Numbers don’t lie, and recent statistics support the claim by former Ivy League admissions directors that getting into an elite college or university is more competitive than ever before.
The statistics given for the Class of 2021 reflect declining acceptance rates at the Ivy League schools: Harvard 5%, Columbia and Princeton 6%, Yale 7%, Brown 8%, The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) 9%, Dartmouth 10%, and Cornell 13%. For the Class of 2001, two decades earlier, Harvard University (typically the most competitive of the Ivies) had accepted more than 12% of its applicants.
A recent Business Insider article cited reasons for this trend, quoting former admissions directors at several of the nations top colleges and universities.
“The rise in the number of international applicants to the most selective institutions in the US has inflated the number of overall applicants, as well as, in some cases, the GPA and testing profiles,” according to Cat McManus, a former dean at UPenn and admissions officer at Princeton. However, McManus added that selective colleges often have a limit on the number of international students that they are seeking for each incoming class. So this trend alone cannot take full blame for the declining acceptance rates.