Many top colleges have released their early decision and early action results for the Class of 2026. Harvard and Yale, the other two Ivy League institutions with Single Choice Early Action admissions, admitted 7.9% and 10.9% of early applicants respectively this year. Columbia, Dartmouth, UPenn, and Brown also released early decision statistics. Below is the snapshot of early admission rates for the Class of 2026.
Class of 2026 Early Decision Acceptance Rates
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Class of 2026 Early Decision Acceptance Rates of Ivy League and Elite Colleges
Across the Ivy League, Dartmouth saw a slight drop in early applications and maintained the same 21% acceptance rate from last year. Yale also saw a minor drop in early applications, with a minor jump in acceptance rate from 10.5% to 10.9%. Penn and Harvard’s early admission notifications came out at 7 p.m. on December 16.
Early Admission Statistics of Harvard University
Harvard admitted 7.9% of early applicants to the Class of 2026 as its early acceptance rate remained markedly lower than pre-pandemic years.
The number of early applicants this year decreased by 681, representing a 6.7% drop from last year’s applicant pool of 10,087. This marks just the third year in which the total number of early applicants has decreased from the previous cycle.
The number of admitted international students increased slightly, from 12.2% to 12.6%.
Nearly 12% of students admitted to the Class of 2026 hail from first-generation college backgrounds, a decrease from 16.7% of early action admits last year.
Applicants to Harvard College will not be required to submit ACT or SAT scores for the next four application cycles — until the Class of 2031. Instead, the College said it will continue assessing applicants on other accomplishments, such as extracurricular activities, work experience, and familial obligations.
Early Admission Statistics of Penn
Penn accepted 15.63% of early decision applicants to the Class of 2026, up slightly from last year’s record-low 15%.
This year, 7,795 students applied through the University’s Early Decision Program, a 2% decrease from last year’s 7,962 applicants. Penn offered admission to 1,218 students, who will comprise about half of the Class of 2026.
International students represent 12% of the early admitted pool, hailing from 60 different countries.
Of students admitted to the Class of 2026, 14% percent are first-generation college students, a 2% increase from last year. Penn Admissions did not release the percentage of admitted students who were legacies.
Penn Admissions continued the test-optional policy for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Penn Admissions did not release the number of students who did not include test scores for the Class of 2026. Of those that did, the middle 50% testing ranges were 1500-1560 on the SAT and 34-35 on the ACT.
Early Admission Statistics of Duke
Duke admitted 855 students to the Class of 2026 through the Early Decision application cycle.
With 4,015 Early Decision applications, the new students represent a 21% acceptance rate, four percent higher than the 17% rate for the Class of 2025. The Class of 2024 also had a 21% Early Decision acceptance rate.
The states most represented by the Early Decision admits are New York, North Carolina, California, Florida, and Texas.
Early Decesion Acceptance Rate of Brown
Brown accepted 896 students to the class of 2026 from a pool of 6,146 early decision applicants.
Accepting 14.6% of early applicants, the University has set a record for the lowest ever acceptance rate in the early decision program for the fourth year in a row.
Admitted students hail from 43 states as well as Washington, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico. Students were also accepted from 47 countries, with the largest numbers coming from China, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Brazil, and Singapore.
Early Admission Statistics of Yale
Yale offered admission to 800 applicants to the College’s class of 2026. Between QuestBridge and early action, Yale has offered spots to 881 potential members of the class of 2026, which marks a small decrease from the cumulative 909 admits Yale made at this point in the last cycle.
The students were admitted from a pool of 7,288 early action applicants — the second-highest number in Yale’s history — which yields an acceptance rate of 10.9%. The acceptance rate rose slightly from last year when 10.5% of early action applicants, or 837 students, received an offer of admission. But both this year and last demonstrate increasing exclusivity compared to prior cycles.
Early Admission Rate of Williams College
Williams College accepted 255 students (31.3% acceptance) to the Class of 2026 through this year’s early decision admissions process. There were 814 total early applicants, of whom around 180 were deferred to the spring’s regular decision pool, with the remaining 400 or so denied admission.
The 2021-22 application cycle is the second in the College’s test-optional pilot program, which gives prospective students the choice to submit no standardized test results in their application. Next year’s admission cycle will be the final year of this pandemic-prompted pilot program, after which point a permanent testing policy will be announced, as other colleges and universities have started to do.
Early Admission Statistics of Dartmouth
560 students admitted early to Dartmouth Class of 2026. This admissions cycle was the second in a row with over 2,600 early decision applicants.
Of the 560 admits, 17% are first-generation college students, 16% live outside of the U.S. and 40% of admitted U.S. citizens and permanent residents are students of color. Admitted students represent 49 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Guam, and 37 countries — an increase over last year’s 44 U.S. states and territories and 36 countries.
Of the applicants who reported a class rank, 93% were ranked in the top 10% of their class, and a record 22% are projected to graduate as valedictorian or salutatorian. 54% of admittees come from public or charter high schools.
13% of the incoming early decision cohort are children of Dartmouth alumni, and 22% are recruited athletes.
Early Action Acceptance Rate at the University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame Reviews a Record Number of 9,683 Restrictive Early Action Applications (REA) for the Class of 2026. A total of 1,675 applicants were admitted in this year’s REA cycle.
The make-up of admitted students is:
- 11% First-generation students
- 12% International students or U.S. citizens abroad or permanent residents
- 12% Asian/Pacific Islander students
- 10% Black students
- 17% Hispanic/Latino students
- 1% Native-American students
In the second year of a test-optional policy, 46% of REA applicants decided to go test-optional. This is the same distribution as the previous year. Of the admitted students, 30% did not submit a test score.
Universities Not Releasing Early Admission Statistics for Class of 2026
- Princeton University will not release this year’s Early Action admissions rate, the number of applicants, demographics of accepted students, or statistics like average SAT score and GPA of admits.
- Columbia decided to not publicly release its early admission acceptance rates, but it did announce a slight drop in the number of applications received.
- Cornell stopped releasing early acceptance rates in 2020 as an effort to emphasize the holistic nature of the process.
- Stanford University stopped making the announcements in fall 2018.