Ivy League Data

Ivy League Stats, Data at Ivies, Ivy Data

We’ve got comprehensive Ivy League admissions data for our readers.

We’ve got more Ivy League data for our loyal readers! We previously gave you the statistics at Brown, Cornell, and Columbia with respect to the advantage of applying Early versus Regular Decision. Does the same principle hold true at Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale, you ask? Let’s look at the data! At Dartmouth College, for the Class of 2018, 17,618 students applied Regular Decision of whom 1,751 earned admission for a Regular Decision acceptance rate of 9.9%. In the Early Decision round at Dartmouth, 1,678 students applied for admission to the College on the Hill and 469 got in for an Early Decision acceptance rate of 27.9%. 27.9% versus 9.9%. One doesn’t have to be a mathematical scholar to conclude when it’s best to apply to Dartmouth.

At Harvard, 29,603 students applied Regular Decision and 1,031 got in, marking an admit rate of 3.5%. 3.5%! In the Early Action round at Harvard, 4,692 students applied for admission and 992 got in. That’s an admit rate of 21.1%. 3.5% versus 21.1%. A drastic difference at Harvard! The overall acceptance rate at Harvard — taking into account Early Action and Regular Decision — stands at 5.9% for the Class of 2018 but only when you look at the breakdown of Early Action versus Regular Decision data do you get the full picture.

At Penn, a university that has a long tradition of greatly valuing its Early Decision applicants, 5,149 students applied Early and 1,299 got in for an Early Decision admit rate of 25.2%. Over a quarter of Early Decision applicants to Penn got in! In Regular Decision, 30,719 students applied for admission and 2,252 got in for a Regular Decision admit rate of 7.3%. 25.2% versus 7.3%. We’d say “wow” but this is quite often the case at Penn.

At Princeton, 3,854 students applied Early and 714 earned admission for an Early admission rate of 18.5%. In the Regular Decision round, 22,787 students applied for admission and 1,225 students got in for a Regular Decision admission rate of 5.4%. 18.5% versus 5.4%. The overall acceptance rate at Princeton for the Class of 2018 stands at 7.3%.

And, finally, at Yale, 30,932 applications in all were received between the two rounds. 4,750 students applied Early to Yale and 735 of them got in for an Early admit rate of 15.5%. In the Regular Decision round, 26,182 students applied for admission to Yale and 1,200 were in receipt of acceptance letters for an admit rate of 4.6%. So that’s 15.5% versus 4.6%.

We are fully aware that we are repeatedly driving home the same point but students so often either waste their Early card or fail to apply Early because they can’t get their act together or they’re undecided on where they want to go. We say: Pick a horse and pick that horse the summer of junior year (or earlier). Applying Early Decision or Early Action to Ivy League schools gives students a distinct, undeniable statistical advantage. To not capitalize on this is just plain silly.


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  • Kelly says:

    Thanks for the stats. I always enjoy your candid perspective and still check in even though we’re through the process with Child #1.

    I do wonder, though, about the complete picture being conveyed here and what the average reader’s takeaway will be. This post and these cold, hard stats seem not to explain the significant presence of recruited athletes, legacies, and others typically found in the early action/decision pools. (Not sure how Questbridge and related programs fit into the equation but I believe they, too, often hear early.) Isn’t it true that it is more competitive for EA/ED candidates than the percentages you’re showing when those factors are taken into account? Still better odds, sure, but not quite this stark?

    • Bev Taylor says:

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for reading!

      Do recruited athletes apply Early? Yes. Are many a part of the admitted student figures at the Ivies? Yes. It’s still significantly easier to get in through Early Decision or Early Action as compared to Regular Decision if you’re not an athlete, if you’re not a legacy, etc. We’ll write a bit more about that in the days to come.

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