University: (Last year: 12.3 percent)

Vassar College: (Last year: 22.8 percent)

Washington University in St. Louis: (Last year: 17.1 percent)

Wellesley College: (Last year: 28.2 percent)

Wesleyan University: (Last year: 23.2 percent)

Williams College: (Last year; 18.2 percent)
**

From Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

**

College of William and Mary : (Last year: 32.6 percent)

Howard University : (Last year: 35.5 percent)

James Madison University : (Last year: 62.9 percent)

University of Maryland Baltimore County : (Last year: 57.6 percent)

Virginia Tech : (Last year: 68.1 percent)

Washington and Lee University : (Last year: 18 percent)