Class of 2026 College Acceptance Rates

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    College acceptance rates are becoming increasingly more competitive in 2022. The Common Application experienced a 21.3% surge in overall submissions for the class of 2026 college admissions and colleges across the country are scrambling to accommodate these numbers. According to U.S. News, the class of 2026 college acceptance rates are currently at a record low. This is causing anxiety for applicants and admissions alike — as students continue to navigate the admissions process and wait for college acceptance letters, and institutions try to accommodate an influx of applicants. 

    Let’s take a quick look at some statistics: Between the 2021 and 2022 admissions cycle, Middlebury’s college acceptance rate decreased from 22% to 15%; Wellesley College’s college acceptance rate decreased from 20% to 13%; and Northeastern University’s college acceptance rate decreased from 20% to 7%. Ivy League colleges are also following this admissions trend, with Harvard University’s college acceptance rate decreasing from 5% to 3% and Dartmouth’s college acceptance rate decreasing from 10% to 6%.

    These statistics are unprecedented and are causing quite the public stir. Some colleges, such as Princeton University, have even made the controversial decision to withhold their college acceptance rates, for fear of increasing student anxiety. Overall, this has caused many to speculate on the current state of our country’s higher education system.

    College Acceptance Rates 2022

    Learn how this year’s college acceptance rates compare to college acceptance rates in 2021. Why are college acceptance rates decreasing? What are some of the overall trends of college acceptance rates over time? Will college acceptance rates go up in the future?


    AppliedAccepted2026 Acceptance Rate2025 Acceptance Rate
    Boston College40,4776,67816%32%
    Boston University80,79211,43414%20%
    Case Western38,0009,50025%30%
    Colorado College11,0071,26612%14%
    Florida State74,00017,00023%32%
    George Washington27,30113,37749%43%
    Georgia Tech50,6018,67317%18%
    Hamilton 9,8991,16812%18%
    Harvey Mudd4,44057613%18%
    John Hopkins37,1002,4086%12%
    Notre Dame26,5063,41213%18%



    Why Are College Acceptance Rates Declining?

    There are lots of factors that have led to this year’s increase in college applications and its accompanying decrease in college acceptance rates. One of the biggest factors is that more and more schools are becoming test-optional. This means that some colleges no longer require SAT or ACT scores as part of their admissions process. As a result, applying to these schools has become much more accessible. Now, students who do not necessarily test well, or otherwise do not have the resources to take the SATs or ACTs, have more freedom to apply to more schools. 

    Other factors that have influenced the class of 2026 college acceptance rates include the digitalization of the SAT and an overall increase in student applications. Some colleges, such as Northeastern University, also had to decrease the 2026 class size due to over-enrollment last year.

    What Does This Mean for College Applicants?

    Moving forward, prospective college students will have to account for these college admissions trends as they research colleges and decide which schools to apply to, take their SATs, and write their college essays. College applications will continue to be more challenging and competitive than ever. 

    If you are a student or a parent of a student, remember that college application season is a stressful time and it’s okay if you need additional help navigating challenges. There are plenty of resources out there to help you with any number of issues, including knowing how to react upon receiving a college rejection letter

    College application season is an emotionally demanding time and it’s important to have a support system you can turn to in times of need. Consider reaching out to learn more about our services if you feel like you could benefit from having individualized assistance.

    Contact a Prepory college admissions coach and start your college admissions journey.

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