Class of 2026 – Ivy League & Elite College Early Decision Acceptance Rates
Welcome to College Transitions’ first look at early round acceptance rates at Ivy League and other highly-selective colleges and universities for the 2021-22 cycle. As of this posting in February of 2022, there are still many schools who have yet to report their early round results. As such, you will see a number of “TBD” designations in the charts below. These will be updated as soon as additional data becomes available.
What follows are two charts, both showing Class of 2026 and Class of 2025 data for the Early Action, Early Decision, and Single Choice Early Action/Restrictive Early Action rounds. One is for Ivy League schools and the other is for additional elite schools who are known for reporting their early acceptance information in a timely manner. We will also highlight trends and notable facts from schools that have reported their present-year acceptance rates.
Ivy League – ED/SCEA Acceptance Rates
|School Name||#of Early Applicants for Class of 2026||# of Early Applicants Accepted into Class of 2026||Early Acceptance Rate for Class of 2026||Early Acceptance Rate for Class of 2025|
|Brown University (ED)||6,146||896||15%||16%|
|Columbia University (ED)||6,305||650||10%||10%|
|Cornell University (ED)||TBD||TBD||TBD||21%|
|Dartmouth College (ED)||2,633||530||20%||21%|
|Harvard University (SCEA)||9,406||740||7.9%||7.4%|
|University of Pennsylvania (ED)||7,795||1,218||16%||15%|
|Princeton University (SCEA)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Yale University (SCEA)||7,288||800||11%||10.5%|
Ivy League Early Decision Facts & Trends:
- Total applications through the early decision program increased 11% compared to the Class of 2025.
- Among this cohort of admitted early decision students, 57% applied for financial aid, and 17% of students will be first in their family to attend college.
- Of the total cohort, 51% are students of color, defined as those who self-identify as Black, Latinx, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Asian — a 3% increase from last year.
- Students admitted are from all 50 states as well as almost 50 countries.
- The number of applicants decreased 2% from the previous cycle.
- The acceptance rate was the same as for the Class of 2025—a healthier 15% were accepted into the Class of 2024.
- This year’s ED pool roughly sustained last year’s historic 29% surge in early applications over 2019.
- 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 school.
- The percentage of admitted students who identify as African American was 13.9 percent, a decrease from 16.6 percent of early action admits last year.
- The number of admitted international students increased slightly, from 12.2 percent to 12.6 percent.
- Nearly 12 percent of students admitted to the Class of 2026 hail from first-generation college backgrounds, a decrease from 16.7 percent of early action admits last year.
- Twelve percent of students are international, hailing from 60 different countries, compared to last year’s 56 countries.22% of the admitted students had a parent or grandparent attend Penn in prior generations.
- Of students admitted to the Class of 2026, 14% percent are first-generation college students, a 2% increase from last year.
- Last year, 24% of those admitted through Early Decision did not include test scores. Penn Admissions did not release the number of students who did not include test scores for the Class of 2026.
- 31 percent of early applicants were deferred for reconsideration during regular decision deliberations, 57 percent were rejected and one percent were withdrawn or incomplete.
- 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 last cycle.
- Yale also offered admission to 81 students through the QuestBridge National College Match program.
Other Highly-Selective Colleges ED/EA Acceptance Rates
|School Name||#of Early Applicants for Class of 2026||# of Early Applicants Accepted into Class of 2026||Early Acceptance Rate for Class of 2026||ED Acceptance Rate for Class of 2025|
|Duke University (ED)||4,015||855||21%||17%|
|Emory University (ED)||2,205||804||37%||39%|
|Johns Hopkins University (ED)||2,500||520||21%||N/A|
|Rice University (ED)||N/A||440||N/A||16%|
|University of Virginia (ED)||3,466||1,097||32%||33%|
Highly-Selective Colleges & Universities Early Decision Facts & Trends:
- Of the 855 admitted students, 695 plan to enroll in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, while 160 will join the Pratt School of Engineering.
- 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.
- Forty-two of the admitted students were admitted through the QuestBridge National College Match program,
- Emory’s Early Decision I applications increased 13% over last year and 39% from five years ago.
- This year, Emory College admitted 673 students and Oxford College admitted 325 students for Early Decision I, 194 of which were admitted to both campuses.
- Emory welcomed a new group of 61 QuestBridge Scholars to the Class of 2026, six of whom chose to enroll at Oxford College.
- The number of applications increased by 1.4% from last year, while the acceptance rate dropped by .79%.
- Georgetown College saw the lowest acceptance rate, admitting 472 of 5,099 applicants for an acceptance rate of 9.3%.
- The McDonough School of Business admitted 154 of 1,551 applicants for an acceptance rate of 9.9%.
- More than 500 students representing 36 U.S. states and 21 countries were offered admission to Johns Hopkins University in the Early Decision I cohort of the Class of 2026.
- Of the admitted students, 17% are the first in their families to go to college.
- A third will enroll in the Whiting school of Engineering and the remainder will enroll in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.
- Six percent more students were admitted through Early Decision and QuestBridge compared to last year.
University of Virginia
- The admission rate for Virginia residents was 37.8%, compared to 25.1% for out-of-state students.
- The total number of admitted first-generation students admitted through the early decision cycle increased by 68%, over last year, from 76 to 128.
- Among the newest members of the Class of 2026 are 15 Questbridge scholars.
Check back for more updates on Class of 2026 acceptance rate data as it becomes public.
Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).