The Ivy Coach Daily

March 8, 2024

Ivy League Waitlist Acceptance Rates & Statistics: A Look Back

Each year, at the end of March and early April, a group of students across the country and around the world learn that they’ve neither been accepted nor denied after the Regular Decision round to certain Ivy League schools to which they applied. Instead, they’ve been waitlisted. The schools that have placed them in limbo have essentially kicked the can on their admissions decision. So, do waitlisted students to Ivy League schools genuinely have a chance? And what exactly are their chances? Let’s dive in!

Ivy League Waitlist Acceptance Rates & Statistics

Brown University

At Brown University, since the Class of 2008, excluding years in which the school did not report sufficient waitlist data, the average waitlist acceptance rate has been 12.95%. In more recent years, since the Class of 2018, Brown has only reported the number of students accepted off its waitlist, which has averaged out to be approximately 120 students a year.

Below is a breakdown of Brown’s waitlist acceptance history:

Brown University Class YearNumber of Students Waitlisted to BrownNumber of Students Who Chose to Join Brown WaitlistNumber of Students Accepted Off Brown WaitlistBrown Waitlist Acceptance Rate
Brown Class of 2028TBDTBDTBDTBD
Brown Class of 2027Not Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet Published
Brown Class of 2026Not ReportedNot Reported15Not Reported
Brown Class of 2025Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Brown Class of 2024Not ReportedNot Reported194Not Reported
Brown Class of 2023Not ReportedNot Reported127Not Reported
Brown Class of 2022Not ReportedNot Reported100Not Reported
Brown Class of 2021Not ReportedNot Reported86Not Reported
Brown Class of 2020Not ReportedNot Reported82Not Reported
Brown Class of 2019Not ReportedNot Reported192Not Reported
Brown Class of 2018Not ReportedNot Reported57Not Reported
Brown Class of 2017Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Brown Class of 2016Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Brown Class of 2015Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Brown Class of 20141,550600325.33%
Brown Class of 20131,5005008216.4%
Brown Class of 20121,4004506815.11%
Brown Class of 20111,4004507316.22%
Brown Class of 20101,983450357.78%
Brown Class of 20091,7359879910.03%
Brown Class of 20081,4004508919.78%

Columbia University

Below is a breakdown of Columbia’s waitlist acceptance history — or lack thereof since the school doesn’t release the data:

Columbia University Class YearNumber of Students Waitlisted to ColumbiaNumber of Students Who Chose to Join Columbia WaitlistNumber of Students Accepted Off Columbia WaitlistColumbia Waitlist Acceptance Rate
Columbia Class of 2028TBDTBDTBDTBD
Columbia Class of 2027Not PublishedNot PublishedNot PublishedNot Published
Columbia Class of 2026Not PublishedNot PublishedNot PublishedNot Published

Cornell University

At Cornell University, over the last 25 years, Cornell admitted an average of 4.1% of waitlisted candidates. That figure stood at 3.86% in the previous five years, though it was 5.87% for the most recent Class of 2027 when 362 students earned admission off the list.

Below is a breakdown of Cornell’s waitlist acceptance history:

Cornell University Class YearNumber of Students Waitlisted to CornellNumber of Students Who Chose to Join Cornell WaitlistNumber of Students Accepted Off Cornell WaitlistCornell Waitlist Acceptance Rate
Cornell Class of 2028TBDTBDTBDTBD
Cornell Class of 20278,2826,1663625.87%
Cornell Class of 20267,7295,5312604.7%
Cornell Class of 20257,7465,800240.41%
Cornell Class of 20246,7504,7911903.97%
Cornell Class of 20234,9483,3621474.37%
Cornell Class of 20226,6834,5461643.61%
Cornell Class of 20215,7143,723752.01%
Cornell Class of 20204,5712,874612.12%
Cornell Class of 20193,5832,231813.63%
Cornell Class of 20183,1432,026964.74%
Cornell Class of 20173,1441,9661688.55%
Cornell Class of 20163,0981,9411397.16%
Cornell Class of 20152,9821,84600%
Cornell Class of 20142,5511,48300%
Cornell Class of 20133,3081,94900%
Cornell Class of 20123,4442,163442.03%
Cornell Class of 20113,2131,97627914.12%
Cornell Class of 20102,7131,746181.03%
Cornell Class of 20092,6431,54420913.54%
Cornell Class of 20082,4111,9881718.6%
Cornell Class of 20071,9831,68240.24%
Cornell Class of 20062,3731,9421246.39%
Cornell Class of 20052,1312,116552.6%
Cornell Class of 20042,1312,116552.6%
Cornell Class of 20032,7301,48130.2%

