This year, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions received the largest number of applications ever submitted to Yale College, with 32,891 applying to the class of 2021 as of Jan. 26.
The record-breaking figure represents a 5 percent jump from last year, the first time that the number of applications had ever topped the 31,000 mark. This year’s increase is larger than the 4 percent jump in applications, from 30,227 to 31,439, between the classes of 2019 and 2020. The number of students to be admitted this year will increase by between 300 and 400 with the opening of the two new residential colleges in the fall.
In light of this year’s record, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan emphasized that long-term trends in application numbers were more important than year-to-year fluctuations.
“The increased global mobility of top secondary school students seeking higher education, and technological changes to the college admissions process — such as the dramatic increase in the use of online applications, especially the Common Application — have all resulted in substantially larger applicant pools at Yale and many of our peer institutions,” Quinlan said in an email.
This year’s application numbers represent a 70 percent increase from the 19,323 applications Yale College received a decade ago for the class of 2011, Quinlan added.
He said the admissions committee would meet from the middle of February through March to review applications and release its decisions on March 30 along with those of the other Ivy League schools.
Director of Outreach and Communications Mark Dunn ’07 said the number of applications is less important than the quality and diversity of the applicant pool.
While noting that the “true strength” of the pool could not be assessed until the admissions committee reviewed all applications in full, Dunn outlined several notable trends in applicant demographics in recent years.
According to Dunn, over the past five admissions cycles, the number of applications from high school students in the United States has grown by about 10 percent. During the same time period, the number of applications from students who identify as a member of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group has increased more than 27 percent.
In particular, Dunn said the number of applications from black students has increased by 43 percent, and those from Hispanic or Latino students have grown by 36 percent over the last five years.
The number of applications from students who will be the first in their family to earn a bachelor’s degree has increased by 20 percent and the number of applications coming from students in the southeast or southwest of the United States has increased by 22 percent over the same period, according to Dunn.