How to Get Into the University of Maryland: Acceptance Rate & Strategies

July 10, 2023

Prior to the turn of the new millennium, the University of Maryland-College Park welcomed 75% of the applicant pool into the Terrapin family. In recent years, the University of Maryland acceptance rate has been as low as 41% and the number of applicants has more than doubled since the end of the Clinton Presidency. A generation ago, many Maryland freshmen possessed solid-but-unspectacular academic credentials; in 2023, first-year Terrapins sport a median SAT score of 1440 and an average weighted GPA of almost 4.4. Yes…it’s really THAT competitive. No wonder the UMD acceptance rate has been trending sharply downward.

Given this sharp rise in selectivity, the intent of this article is to give those considering applying to the University of Maryland an understanding of the following topics:

  • University of Maryland College Park acceptance rate
  • University of Maryland’s Early Action acceptance rate
  • SAT, GPA, and class rank of accepted University of Maryland applicants
  • Admissions trends
  • University of Maryland’s system for rating applicants
  • A look at the demographics of current University of Maryland undergraduates
  • The percentage of accepted students that attend the University of Maryland (yield rate)
  • Tips for applying to the University of Maryland
  • UMD Supplemental Essay Advice
  • How to assess whether applying to the University of Maryland is even worth the $75 application fee (for you)

Many students applying to UMD College Park may also find the following blogs to be of interest:

How to Get Into:

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

University of Maryland Acceptance Rate 

There were 56,637 applications for admission into the Terrapin Class of 2026. Only 25,201 or 44% of that group were accepted to the College Park campus. Maryland does grant favor in the admissions process to in-state applicants but, unfortunately, they do not release the in-state versus out-of-state admission rates so we are unable to quantify that advantage.

University of Maryland Early Action Acceptance Rate

Based on the most recent data available, applying to the University of Maryland during the Early Action round is almost a requirement. The Class of 2025 saw 61% of EA applicants accepted and just 38% of Regular Decision applicants achieving the same positive result. A stunning 90%+ of the incoming class was accepted via Early Action. The overall acceptance rate for that cohort was 52%.

University of Maryland Admissions – SAT, GPA, and Class Rank

For Class of 2025 members, the mid-50% SAT range for enrolled freshmen was 1370-1510, the ACT range was 30-34. Moreover, 85% possessed a weighted GPA of 4.0 or greater. Among enrolled 2022-23 first-year students, an impressive 66% hailed from the top 10% of their high school class, while 90% earned a place in the top 25%.

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • Firstly, 76% of current undergraduates are Maryland residents.
  • Additionally, there are international students from 116 countries.
  • The number of applicants rose from roughly 32,000 to over 56,000 over the fast few years.
  • 14.% of freshmen entered with enough college credit to begin with sophomore standing.
  • Lastly, UMD- College Park was test-optional for the fall 2023 admissions cycle and will be again for the 2024 and 2025 cycles as well.

How the University of Maryland Rates Applicants

University of Maryland considers only three factors as “very important” to the admissions process: rigor of high school course load, GPA, and standardized test scores. Items that are “important” as part of the admissions process are: class rank, first-generation status, essays, recommendations, talent/ability, first-generation status, and state residency. “Considered” factors are: geographical residence, extracurricular activities, character/personal qualities, alumni relation, racial/ethnic status, work experience, and volunteer work.

Diving a bit deeper, the university does list additional factors that are considered during their review process. Some of these are identical to those listed above, but many are different, shedding a bit of additional light on how holistic application reviews are conducted:

UMD Acceptance Rate (Continued)

Holistic reviews include:

  • Progression of performance
  • The breadth of life experiences
  • Gender
  • Recognition of special achievements
  • Extenuating circumstances
  • Socio-economic background
  • Written expression of ideas (as demonstrated in the essay)
  • Community service
  • Demonstrated leadership
  • Learning differences
  • Family educational background
  • English as a second language/Language spoken at home

Straight from the UMD admissions office: “The undergraduate admissions process is rigorous and individualized. As the university must make fine distinctions among large numbers of highly qualified applicants, the ability to assess consistently all information presented in the application becomes increasingly important. Therefore, the university employs a holistic review process that engages the expertise of professional educators whose judgments—based upon consideration of each applicant’s credentials measured by all admissions criteria—build an entering class that will best complement the existing student body and meet the university’s mission objectives.”

It is also worth highlighting that recruited athletes enjoy a huge edge. This is because the University of Maryland takes great pride in its 19 NCAA Division I sports teams. Overall, more than 700 student-athletes are presently attending the university. Lastly, for advice about how to stand out on the extracurricular front, check out our previous blog entitled How Many Extracurricular Activities Do I Need for College?

University of Maryland Demographics

Let’s now take a look at the demographics of the University of Maryland undergraduate student body.

The states that send the highest number of students to UMD are:

  1. Maryland
  2. New Jersey
  3. New York
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Virginia

The fewest students come from the following states:

  1. Montana
  2. Wyoming
  3. North Dakota
  4. South Dakota
  5. Alaska

UMD Acceptance Rate (Continued)

The greatest number of international students come from the following countries:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. South Korea
  4. Spain
  5. Taiwan

In terms of ethnic identity, the breakdown is as follows:

  • White: 45%
  • Asian: 20%
  • Hispanic: 10%
  • African American: 12%
  • Two or More Races: 5%
  • International: 3%

A look at the gender split reveals that university enrolls more men than women.

  • Men: 51%
  • Women: 49%

University of Maryland’s “Yield Rate”

University of Maryland’s yield rate is 23%. In other words, 23% of those accepted went on to enroll. This figure is significantly lower than other powerhouse state universities like the University of Florida, University of Michigan, and UVA.

Tips for Applying to the University of Maryland

If you plan on joining the 56,000+ University of Maryland hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • Firstly, APPLY EARLY by November 1! This one is in all caps in case you are skimming and missed our previous look at EA vs RD acceptance rates.
  • The University of Maryland does not use interviews as part of its evaluation process.
  • Additionally, the University of Maryland does not consider “demonstrated interest” so you will not be judged on whether or not you made a campus visit, contacted an admissions officer, etc.
  • Prospective Terrapins can apply through the Common Application or Coalition Application.

UMD Acceptance Rate (Continued)

  • In short, the preferred major you list is not a factor in the general admissions process. However, applicants to majors that are “Limited Enrollment Programs” will face additional departmental scrutiny due to limited space. For a full list of LEPs, click here.
  • Lastly, make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the “Complete this Sentence” short responses required by the University of Maryland. In the 2021-22 cycle, they are as follows:

At the University of Maryland, we encourage our students to go beyond the classroom to engage in opportunities that further both their academic and personal growth.

To tell us more about yourself, please complete the following sentences using only the space provided (160 characters).

  1. If I could travel anywhere, I would go to…*
  2. The most interesting fact I ever learned from research was…*
  3. In addition to my major, my academic interests include…*
  4. My favorite thing about last Monday was…*
  5. Something you might not know about me is…*

For College Transitions advice on how to address all five University of Maryland-College Park essays, visit our blog: University of Maryland Supplemental Essay Prompts and Tips.

UMD Acceptance Rate – Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, those with SAT/ACT scores within the mid-50% mark for the University of Maryland who are also at the very top of their respective high school class are absolutely viable candidates to this excellent institution. As the school states, “Admitted freshman students have a strong A-/B+ or better average in their high school coursework and are enrolled in the most challenging courses available to them including honors, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses.”

Of course, it goes without saying that all teens applying to a school of the University of Maryland’s caliber also need to also have a proper mix of “target” and “safety” schools on their college list. More on creating a balanced college list can be found here.