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Ivy League College Admissions Rates at Record Lows

Ivy League colleges and universities have traditionally been selective when admitting students to their undergraduate degree programs. If recent admissions trends are any indication, other postsecondary schools may be becoming equally as selective, presenting new challenges for high school graduates and adult continuing education students.

For the Class of 2016, Harvard University topped the list of postsecondary schools admitting the lowest percentage of applying students, accepting only 5.9 percent of student applicants according to the March 30, 2012 Yale Daily News “Admit Rate Hits All Time Low” article. Other schools that reported record low admission rates for the Class of 2016 were Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cornell.

In fact, the University of Pennsylvania, one of the few non-Ivy League schools making the list only admitted 12 percent of its freshman applicants. Brown and Columbia, respectively accepting 9.6 percent and 7.4 percent of applicants, were the only two top universities that reported a slight increase in their 2016 freshmen enrollment rates.

Part of the reason for the low admissions rates may be due to the fact that the schools receive tens of thousands of enrollment applications, giving them the leverage to be competitively selective. For example, Yale received 27,283 applications; it admitted only 2,006 of those students. Nearly 1,000 applicants have been placed on the school’s waiting list. The low rates may also be due, in part, to the fact that, even as college tuition has risen, the numbers of students applying to top colleges and universities has also increased, online admissions and larger numbers of graduating high school seniors creating larger applicant pools.

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