college lists

Elite College Acceptance Rates for 2017

There are interesting perspectives on the factors that have contributed to the upsurge in applications to elite institutions. But which theory best explains this phenomenon is less important than the bare fact that there’s been a significant spike in applications in recent years. 2017 results extend this trend line.

Naturally, an increase in the number of applications submitted to a school tends to cause a proportional decline in its admissions rate. A school’s admissions rate remains the primary criterion by which colleges and universities are ranked by US News, Money Magazine, Princeton Review, and other third-party sources. This is unfortunate. Often, students and families rely too heavily on these rankings in selecting which schools to target for applications. As a result, a school’s admissions rate, although an imperfect measure, has become a proxy for the relative academic quality of all colleges and universities. So each year, it becomes even more difficult to gain admittance to top-tier schools than the last.

As admission becomes more and more competitive, the case for using IvySelect as your college admissions consulting firm becomes stronger. You need to be sure that you’re leaving no stone unturned in your campaign to be accepted by the type of top-tier schools that you aspire to attend. IvySelect specialty, based on years of successful experience, is to assist you in meeting your educational goals by being accepted by such elite colleges and universities.

A review of 2017 results confirms the increasingly competitive nature of admissions.

Collectively, the eight schools of the Ivy League admitted 22,805 students from 281,060 applicants, or 8.11%, compared to 23,129 admitted from 273,040 applicants, or 8.47%, in 2016. Stanford retains the lowest admissions rate among the most highly competitive tier of institutions with 4.65%, down slightly from 4.69% last year. Harvard again holds second place at 5.20%, the same rate as last year. The other Ivies range from a low admissions rate of 6% at Columbia, Yale, and Princeton to a high of 13% at Cornell.

Williams College in Massachusetts reported an extraordinary 25% increase in applications this year. Barnard College in New York City announced that its applications rose 19% and that they admitted 15%. Wesleyan University in Connecticut posted an impressive 16% surge in applications. Another school to note for its rise in applications in recent years is USC, with 56,000 apps in 2017.

Among schools with admissions rates that declined significantly were Swarthmore at 10% down from 12%, a 20% decrease. Bowdoin accepted 8%, down from 14%, an astonishing 75% decline. And Emory’s rate dropped by 14%, from 25% to 22%. Wellesley’s admissions rate fell by a quarter from 28% to 21% and Wesleyan’s by a fifth from 18% to 15%. Boston University’s app volume rose to 60,815 from 57,204, resulting in a decline in the admission rate from 29% to 25%, a 16% drop. However, the admissions rate did rise slightly at a few top-tier schools, including Boston College, Middlebury, and William & Mary.

Key admissions statistics for elite and popular colleges and universities are listed in the Table below. Some schools have not yet released 2017 admissions data, so the Table will be updated with additional results in a future post.

Table: Admissions Results for 2017 and 2016

Ivy League and Other Elite Institutions

Institution Applicants

In 2017

Admitted in 2017 2017 %

Admitted

Applicants

In 2016

Admitted in 2016 2016 %

Admitted

American 19,311 4,962 26
Amherst 7,716 1,139 15 8,397 1,149 14
Barnard 15 7,071 1,131 16
Berkeley 82,558 12,226 15
Boston College 28,500 9,200 32 28,956 8,397 29
Boston University 60,815 15,204 25 57,416 16,650 29
Bowdoin 7,251 972 8 6,788 970 14
Brown 32,724 2,722 8 32,930 2,919 9
Caltech 6,856 541 8
Carleton 6,500 1,300 20 6,500 1,430 22
Carnegie Mellon 21,189 4,598 22
Chicago 31,411 2,482 8
Claremont-McKenna 6,342 594 9
Colby 9,833 1,720 17
Colorado College 8,215 1,212 15 7,997 1,263 16
Columbia 37,389 2,185 6 36,292 2,193 6
Cornell 47,038 5,889 13 44,966 6,277 14
Dartmouth 20,034 2,092 10 20,675 2,176 11
Davidson 5,620 1,130 20
Duke 34,400 3,174 9 32,202 3,319 10
Emory 23,694 5,172 22 19,924 4,927 25
Georgetown 21,459 3,219 15 27,029 4,168 15
George Washington 27,000 11,031 41 25,541 10,942 43
Georgia Tech 31,484 5,172 22 30,520 7,630 25
Grinnell 7,368 1,326 18
Hamilton 5,678 1,340 24 5,230 1,317 25
Harvard 39,506 2,056 5 39,041 2,037 5
Harvey Mudd 4,180 526 13
Haverford 4,424 859 19 4,067 871 21
Johns Hopkins 26,578 3,133 12 27,095 3,098 11
Kenyon 6,400 1,688 26
Michigan 55,000 16,100 29
Middlebury 8,910 1,753 20 8,820 1,415 16
MIT 20,247 1,438 7 19,020 1,485 8
NYU 67,232
North Carolina 35,864 9,252 26
Notre Dame 19,499 3,665 19
Northwestern 37,255 3,371 9 35,099 3,751 11
Olin 1,067 1,293 114 9
Penn 40,413 3,699 9 38,918 3,661 9
Pitzer 4,142 534 13
Pomona 9,046 741 8 8,104 743 9
Princeton 31,056 1,890 6 29,303 1,894 7
Rice 18,236 2,785 15
Stanford 44,073 2,050 5 2,722 32,724 5
Swarthmore 9,383 960 10 7,717 963 12
Tufts 21,101 3,128 15 20,222 2,831 14
UCLA 97,115 17,522 18
USC 56,000 8,980 16 54,100 8,920 16
Virginia 32,426 9,416 29
Vanderbilt 27,841 2,382 9 32,100 3,326 10
Vassar 7,306 1,943 27
Wake Forest 13,000 3,500 27 13,860 4,019 28
Washington (St. Louis) 30,400 4,864 16 29,197 4,729 16
Wellesley 5,700 1,197 21 4,888 1,368 28
Wesleyan (CT) 12,543 1,932 15 12,030 2,129 18
Williams 8,593 1,253 15 6,982 1,206 17
William & Mary 14,915 5,220 35 15,380 4,906 32
Yale 32,900 2,272 6 31,455 1,972 6

To rely too heavily on admissions rates, a single facet of a school’s complex profile, is a mistake that you would be wise to avoid. An IvySelect admissions counselor will work with you to select 12 or 13 institutions that fit your unique set of needs, preferences, talents, and objectives. These may include a number of the most exclusive schools in the country, but, if so, they won’t be targeted solely for their exclusivity. They’ll be chosen for the extent to which they satisfy your personal requirements. There’ll also be other schools that are chosen to optimize your chance of acceptance by an elite institution. These schools will also fit you well and will advance your educational strategy.