A month and a half after announcing that it will switch to
a nonbinding early action policy this fall, the Yale
admissions office filled 43 percent of the class of 2007 with
early decision applicants.
Yale accepted 557 students from a pool of 2,611, yielding a
21.3 percent early acceptance rate. While the number of
applicants increased by 23 percent from last year, the number
of students accepted increased by less than one and a half
The percent of the class that Yale filled early reflects
similar numbers from other schools, including Stanford
University, which admitted 37 percent of its incoming class
under early decision. Stanford officials also announced in
October that they would switch to early action beginning this
The University of Pennsylvania filled 47 percent of its
incoming freshman class with early applicants, while Columbia
University filled 43 percent of its class early. Dartmouth
College and Cornell University filled 37 and 36 percent of
their incoming classes, respectively, through early decision.
This year, 48 percent of applicants applied for financial
aid, which is about the same as last year.
Yale accepted 29 international students, also in line with
last year's figure. Last year, the number of international
applicants rose dramatically after Yale extended need-blind
admission to students outside the United States.
The University deferred about 1,000 students, who will be
reconsidered with the main pool of applicants, of which
approximately one in 10 will be offered admission in the
spring. The number of applicants rejected was about equal to
the number deferred.
The admissions office offered online notification to early
applicants, following a practice that the University began
last year. This spring, Princeton admissions officers
illegally accessed Yale's admissions Web by using students'
Social Security numbers. To avoid such problems this year,
students were assigned personal identification numbers to
access their decisions online.
2,344 students -- about 90 percent of all applicants -- had
accessed the site by Dec. 16, three days after the site went
In a year when debates about college admissions made
national headlines, Yale received a record number of
applications for the Class of 2007.
After the Yale admissions office received a record number
of applications this year, 1,458 regular decision applicants
found out on April 2nd that they had been admitted to the
Class of 2007, bringing this year's overall acceptance rate to
an historic low of 11.4 percent.
Regular applicants faced a 9.6 percent acceptance rate,
since the University had already admitted 43 percent of the
class under its early decision program. The number of overall
applicants increased by 14.7 percent this year, from 15,456 to
17,731. Last year, 13 percent of applicants, or 2,008
students, were accepted.
The number of international students admitted remained
relatively steady; 183 received letters of acceptance. Of
those 183 foreign students, 32 are Canadian.
The Class of 2007's geographic distribution within the
United States was similar to that of last year's class. The
Northeast provided the most accepted students, with 688, while
there were 366 from the West, 236 from the Midwest, 208 from
the South, 152 from the mid-Atlantic states, and 141 from the
Thirty-five percent of students admitted this year are
minority students. That number rises to almost 40 percent if
international students are considered. In the class of 2006,
42 percent of those accepted were minority students.
Approximately 66 percent of accepted students applied for
financial aid this year, a figure that remained relatively
Yale University's early decision policy will become
non-binding beginning with the Class of 2008.
Under the new plan, students can apply early to Yale, but
may also apply in the regular admission period to other
colleges, even if accepted to Yale.
Yale started its current early admission program in 1996 at
a time when colleges across the nation were opting for early
Yale President Richard Levin sparked a national debate when
he criticized early decision policies in the December 2001
issue of Atlantic Monthly as needlessly rushing the college
admission process for all but the minority of students who
have a clear idea of their first choice.
Yale's new early action program will allow students who are
very confident of their preference to receive early word from
Yale while still allowing ample time for further investigation
and the thoughtful weighing of options.
In April, the University of North Carolina became the first
major university to switch from early decision to early
Brown made the opposite move, opting to convert from an
early action to an early decision policy starting with the
Class of 2006.