The Ivy Coach Daily

January 3, 2022

University of Pennsylvania Class of 2026 Early Decision Statistics

15.6% of Early Decision applicants to the University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 2026 earned admission (photo credit: Bryan Y.W. Shin).

The University of Pennsylvania has released Early Decision admissions notifications for the Class of 2026. In all, 7,795 students applied to UPenn’s Class of 2026 under the school’s binding Early Decision program. It was, by all means, a large applicant pool — just, as Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball predicted, not as strong as last year’s when 7,962 students applied Early Decision to UPenn’s Class of 2025 (this marks a 2% drop in ED applications). Of the 7,795 ED applicants to this year’s class, 1,218 earned admission, marking a 15.63% admission rate. Last year, 14.9% of students earned admission in the Early Decision round. So while it was a strong Early Decision cycle at UPenn — the second strongest, in fact, in the university’s history — it wasn’t as strong a cycle as last year’s Early cycle.

Breakdown of Early Decision Admits to UPenn Class of 2026

Of the admitted Early Decision candidates to the University of Pennsylvania Class of 2026, 14% are first-generation college students, the first in their immediate families to attend college, a 2% increase from the ED cycle for the Class of 2025. 53% self-identify as female. 52% of U.S. citizens or permanent residents self-identify as students of color, up from 50% for the ED cycle for the Class of 2025. 42 states are represented by admits, along with Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. And 60 countries are represented among this group of admitted students.

UPenn Does Not Release Testing Data Like Last Year

And what percentage of admits did and did not submit test scores under UPenn’s test-optional policy? Well, UPenn has not released such data points this year. As Leanna Tilitei reports for The Daily Pennsylvanian in a piece entitled “Penn accepts 15.6% of early decision applicants to the Class of 2026,” “Last year, 24% of those admitted through Early Decision did not include test scores. Penn Admissions did not release the number of students who did not include test scores for the Class of 2026. Of those that did, the middle 50% testing ranges were 1500-1560 on the SAT and 34-35 on the ACT.” Our response? What does UPenn have to hide? As we’ve said since test-optional policies became the norm in elite college admissions, all else being equal, a student with a great test score will always enjoy an advantage over a student with no test score. If this were not the case, UPenn — and all elite universities — would release the statistics of those applicants who do and do not earn admission with and without scores. Here’s hoping UPenn’s new Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions Whitney Soule is as transparent as her predecessor, Eric Furda, a longtime hero of this college admissions blog. Only time will tell if our hopes become reality.

Congratulations to Ivy Coach’s students who earned admission to the University of Pennsylvania Class of 2026 this Early Decision cycle! We’re so proud of you.

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