Yale College received the largest number of applications in its history this admissions cycle, with 35,305 high schoolers vying for a spot in the class of 2022.
This year’s figure dwarfs last year’s by 7.3 percent, marking the highest single uptick in applications in at least the last five years. Last year, the number of applications rose around 5 percent from 31,439 for the Class of 2020 to 32,891 for the Class of 2021. Before that, the number of applications rose by 4 percent, from 30,227 for the Class of 2019. The steep rise in applications comes in the wake of the opening of Yale’s two new residential colleges, which are on track to increase the size of the undergraduate student body by about 800 students.
The admissions decisions will be released on Wednesday, March 28, according to Associate Director of Admissions Mark Dunn ’07.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan emphasized the importance of looking at the “quality” of the applicant pool, rather than focusing solely on changes in the number of applications received.
“As always, we do not measure success simply by the number of applications we receive,” Quinlan said. “Quality matters much more to the admissions committee than quantity.”
Quinlan said it is impossible to directly attribute changes in the applicant pool to particular outreach strategies. Nevertheless, over the five-year period between the 2012–2013 application cycle and the current one, applications from groups that the admissions office specifically tracks have continuously outpaced the overall increase.
According to Dunn, over the past five years, applications have seen an overall growth rate of 19 percent, while the number of applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents who identify as a member of a minority racial or ethnic group has increased by 40 percent. The number of applications from prospective first-generation college students has increased 37 percent during this time frame and applications from domestic students living in lower-income census tracts have increased by 113 percent.
Dunn described the last figure as “especially exciting” because, since 2013, the admissions office has targeted students living in these areas with its direct mailing campaign in order to highlight Yale’s affordability. Over the summer, Yale expanded the campaign to reach more than 30,000 high-achieving students who are likely to be from low-income households.
Although many factors contributed to this year’s large and diverse applicant pool, Dunn said, one new factor driving growth is the expansion of undergraduate enrollment.
“We were very pleased to be able to … enroll more than 200 additional students in the Class of 2021 compared with the Class of 2020, and I think this helped inspire more high school students who looked to their graduating peers to consider Yale,” Dunn said. “Having 200 additional students choose Yale for their college education made a real impact in the high school communities where these students still have close connections.”
On Dec. 14, Yale admitted 842 students to the Class of 2022 from a record single-choice early action pool of 5,733 applicants.