Dartmouth College

Over the previous 19 admissions cycles (from 2022 through 2003), Dartmouth’s average waitlist acceptance rate stands at 4.48%

Below is a breakdown of Dartmouth’s waitlist acceptance history:

Dartmouth College Class YearNumber of Students Waitlisted to DartmouthNumber of Students Who Chose to Join Dartmouth WaitlistNumber of Students Accepted Off Dartmouth WaitlistDartmouth Waitlist Acceptance Rate
Dartmouth Class of 2028TBDTBDTBDTBD
Dartmouth Class of 2027Not Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet Published
Dartmouth Class of 20263,9332,7531214.4%
Dartmouth Class of 20252,6611,945954.88%
Dartmouth Class of 20242,1511,38100%
Dartmouth Class of 20231,9251,29200%
Dartmouth Class of 20222,0211,34500%
Dartmouth Class of 20212,0641,352161.18%
Dartmouth Class of 20201,85296312913.4%
Dartmouth Class of 20191,8551,13300%
Dartmouth Class of 20181,691970878.97%
Dartmouth Class of 20171,7368148210.07%
Dartmouth Class of 20161,9831,047918.69%
Dartmouth Class of 20151,7451,027252.43%
Dartmouth Class of 20141,532927818.74%
Dartmouth Class of 20131,568883414.64%
Dartmouth Class of 20121,38179700%
Dartmouth Class of 20111,166669365.38%
Dartmouth Class of 20101,200700162.29%
Dartmouth Class of 20091,275790243.04%
Dartmouth Class of 20081,296840546.43%

Harvard University

Harvard does not release waitlist admissions statistics. Without the number of students who accept a spot on the Harvard waitlist and the number of students admitted off the waitlist each year, any figure you find online that purports to represent the Harvard waitlist acceptance rate is false — because Harvard neither publicizes these figures nor releases them to The Common Data Set like many other schools.

Instead, it’s pure conjecture, conjecture typically based on Harvard’s yield (the percentage of accepted students who matriculate). In an ordinary year, Harvard’s yield exceeds 80%. For the Harvard Class of 2027, the school’s yield stood at slightly over 84%.

If Harvard’s anticipated yield drops, there’s a very good chance the school will turn to its waiting list. On the other hand, if Harvard’s yield is as anticipated or below expectations, there’s a very good chance the school will offers students admission from the waitlist.

University of Pennsylvania

Penn’s waitlist statistics vary by year, but the school’s waitlist acceptance rate typically ranges between 2-6%. For the Class of 2025, an admissions cycle significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 17% of students who opted-in to Penn’s waitlist earned admission, whereas for the Class of 2023, less than 0.5% of students who opted-in to Penn’s waitlisted secured slots.

Below is a breakdown of Penn’s waitlist acceptance history:

University of Pennsylvania Class YearNumber of Students Waitlisted to UPennNumber of Students Who Chose to Join UPenn WaitlistNumber of Students Accepted Off UPenn WaitlistUPenn Waitlist Acceptance Rate
UPenn Class of 2028TBDTBDTBDTBD
UPenn Class of 2027Not Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet Published
UPenn Class of 20263,9332,7531214.39%
UPenn Class of 20253,2052,35039116.64%
UPenn Class of 20242,9322,0511014.92%
UPenn Class of 20233,5352,56190.35%
UPenn Class of 20223,4582,327582.49%
UPenn Class of 2021Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
UPenn Class of 20202,4741,438906.26%
UPenn Class of 20192,6511,600362.25%
UPenn Class of 20182,8161,737442.53%
UPenn Class of 20172,0171,249876.97%
UPenn Class of 20162,4171,385564.04%
UPenn Class of 20153,0561,760553.13%
UPenn Class of 20142,9382,606963.68%

Princeton University

For the 15 years of available data on Princeton’s waitlist that we’ve compiled, Princeton has turned to its waitlist two-thirds of the time.

