Most top-tier colleges and universities have announced the results of their early admission cycles for the Class of 2023. Many of these institutions reported a record-high number of early admission applicants, continuing the trend of the last decade.
Some admissions experts surmise that certain elite schools have reached a plateau in the volume of early applications that they can expect each year. This may be due to the fact that better prepared students are using application submission timing strategically to optimize their chances of admission.
Among the top schools seeing large increases in early applications were Brown, up 21%, Duke, up 20%, Emory, up 12%, Columbia, up 9%, and Penn and Yale, both up 5%. The probability of being accepted to elite schools in the 2018 early round remained higher than in the overall admissions cycle of previous years. Some schools with binding early decisions programs will fill over half of the Class of 2023 with early admits. Such a level of acceptances virtually assures a high admissions yield, an important metric that’s tracked closely by school administrators as well as college ranking services.
The percentage of early applicants offered admission decreased at several elite schools, including Brown, Notre Dame, Princeton, and Duke. When this happens, it’s more often a reflection of what administrators learned from last year’s yield results rather than an indication of a decline in the quality of early applicants.
Some top institutions, such as Stanford and Chicago, don’t report early admissions results. Table A shows the results of the early round of admissions that have been reported to date for the Class of 2023. Following Table A are notes on the results at a few of the most highly selective institutions.
Class of 2023 Early Admission Results
Institution (Plan) Applicants Accepted Percent
|Boston College (REA)||16,000||4,480||28%|
|Johns Hopkins (ED)||2,068||641||31%|
|Notre Dame (REA)||7,334||1,534||21%|
|Washington U. St. Louis (ED)||2,160||907||42%|
Plan abbreviations used: SCEA – Single Choice Early Action (non-binding); ED – Early Decision (usually binding); REA – Rolling Early Action (non-binding)
Princeton offered admission to 743 students from an applicant pool of 5,335 candidates, or 14%, making this year’s early admissions cycle the most competitive ever. Princeton admitted 56 fewer students in this year’s round than last year’s.
Harvard had their most competitive early admissions cycle since the school reinstated the program several years ago. Harvard announced a 5% increase in early application volume, to 6,958, with a 14% rate of admission. The percentage of women admitted was 51% of the total, up from 47% in last year’s early cycle.
Cornell received 6,159 early applications to their early decision program. Of these, 1,395, or 23%, were offered admission. Of the students admitted early, 56% are female and 44% male; 40% are students of color, including African American, Asian American, Latinx, and bi-multicultural students; legacies represent 22% and international students 12% of students admitted early.
UPenn saw its Class of 2023 early decision applicant pool remain almost the same as last year’s after several years of significant growth. Penn had 7,112 students in its early decision pool, an insignificant .22% increase compared to the record-breaking 15% in the Class of 2022 over the Class of 2021. There were 1,279 early admissions for an acceptance rate of 18%. Early admission students represent 53% of the total expected incoming class. Women outnumber men among early admits at 51%. The diversity of the early group includes 48% students of color and 13% international students. Legacies comprise 23% of those admitted and 11% are the first in their families to go to college.
Duke admitted 882 students from a pool of 4,852 early decision applicants, or 18%. This was the highest volume of early applicants in the school’s history, up 20% from last year. Duke’s early acceptance rate decreased to 18%, making this year’s early cycle more competitive than last year’s. The admitted students will account for 51% of the expected incoming Class of 2023. Students of color are 46% percent of those admitted and international students are 6%.
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