Stanford is Tinder and Harvard is OkCupid

Stanford is Tinder, Harvard is OkCupid, Stanford and Harvard

Harvard and Princeton are to OkCupid what Stanford is to Tinder with respect to Early Action deferral versus rejection rates (photo credit: King of Hearts).

College admissions can be a lot like dating. If the rejection and deferral rates at a few of the top colleges were compared to dating apps, you’d find that Princeton and Harvard are closer to OkCupid, while Stanford is more of a Tinder or, in the gay community, Grindr. Yes, Grindr has come up on our college admissions blog. Whatever. Get over it. As a loyal reader of our college admissions blog, you likely know that we’re not shy about saying things that may be perceived as a little controversial to some. We are unapologetic. We don’t sugarcoat. And if you don’t like it, you’re welcome to find a better college admissions blog. Oh wait, our only daily, respected competitor (“The Choice” of “The New York Times” stopped publication several months ago). We guess you’re caught in quite the pickle there then! We suppose you’ll just have to read on. Hey, times are tough.

Anyhow, in an article of “The Yale Daily News” in which our Founder, Bev Taylor, is quoted, the deferral versus the rejection rates at a few top colleges are compared. This year, among Early applicants, Harvard deferred 68.1% of applicants. Princeton deferred 78.9% of applicants. And Yale deferred 57.6% of applicants. How about Stanford, you ask? They deferred only 8.5% of the pool. That means that if you were deferred at Stanford, you’ve got a much more likely shot of getting in there than do students deferred at Yale, Princeton, and Harvard based on the numbers alone. Stanford, as our Founder states in the article, lets most students off the hook. This year, Princeton rejected 1.3% of applicants, Harvard 7.8%, and Yale 25.8%. Stanford’s rejection rate? 80.7%! That’s quite a lot of rejection. Keeping with the dating analogy, one could argue that Stanford doesn’t like to string dates along. In this way, Princeton and Harvard are OkCupid in that they tend to string students along they have no intention of admitting. It’s like agreeing to a second date a week in advance when you have every intention of canceling that date. Maybe they’ll even suggest a location. It’s lame if you ask us! Stanford is more of a Tinder or a Grindr. They cut to the chase and, well, we respect them for it. Go Cardinal!

Find that kind of analogy on another college admissions blog. We dare you! Hey, we write every single day — including weekends and holidays — about highly selective college admissions. We’ve got to keep things interesting, right? Anyhow, while you’re here, check out our compiled Ivy League Statistics.


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  • sara says:

    Is this due to yield rate? I think it is pathetic to string people along to regular decision. Some say to give another chance, in case they cure cancer or get a shout out from the president in the next 2 months 😉

    • Bev Taylor says:

      We agree with you! Stringing students along they have no intention of admitting isn’t right. In part, yes, it’s due to yield. They also often defer legacies, as an example, so as not to anger alumni parents. Getting deferred doesn’t seem as harsh as getting rejected but it all usually leads to the same end result. Good for Stanford for defying the status quo.

  • james anderson says:

    Thanks for telling it like it is once again. Harvard also includes withdrawn applications and incomplete applications (which won’t be admitted) in their overall number of student applications which is downright fraudulent IMO. Why aren’t more people calling out Ivy League schools for their deceitful practices in reporting admissions statistics?

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