Over the ten years in which Princeton has admitted students off its waitlist during this span, which extends from the Class of 2026 through the Class of 2006, the school has admitted a high of 16.37% of waitlisted candidates (the Class of 2015 when 164 waitlisted candidates got in) and a low of 0.15% of waitlisted candidates (the Class of 2024 when one waitlisted candidate got in).

Including the years in which Princeton did not turn to its waitlist over the last 20 years (not counting years in which data is not publicly available), the Ivy League institution admitted an average of 40.79 waitlisted candidates.

More recently, over the last five admissions cycles, Princeton has been admitting an average of 55.6 students off the waiting list — higher than the school’s average over two decades. The Class of 2026 in which 150 students (or 15% of waitlisted candidates) and the Class of 2022 in which 101 students (or 12.23% of waitlisted candidates) earned admission off the waitlist marked particularly strong waitlist showings.

Below is a breakdown of Princeton’s waitlist acceptance history:

Princeton University Class YearNumber of Students Waitlisted to PrincetonNumber of Students Who Chose to Join Princeton WaitlistNumber of Students Accepted Off Princeton WaitlistPrinceton Waitlist Acceptance Rate
Princeton Class of 2028TBDTBDTBDTBD
Princeton Class of 2027Not Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet Published
Princeton Class of 20261,2651,00015015%
Princeton Class of 2025820598264.35%
Princeton Class of 202490266810.15%
Princeton Class of 20231,12584400%
Princeton Class of 20221,16882610112.23%
Princeton Class of 20211,237840182.14%
Princeton Class of 20201,206857394.55%
Princeton Class of 20191,138818415.01%
Princeton Class of 20181,395906333.64%
Princeton Class of 20171,47298800%
Princeton Class of 2016Not PublishedNot PublishedNot PublishedNot Published
Princeton Class of 20151,4521,00216416.37%
Princeton Class of 2014Not PublishedNot PublishedNot PublishedNot Published
Princeton Class of 20131,5261,06114813.95%
Princeton Class of 2012Not PublishedNot PublishedNot PublishedNot Published
Princeton Class of 20111,21678900%
Princeton Class of 20101,20779400%
Princeton Class of 2009Not PublishedNot PublishedNot PublishedNot Published
Princeton Class of 2008Not PublishedNot PublishedNot PublishedNot Published
Princeton Class of 2007Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Princeton Class of 2006N/A000

Yale University

Yale’s waitlist reporting is, in a word, inconsistent. The school is more forthright in some years than others.

Below is a breakdown of Yale’s waitlist acceptance history:

Yale Class YearNumber of Students Waitlisted to YaleNumber of Students Who Chose to Join Yale WaitlistNumber of Students Accepted Off Yale WaitlistYale Waitlist Acceptance Rate
Yale Class of 2028TBDTBDTBDTBD
Yale Class of 2027Not Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet PublishedNot Yet Published
Yale Class of 20261,03077440.5%
Yale Class of 2025Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Yale Class of 2024Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Yale Class of 2023Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Yale Class of 2022Not ReportedNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Yale Class of 20211,095606193.14%
Yale Class of 20201,098713Not ReportedNot Reported
Yale Class of 20191,324837Not ReportedNot Reported
Yale Class of 2018Not Reported998424.43%
Yale Class of 2017Not ReportedNot Reported70Not Reported
Yale Class of 2016Not ReportedNot Reported104Not Reported
Yale Class of 2015Not ReportedNot Reported98Not Reported
Yale Class of 2014769Not Reported7Not Reported
Yale Class of 20131,053Not Reported59Not Reported
Yale Class of 2012859Not Reported50Not Reported

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Ivy League Waitlists

If you’re interested in optimizing your chances of admission off an Ivy League waitlist, fill out Ivy Coach’s complimentary consultation form, indicate that you’ve been waitlisted, and we’ll be in touch to outline our go-forward services for waitlisted candidates. Hint, hint: it’s all about submitting a compelling Letter of Continued Interest that will sway admissions officers to root for you! And, no, an ordinary letter won’t do.

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