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Among Surge in Applicants, Ivy League Acceptance Rates Fall


With test-optional policies fueling a surge in college applications this year, the country’s elite colleges, especially the prestigious Ivy League, have recorded all-time low acceptance rates.

On Tuesday, the eight Ivy League schools released admissions decisions for the incoming fall class. As this year saw double-digit increases in applications to these schools, admissions rates plummeted.

Among them, Harvard recorded the lowest acceptance rate at 3.4 percent. The university admitted 1,970 candidates of the 57,435 people who applied. Harvard was followed by Columbia at 3.7 percent and Princeton at 3.9 percent acceptance rates. For Princeton, the number is roughly 20 percent lower than it would otherwise be in an ordinary year, the Daily Princetonian observed.

In the face of a sharp rise in applications, the record-low acceptance rates should not come as a complete shock since elite universities are highly competitive and have lower acceptance rates than most colleges and universities.

“These institutions have much to gain from appearing selective, particularly as they compete against each other for higher positions in complex ranking systems,” the Daily Columbia Spectator wrote.

Also, as admitted students deferred admissions due to the pandemic, the percentage of available seats for the fall semester declined.

“Ten percent of the class entering this fall were admitted a year ago, and decided to take a gap year,” dean of undergraduate admissions at Duke University, Christoph Guttentag said.

Student Reactions

As results started pouring in, social media was abuzz with tweets from Ivy League hopefuls.

Some expressed their disappointment at not being able to make the grade.

The good news is that Ivy League schools are not done with the admissions process. They may still accept people from their waiting lists, which means students still have a small window of opportunity until the final callout on July 1.

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