The Ivy Coach Daily

March 28, 2024

Class of 2028 College Admissions Statistics: A Year in Review

A columned building with blue doors is featured at Harvard University

This Post is Consistently Updated with New Figures.

Over the last few weeks, many of America’s top universities have released their Regular Decision notifications to applicants to the Class of 2028. Our nation’s remaining highly selective universities will release decisions over the next few days leading up to April 1st, with the Ivy League schools sending out decisions today. So, what are this year’s trends in elite college admissions? Was the 2023-2024 admissions cycle the most competitive year ever? You’ve got questions. We at Ivy Coach have got answers.

Class of 2028 Elite College Admissions Trends

Class of 2028 Admission Rates Are So Far Slightly Lower Than for Class of 2027

Some of America’s elite universities have yet to release overall acceptance rates for the Class of 2028. That said, of the top-ranked schools that have released data, this year’s acceptance rates are mostly slightly lower than last year.

Among the top 25 national universities, as ranked by US News & World Report, among schools that have thus far reported overall acceptance rates, MIT, Yale, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Rice, and Notre Dame are reporting lower overall acceptance rates this year. In many cases, the acceptance rates mark historic lows for the institutions.

In fact, among the only schools that have thus far reported overall acceptance rates, the only schools with higher overall acceptance rates for the Class of 2028 than for the Class of 2027 include Harvard and UVA — and the acceptance rates were only up slightly at both.

Some New Records But Few Application Surges Like for Class of 2025

While applications are up at many of our nation’s top schools this year, we do not see skyrocketing figures like we did for the Class of 2025. That year, because so many students were stuck at home during the pandemic, they applied to more schools than ever, leading to unprecedented application numbers. For instance, MIT reported a 66% spike in applications that year. Thus far, there are no 66% spikes.

That said, we are seeing some new application benchmarks. Yale’s 57,465 applications eclipse the school’s previous record of 52,250 applications set for the Class of 2027. Duke’s 47,951 applications also mark a historic tally for the university. We’ll continue to report on more application records as the data comes out.

“The Toughest Year Ever” is Nonsense

As the sun rises every morning, parents lament annually, “It was the toughest year ever!” No, it wasn’t. While some universities set application benchmarks and historic acceptance rates this year, the distinction of “the toughest year ever” squarely belongs to the Class of 2025. That year, in addition to record application tallies, about 20% of seats were pre-filled with admits from the Class of 2024 who chose to take gap years due to the pandemic. 

The Outlawing of Affirmative Action Had Minimal Influence on the Class of 2028’s Admissions Process

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw the consideration of race in admissions decision-making, many expected significant changes to this year’s admissions process for the Class of 2028. Yet the majority of our nation’s elite universities exploited Chief Justice John Roberts’ loophole (“Nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.”) by asking applicants to write supplemental essays in which they were essentially encouraged to talk about their race. As such, race remained a significant consideration in decision-making. 

Despicable Antisemitic Rhetoric on Elite College Campuses Did Not Influence Application Numbers to Extent Some Suggest

And while the SCOTUS ruling outlawing Affirmative Action had minimal impact on this year’s admissions process, the despicable antisemitic rhetoric on some of our nation’s elite college campuses this year — all in the wake of Hamas’ brutal terrorist attack against Israel — hung like a cloud over this year’s admissions process, particularly after the Harvard and UPenn presidents were ousted in shame for refusing to defend their Jewish students in testimony before Congress. Side note, Dartmouth got it right!

That said, don’t believe the nonsense you may read in certain publications that pin a drop in applications to certain top schools on backlash to the despicable antisemitic hate on these campuses. Sure, Harvard’s applications are slightly down this year but if you comb through the historic admissions statistics of our nation’s elite universities — statistics we at Ivy Coach keep — drops in applications often follow historic highs. And it’s not like there weren’t horrific acts of antisemitic hate at Yale and Columbia this year. Yet applications are up at both institutions by significant margins. Maybe it takes Jews to say something non-Jews may not ever fully understand about our people: we will always seek the finest education.

