Yale College admits 2,234 from record applicant pool

The Class of 2026 is drawn from across 49 states, three U.S. territories, and 58 countries, with intended majors including 81 of Yale’s undergraduate programs.
Branford College

(Photo by Michael Marsland)

Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions has completed its review of first-year applications and offered admission to 2,234 of the 50,015 students who applied for the Class of 2026. The newly admitted applicants will be joined by an additional 46 students who were admitted during the 2020-21 admissions cycle but opted to postpone their matriculation for one year.

The cohort of 2,234 admitted students includes 800 applicants who received their good news last December though the Early Action program and 81 more who were admitted through the QuestBridge National College Match program. QuestBridge is a nonprofit organization that connects high-achieving students from lower-income backgrounds with selective colleges and universities.

This year’s pool of applicants for first-year admission was the largest in the college’s history — nearly 7% larger than the previous year, said Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions and financial aid. Quinlan emphasized, however, that the admissions office does not measure its success by the number of applications.

The applicant pool’s strength and diversity are always more important to the admissions committee than its size,” said Quinlan. “By these measures, the students who were admitted to Yale College this cycle are truly extraordinary. The committee was deeply impressed by their academic and extracurricular achievements, their wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, and the positive contributions they have already made to local and global communities. Moreover, their collective resilience in the face of countless pandemic-related hardships and disruptions was especially remarkable.” 

Students admitted to the Class of 2026 represent 49 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and 58 countries. They will arrive as graduates of more than 1,500 secondary schools, and their intended majors include 81 of Yale’s undergraduate academic programs. 

All admitted students will be invited to visit campus for Bulldog Days, April 25-27. This year’s program will be the first event for admitted students hosted on the Yale campus since 2019. The admissions office staff has been working closely with the university’s COVID-19 response team and leaders across Yale College to plan a safe event designed to showcase undergraduate student life, academic resources, and the Yale community.    

Dean Quinlan expressed his enthusiasm for the program’s return, saying “For decades, Bulldog Days has been a special experience for both admitted and current students. I am excited to re-establish this important campus tradition and am grateful to the countless students, faculty, and staff across Yale College who will help to make this year’s event a success.”

In 2020 and 2021 the admissions office responded to the pandemic by reimaging the Bulldog Days experience as a series of virtual events called the “Bulldog Days of April.” Many of the virtual events created for those programs will be offered again this spring for students who cannot travel to campus.

The admissions office also makes a special effort to provide travel funding to students from lower-income families to enable them to visit campus before finalizing their college decision. In 2019 more than 500 admitted students received grants to travel to campus for Bulldog Days. 

Yale admissions staff pose with welcome packets for the newly admitted members of the Class of 2026.
Yale admissions staff pose with welcome packets for the newly admitted members of the Class of 2026.

The newly admitted students will also benefit from recent enhancements to Yale College financial aid policies, which were announced last October. Beginning this fall, a need-based Yale scholarship and an affordable parent share expectation will cover the full cost of tuition, housing, meals, and travel for all families receiving aid. Yale will expect students to cover only the cost of their own books and personal expenses, such as outings, laundry, and other necessities.

The change represents a new investment of more than $3 million annually that will directly benefit undergraduates, said Scott Wallace-Juedes, director of undergraduate financial aid. “For most students receiving financial aid,” Wallace-Juedes said, “this new policy will reduce costs and increase the amount of Yale Scholarship by $7,500 over four years.”

Newly admitted students will have until May 2 to reply to their offer of admission.

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-980-2222