U. accepts 7.29 percent overall to Class of 2017
1,931 students — or 7.29 percent — of 26,498 applicants were offered admission to the University’s Class of 2017. The regular admission rate, 5.44 percent, fell from 5.9 percent last year. This year’s early admissions rate of 18.3 percent also fell from 21.1 percent last year.
Due to the over-enrollment of 49 students for the Class of 2016, the Office of Admission lowered the target size of the Class of 2017 to 1,290, representing an estimated yield of 66.8 percent.
Though the target class size for the Class of 2016 had been 1,308, almost 1,400 of the 2,095 admitted students initially accepted the University’s offer of admission last year. The target class size for the Classes of 2018 and 2019 will be 1,290 as well.
In the second year of its reinstated early action program, the University admitted 679 of the 3,810 single-choice early action applicants in December. The University had discontinued its early decision program in 2006. These applicants are included in the total admission rate.
“I saw that the first word was ‘Congratulations,’ and I just went screaming with joy, ran to my parents, read the rest of the letter,” Princeton High School senior Idir Aitsahalia said. “It was a great experience.”
Despite a growing applicant pool, the total number of students admitted — 1,931 — is the lowest it has been since 2008. This resulted from an effort to be very conservative with the number of acceptances, according to Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye.
“We were quite deliberate in keeping the number in a certain range,” she said. “We are hoping very much to go to the wait list this year. Almost the only way to get the right class size is to aim a little lower.”
1,395 students were placed on the wait list. Wait-listed applicants will receive offers of admission on a rolling basis through May and June. Last year, no students were admitted from the wait list. However, in previous years, anywhere from zero to 150 wait-listed applicants have been offered admission.
Rapelye said that approximately half of the students placed on the wait list withdraw their applications by May 1. She said it follows that the yield for wait-list applicants is ordinarily above the general yield.
Princeton is generally the top choice for the students remaining on the wait list, normally resulting in a higher yield for wait-list applicants, she said.
Rapelye said that the University’s vision for the Class of 2017 was one that displayed a diversity of talents, cultures, backgrounds and interests. She emphasized that the Office of Admission does not adhere to quotas.
“We go into each year with a fresh perspective,” she said. “We’re not necessarily looking for differences, but each person who comes to Princeton ends up bringing a different perspective and background.”
Helen Gao, a senior at Dulaney High School in Baltimore County, Md., called her acceptance one of “the best moments of my life.” Gao was admitted after being deferred early action and will attend Princeton Preview before making her decision. She said she plans on majoring in biology.
Admitted students may choose to attend one of the two Princeton Previews, which will be held Thursday, April 11 to Saturday, April 13 and Monday, April 22 to Wednesday, April 24. Both visits span three days, during which undergraduate hosts will house prospective students. The Office of Admission modified the dates this year so that the second preview will not overlap with the weekend.
According to Rapelye, the Office of Admission changed the dates of Princeton Preview to allow prospective students the opportunity to attend classes that are held early in the week.
“The goal is to allow the admitted students to go to class so that they can get a sense of the academic tenor, to understand the relationships students have with professors and the rigor of our classes,” she said.
The Office of Admission expects up to 35 of the admitted students to attend the Bridge Year Program, during which students postpone their freshman year to perform service work abroad for nine months. These students would then join the Class of 2018.
Addressing applicants who did not receive admission, Rapelye said that this has been the most selective admissions decision by the University to date and added not feel discouraged.
“They’re excellent students,” she said. “They should not take this decision as a comment on their self-worth. We had an applicant pool that was so strong that we simply could not offer them all acceptances.”
Applicants were able to access their decisions on Thursday at 5 p.m., and admitted students must respond to the offer of admission by May 1.
Yale College accepted 1,991 out of 29,610 applicants, with an admission rate of 6.72 percent. Harvard College accepted 2,029 out of 35,023 applicants, with an admission rate of 5.8 percent. Cornell College accepted 6,026 out of 40,006 applicants, with an admission rate of 15.2 percent. Brown University accepted 2, 649 out of 28, 919, with an admission rate of 9.16 percent. Columbia University accepted 2,311 out of 33,531, with an admission rate of 6.89 percent. The University of Pennsylvania accepted 3,785 of 31,280 for an admission rate of 12.1 percent. Dartmouth College accepted 2,252 students of 22,400 for an admission rate of 10 percent.
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