The grand totals for this year’s Ivy League admissions are in. Of 253,472 applications for the Class of 2018, the eight private, prestigious and pricey schools known for a climbing vine gave a green light to 22,624.
Quick, get the calculator. The admission rate is 8.925641 percent, rounding to the nearest millionth of a percentage point.
Many of the nation’s college-bound students obsess over these numbers, with reason. Something about the Ivy League compels fascination even among students who haven’t applied to these venerable schools and never will. Collectively, the eight play an outsize role in shaping the image of American higher education around the world.
Do people pay too much attention to Ivy admission rates?
“Absolutely,” said Janet Lavin Rapelye, dean of admission at Princeton University. “It takes the focus off of what everybody should be focusing on, which is finding the right fit and finding the right match. The admit rate is just one of many, many measures that can happen in a year. But it doesn’t begin to explain or identify the best matches.”
For what it’s worth, Princeton put a news release headline on this year’s rate calculated to a hundredth of a point: 7.28 percent.
It’s worth noting that this super-low rate and others at ultra-selective schools are a function of a huge surge in applications. Princeton’s pool has nearly doubled in the past decade. Many applicants no doubt apply to more than one Ivy; some, to all eight.
“It is unfortunate that we contribute to this frenzy by the numbers we publish,” said an admissions veteran at a prestigious, non-Ivy League college who did not wish to be identified because he did not want to add to the hubbub.
Here is the skinny on Ivy numbers as the eight schools released admission decisions Thursday at 5 p.m. for the incoming freshman class.
To go easy on the eyes, we will round to the nearest tenth of a percentage point.
Brown University: 2,619 offers of admission out of 30,432 applications. Admission rate: 8.6 percent, down modestly.
Columbia University: 2,291 offers out of 32,967 apps. Rate: 6.9 percent, about the same as last year.
Cornell University: 6,014 offers out of 43,041 apps. Rate: 14.0 percent. The rate is down more than one percentage point because applications rose.
Dartmouth College: 2,220 offers out of 19,296 apps. Rate: 11.5 percent. Dartmouth’s admit rate edged up about a point because its total application pool shrank significantly — 14 percent — for reasons the college is still analyzing. It was described as the largest application drop for Dartmouth in 21 years.
Harvard University: 2,023 offers out of 34,295 apps. Rate: 5.9 percent, little changed.
Princeton University: 1,939 offers out of 26,641 apps. Rate: 7.3 percent, nearly the same as 2013.
University of Pennsylvania: 3,583 offers out of 35,868 apps. Rate: 10.0 percent. No, Penn’s rounded rate is not 9.9 percent, contrary to its news release. But the admit rate has fallen about two points because applications are on the rise.
Yale University: 1,935 offers out of 30,932 apps. Rate: 6.3 percent, a slight decline.
For the thousands who didn’t get in but were placed on waiting lists, here are a couple of statistics: Last year, 168 students made it into Cornell via the waiting list, out of more than 3,100 offered positions on the list. Dartmouth admitted 87, out of about 1,700 initial wait-list offers, and Princeton admitted 33 out of an initial 1,400.
By Nick Anderson, Published: March 28