Yale congratulates admitted students for largest freshman class in history

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Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions has completed its review of applications for the Class of 2021 and has offered admission to 2,272 students from a pool of 32,900 applicants. With Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin colleges scheduled to open in fall 2017, the incoming freshman class will be the largest in Yale College history —  with approximately 1550 students, 15% larger than recent classes.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said that he and his colleagues were thoroughly impressed with the group of secondary students from around the world who applied to Yale, and that admission staff were very pleased to be able to offer admission to a larger number of top students.

The size and diversity of the applicant pool made it possible to offer admission more students without any discernable difference in how the Admissions Committee approached its holistic selection process, said Quinlan. “Even with a significantly larger cohort of admitted students, we have not sacrificed anything to admit an extremely qualified group of students with a remarkably broad range of backgrounds, identities and experiences.”

Quinlan noted that the Admissions Committee reviewed many more applications from highly qualified students than they were able to admit. “Although we were thrilled to send out more offers of admissions this year, I remain humbled by the selectivity of our admissions process,” Quinlan said. “Virtually all of the students we denied will be successful students at other great colleges and universities.”

Yale also maintained its commitment to selecting students without regard to their financial need and to meeting every admitted student’s full demonstrated financial need with an award that does not require loans. The newly admitted students will benefit from several recently announced expanded financial aid programs. For many years Yale has not required parents earning less than $65,000 annually — with typical assets — to make any contribution toward the cost of a child’s education. Beginning in 2017-2018 all incoming freshmen who qualify for one of these generous financial aid awards will also benefit from a $2,000 Yale College Start-Up Fund for freshman year to assist with purchasing a computer, winter clothing, and other expenses; a $600 annual allowance in sophomore, junior, and senior years; and a summer income contribution in their three continuing years that is 35% lower than for most students on financial aid.

Students admitted to the class of 2021 represent all 50 states and 68 countries. They expressed interest in majoring in more than 70 Yale academic programs. They will graduate from more than 1,500 secondary schools around the world. Over the past several years, the proportion of applicants, admitted students, and incoming freshmen who identify as a member of a minority group have steadily increased. This year has been no exception, and the staff of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions look forward to showcasing Yale’s diverse communities through various recruitment events in April.

To accommodate the larger group of admitted students, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is planning an additional “Bulldog Saturday” program on April 15 to supplement the traditional three-day Bulldog Days program. Hundreds of Yale students have planned events for both Bulldog Days, and dozens of faculty and staff will participate in panels, master classes, and an academic fair for admitted students and their families. The Admissions Office’s Director of Recruitment Hannah Mendlowitz said “Bulldog Days is always a campus-wide event that engages every facet of the Yale community. We are excited to offer a second program this year and have been thrilled with the enthusiastic response we’ve received from across campus.”

Over the next four years Yale undergraduate enrollment will expand from 5,400 to 6,200. Earlier this year, Dean of Yale College Jonathan Holloway said preparing for the larger student body is one of the administration’s top priorities. “This expansion touches on every aspect of learning, including teaching, facilities, and financial aid,” Holloway said, “it also provides a historic opportunity to engage the community in asking what it means to receive an education from Yale.” Each incoming freshman in the Class of 2021 will be assigned to one of 14 residential colleges this summer.

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