Yale, a prestigious member of the renowned Ivy League, stands out for its academic excellence but also for its highly selective admissions process. 

With recent data showing the Yale acceptance rate for the class of 2028 at 3.73%, understanding the acceptance rate is crucial for prospective students and their families. [1]

In this blog we will explore the Yale acceptance rate in recent years, factors that affect it, and how Dukes Plus can help your application succeed.

The recent history of Yale acceptance rates

The recent history of Yale University’s acceptance rates reflects an increasingly competitive landscape for admissions, mirroring trends seen across other Ivy League schools.

Yale’s acceptance rate has been steadily declining, indicating a more selective admissions process driven by higher application volumes and the university’s commitment to maintaining a small, diverse, and highly talented student body.The data from Yale admissions office, shows the acceptance rates for Yale’s Class of 2017 to 2027[2]:

Yale acceptance rates: Class of 2017 to 2028

Class ofApplicantsAdmittedAdmit RateYield Rate

The latest Yale admission cycle

The Yale acceptance rate for the Class of 2028 is the lowest in Yale’s history, with an admission rate of 3.73% from an applicant pool of 57,465. This is a 0.77% decrease from the already low 4.50% acceptance rate for the Class of 2027 however the 2028 applicant pool was larger, with 57,465 total applicants compared to 51,803. [3]

The trend of decreasing acceptance rates at Yale further reflects its appeal as a top-tier institution, and the intense competition you face to be admitted.

Each Yale admission cycle showcases its exceptionally selective nature, influenced by a range of factors such as the admissions process and the intense competition among candidates.

Comparing various Yale University acceptance rates

To understand Yale University’s acceptance rates, it’s important to distinguish between the different application paths offered: Early Action (EA) and Regular Decision (RD). 

Each path has its own acceptance rate and characteristics, influencing how prospective students might choose to apply.

Here’s a breakdown of Yale’s acceptance rates for both Early Action (EA) and Regular Decision (RD) over recent years:

Yale acceptance rate: Early action (EA)

Early Action (EA) at Yale is a non-binding policy allowing students to receive their admission decision earlier without committing to attend. This option is particularly attractive for students who have Yale as a top choice but also want to keep their options open for other colleges. [4]

Over the years, the acceptance rate for Early Action (EA) applicants tends to be higher compared to that of all applicants. For example, the Yale Early Action (EA) acceptance rate for the class of 2028 is 9.02%, compared to the 3.73% acceptance rate for all applicants. [5]

Although the acceptance rate is higher, the level of competition is still remarkably intense, and most Early Action (EA) candidates are deferred to the Regular Decision (RD) applicant pool.

Yale acceptance rate: Regular decision (RD)

Regular Decision (RD) is the standard pathway where the majority of applicants apply. This process features later deadlines and notification dates, allowing students more time to prepare and refine their applications. [6]

Generally, Regular Decision (RD) admissions are tougher, featuring a lower acceptance rate than Early Action (EA) applicants. For example, the Yale Regular Decision (RD) acceptance rate for the Class of 2028 is 2.75%, compared to the 9.02% acceptance rate for Early Action (EA) applicants. [7] [8]

This larger, and more diverse applicant pool for Regular Decision (RD), which includes students who may have applied through Early Action (EA) to Yale and other institutions, adds to the increased selectivity of the Regular Decision (RD) admissions cycle.

Students choosing to apply through Regular Decision (RD) should make sure their applications are thorough, highlighting academic accomplishments, extracurricular involvement, and personal qualities that align with Yale’s values.

Factors that affect the Yale acceptance rate

Yale’s acceptance rate is shaped by multiple factors, such as rigorous academic criteria and a comprehensive admissions process. 

Exploring these elements offers insight into the competitive nature of Yale’s admissions and its consistently low acceptance rates. Here’s an overview of the main factors:

Academic requirements and test scores

Yale maintains exceptionally high academic standards, requiring prospective students to demonstrate outstanding academic achievements and test scores.

While Yale does not have a minimum GPA requirement, the competitive nature of its admissions means that successful applicants usually have near-perfect GPAs. [9]

Although there is no minimum GPA requirement, the majority of admitted students rank at the top of their class. For example, the 2022-23 academic year average GPA for Yale was 3.70, and 78.97% of grades given to students were A’s or A-’s. [10]

Nearly four years after suspending the requirement, Yale University is reinstating the mandate for SAT or ACT scores for its applicants to potentially improve admissions opportunities for underprivileged students. [11]Additionally, Yale will accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores as alternatives to the standardised tests. This move follows another Ivy League Schools (Dartmouth College) decision to reinstate the testing requirement. [12]

Number of applicants

The number of applicants to Yale University is a significant factor influencing the acceptance rate each year. As more students apply, the acceptance rate naturally decreases due to the fixed number of spots available in each incoming class. 

With more applicants, Yale can select from a larger pool of highly qualified candidates meaning that even exceptionally talented students will face stiffer competition for places and lower chances of admission.

Admissions process

Yale employs a holistic admissions process that assesses each applicant beyond academic scores, including extracurricular activities, leadership qualities, personal essays, and letters of recommendation. The admissions approach at Yale is designed to foster a diverse and vibrant student body, bringing together a broad array of perspectives and experiences. This diversity enriches Yale’s learning environment, enhancing the educational experience for all students. [13]

How does the Yale acceptance rate compare with other Ivy League schools?

Yale University is part of the prestigious Ivy League, a group of eight highly selective universities known for their academic excellence, historical significance, and social prestige. 

Within the Ivy League, acceptance rates vary, reflecting each institution’s unique characteristics, applicant pool size, and admissions criteria. According to Forbes, here’s how Yale’s acceptance rate and admissions policies compare to its Ivy League peers for the class of 2027[14]:

Ivy League Class of 2027 Acceptance Rates

Ivy League SchoolClass of 2027 Total ApplicationsClass of 2027 Total AcceptancesClass of 2027 Overall Admission Rates
Brown University51,3022,6095.0%
Columbia University57,1292,2463.9%
Cornell UniversityNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Dartmouth College28,8411,7986.0%
Harvard University56,9371,9423.4%
University of Pennsylvania59,000 Plus2,400Not Reported
Princeton UniversityNot ReportedNot ReportedNot Reported
Yale University52,2502,2754.35%

Why is the Yale acceptance rate so low?

Yale University’s low acceptance rate is primarily due to its prestige and the intense competition for the limited number of places available. As one of the most esteemed institutions globally, Yale attracts a vast number of applications from highly qualified students across the world. [15]

The universities holistic review approach, which assesses academic ability, extracurricular achievements, personal essays, and letters of recommendation ensures that only the most well-rounded candidates are chosen, further tightening the competition.

Additionally, Yale’s academic requirements mean that applicants are competing with some of the brightest minds.

How can Dukes Plus help your Yale application succeed?

At Dukes, we provide support for applications to various universities across the world, including Yale. Our programs offer personalised guidance, and strategic advice to strengthen your Yale application.

We can support you to identify and showcase your unique strengths, align your application with Yale University’s values, and effectively communicate your accomplishments and potential contributions to the admissions committee. For more information on how Dukes can assist with your Yale application, please visit our private US admissions consulting page. Alternatively, you can contact us here, and we can help you submit a winning application.


[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15]