Class of 2028 Admission Rates at Elite Universities

Top National University Admissions Statistics

Below are the admissions statistics for the Class of 2028 released from our nation’s top national universities thus far. Keep in mind that some of these numbers will change when the schools report their figures through The Common Data Set.

College/University2024 US News Rank (“Best National Universities”)2023-2024 Overall Admission Rate (Class of 2028)2022-2023 Overall Admission Rate (Class of 2027)2021-2022 Overall Admission Rate (Class of 2026)
Princeton University#1Not Yet PublishedNot Yet Published4%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology#24.52%5%4%
Harvard University#33.59%3.41%3%
Stanford University#3Not Yet Published3.91%4%
Yale University#53.9%4.35%4%
University of Pennsylvania#6Not Yet PublishedNot Yet Published6%
California Institute of Technology#7Not Yet PublishedNot Yet Published4%
Duke University#75.1%6%6%
Brown University#95.2%5%5%
Johns Hopkins University#95%6%6%
Northwestern University#9Not Yet Published7%7%
Columbia University#123.8%4%4%
Cornell University#12Not Yet Published7.9%9%
University of Chicago#12Not Yet PublishedNot Yet Published7%
University of California, Berkeley#15Not Yet Published11.36%11.4%
University of California, Los Angeles#15Not Yet Published9%8.57%
Rice University#177.5%8%9%
Dartmouth College#18Not Yet Published6%6%
Vanderbilt University#18Not Yet Published6%6%
University of Notre Dame#2011.1%12%13%
University of Michigan#21Not Yet Published17.69%18%
Georgetown University#22Not Yet Published12.22%12%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill#22Not Yet PublishedNot Yet Published16.85%
Carnegie Mellon University#24Not Yet Published11.3%11%
Emory University#24Not Yet Published16%11%
University of Virginia#2416.38%16%19%
Washington University in St. Louis#24Not Yet PublishedNot Yet Published10%

Top Liberal Arts Colleges Admissions Statistics

Below are the admissions statistics for the Class of 2028 that have thus far been released from our nation’s top liberal arts colleges, with the same caveat about the fluctuating statistics as we noted for the top national universities.

College/University2024 US News Rank (“Best Liberal Arts Colleges”)2023-2024 Overall Admission Rate (Class of 2028)2022-2023 Overall Admission Rate (Class of 2027)2021-2022 Overall Admission Rate (Class of 2026)
Wiliams College#17.53%10%9%
Amherst College#29%9%7%
United States Naval Academy#3Not Yet PublishedNot PublishedNot Published
Pomona College#4Not Yet Published6.75%7%
Swarthmore College#47.46%7%7%
Wellesley College#4Not Yet Published13%13%
United States Air Force Academy#7Not Yet PublishedNot PublishedNot Published
United States Military Academy at West Point#8Not Yet PublishedNot PublishedNot Published
Bowdoin College#97%8%9%
Carleton College#9Not Yet Published22%17%
Barnard College#117%7%8%
Claremont McKenna College#11Not Yet Published11.12%10%
Grinnell College#11Not Yet PublishedNot Yet Published9%
Middlebury College#11Not Yet Published11%15%
Wesleyan University#1116%17.1%14%
Davidson College#16Not Yet Published14.48%17%
Hamilton College#16Not Yet Published11.77%12%
Harvey Mudd College#16Not Yet Published13.06%13.36%
Smith College#16Not Yet Published19%23%
Vassar College#16Not Yet Published17.73%19%
Colgate University#21Not Yet Published12%12%
Haverford College#21Not Yet Published12.91%14%
Washington and Lee University#21Not Yet Published17.36%19%
Bates College#24Not Yet Published13.06%13%
Colby College#256.64%6%7%
University of Richmond#2522%22%24%

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Optimizing Waitlist Chances

If your child has been waitlisted to one or more of their dream schools, all hope should not be lost. They still have a fighting chance of earning admission, but only if they play their cards right by submitting a Letter of Continued Interest that wows.

If you’re interested in Ivy Coach’s assistance with optimizing your child’s case for admission off a college’s waitlist, fill out our complimentary consultation form today, and we’ll be in touch with an immediate response that outlines our go-forward waitlist service.

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