Class of 2016 admit rate at historic low

March 30, 2012, 11:59 p.m.

About 6.6 percent of applicants were admitted to Stanford Friday when the Office of Undergraduate Admissions released notification letters via email. The number is the lowest in University history, besting last year’s 7.1 percent admit rate.

The University received a total of 36,631 applications this year, a 6.6-percent jump over last year’s applicant pool. 755 students received offers of admission in December due to the restrictive early action process. These early action applicants faced a 12.8 admit rate.

Stanford extended offers to 1,672 more students on Friday. Another 789 were placed on the waitlist.

“Stanford has been exceedingly fortunate to attract a simply amazing group of applicants from all over the world,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Richard Shaw in a press release. “In our review, we were humbled by the exceptional accomplishments of those candidates who have been admitted, as well as the competitive strength of all of the applicants.”

Nitish Kulkarni, who attends Oakridge International School in Hyderabad, India, was one such lucky admit to the Class of 2016.

 “One of the main reasons that made me choose it is that Stanford wants students coming in to be students, and not semi-professionals like other schools want you to be,” Kulkarni wrote in an email to The Daily. “I see Stanford as a place where I can just be myself.”

On Thursday, six Ivy League universities also posted all-time low admission rates: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell. Harvard’s was the lowest at 5.9 percent, followed by the other Ivies at 6.8, 7.9, 9.4, 12.3, and 16.2 percent, respectively.

Brown and Columbia saw slight increases in their admission rates, posting final percentages of 9.6 and 7.4.

Princeton and Harvard reintroduced their restrictive early action programs this year after a four-year hiatus. This gave students the option to receive their decisions early without having to make a binding commitment to enroll. Although the schools each saw an overall drop in applicants, both universities ultimately admitted fewer students than in previous years because, anticipating a higher percentage of admitted students to matriculate.

These admission changes at peer universities also coincided with a decrease of 18 percent in the number of students who applied to Yale early action. Yale, however, experienced an overall increase in its applicant pool when regular decision applications were taken into account.

Last year’s 7.1 percent admit rate at Stanford reflected a .1-point drop from 2010. In an effort to increase total student capacity and to accommodate 50 additional students, the University expanded classroom and residential facilities and ultimately admitted 96 more individuals.

Admitted students have until May 1 to inform the University whether they will be attending.

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