What Are the Ivy League Schools' Acceptance Rates in 2020?

The Ivy League comprises eight universities and colleges: Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, and Cornell University. (Obviously there are other highly selective and prestigious schools, such as MIT and Stanford, but only these eight are officially part of the Ivy League collegiate athletic conference.)

Here’s how each school compares along with some fun facts and figures that give you a sense of how these schools strive for equity and diversity.

Harvard University:

Let’s start with Early Action. For the class of 2024, Harvard had a total 6,424 Early Action applicants, and offered admission to 895 of them — an admissions rate of 13.9 percent, up slightly from the previous year’s record low of 13.4 percent. (Comparatively, this number was 14.5 percent for the Classes of 2022 and 2021, though it has seen an annual drop since the Class of 2018.) Those who applied for Regular Decision numbered at 33,824, of which 1,085 students were accepted, at a rate of 3.2 percent. The total number of applicants is 40,248, of which 1,980 were accepted. That’s a 4.92 percent rate of admission, up slightly from the previous year’s record low of 4.5 percent admitted.

As for class makeup, 24.5 percent are Asian American (compared to 25.4 percent for the class of 2023), 14.8 percent are African American, 12.7 percent are Latinx, and 2.2 percent are Native American or Native Hawaiian. 24 percent of admitted Early Action students were Asian American, while African American admits made up 12.7 percent, Latinx were 11.1 percent, and Native American and/or Native Hawaiian were 1.3 percent.

Early Applicants: 6,424

Early Admits: 895

Early Admission rate: 13.9 percent

Regular Decision Applicants: 33,824

Regular Decision Admits: 1,085

Regular Decision Admission Rate: 3.2 percent

Total Applicants: 40,248

Total Admitted: 1980

2020 Admission Rate: 4.92 percent

Fun Fact: Of Harvard’s 2020 admits, 19.4 percent are the first in their families to attend college. In 2019, this number was 16.4 percent. Among the admitted students are also 13 U.S. military veterans. Over 10 percent of SCEA students are the first in their families to receive higher education.

Yale University:

A total of 5,777 Early Action (EA) applications flew into the mailboxes of Yale University in the 2020 admissions cycle. Of these 5,777 applicants, 796 were admitted to Yale’s Class of 2024, at an EA admission rate of about 13.7 percent. (In 2019, the rate was 13.2 percent for the Class of 2023.) As for Regular Decision, 1,508 students were accepted of 29,443 applicants, at a rate of 5 percent. In total, 2,304 students were accepted from a pool of 35,220 applicants, at a rate of 6.54 percent.

Comparatively, in 2019, 36,843 students applied to Yale’s Class of 2023, and the overall acceptance rate was 5.91 percent. Just twelve years ago, the acceptance rate was as high as 11.4 percent, but the growing number of applicants has led to a steady decline over the past decade.

Early Applicants: 5,777

Early Admits: 796

Early Admission rate: 13.7 percent

Regular Decision Applicants: 29,443

Regular Decision Admits: 1,508

Regular Decision Admission Rate: 5 percent

Total Applicants: 35,220

Total Admitted: 2,304

2020 Admission Rate: 6.54 percent

Fun Fact: Yale’s Class of 2024 represent all 50 U.S. states, as well as 72 countries. These students are graduates of over 1,500 high schools.

Princeton University:

Princeton’s Early Action program generated 5,000 student applications, of which 791 earned admission, at a rate of 15.8 percent. (In 2019, the Early Action figure was 13.9 percent for the Class of 2023.) Of the 27,836 Regular Decision applicants, 1,032 students earned admission, at a rate of 3.7 percent. Comprehensively, 1,823 students were accepted into the Class of 2024 from a pool of 32,836 applicants, at a rate of 5.5 percent.

(For reference, the acceptance rate for 2019 was 5.78 percent, and the rate for 2018 was 5.5 percent.)

Early Applicants: 5,000

Early Admits: 791

Early Admission rate: 15.8 percent

Regular Decision Applicants: 27,836

Regular Decision Admits: 1,032

Regular Decision Admission Rate: 3.7 percent

Total Applicants: 32,836

Total Admitted: 1,823

2020 Admission Rate: 5.5 percent

Fun Fact: Those accepted into Princeton’s Class of 2024 are 17 percent first-generation college students and more than 20 percent of lower-income backgrounds.

University of Pennsylvania:

University of Pennsylvania garnered the applications of 6,453 total potentials in the Early Decision (ED) round, of whom 1,269 were selected to join the Class of 2024. This gives the university an ED acceptance rate of 19.6 percent. (This rate was 18 percent for the Class of 2023, and 18.5 percent for the Class of 2022.) Regular Decision admits numbered at 2,135 of a total 35,752 applicants — a rate of just under 6 percent. Overall, 3,404 students earned admission to Penn in 2020, out of a total of 42,205 applicants, denoting an overall acceptance rate of just over 8 percent for the Class of 2024. (The acceptance rate was 7.4 percent for the Class of 2023, and 8.4 percent for the Class of 2022.)

Early Applicants: 6,453

Early Admits: 1,269

Early Admission rate: 19.6 percent

Regular Decision Applicants: 35,752

Regular Decision Admits: 2,135

Regular Decision Admission Rate: 6 percent

Total Applicants: 42,205

Total Admitted: 3,404

2020 Admission Rate: 8 percent

Fun Fact: The 2024 class is composed of 50 U.S. states and 98 countries, and 53 percent of the class self-identify as students of color.

Brown University:

Brown adopted its current Early Decision policy 18 years ago, yet the university received more Early Decision applications than ever for its Class of 2024. In 2020, 4,562 students applied for Early Decision, and 800 earned admission — a rate of 17.5 percent. In the Regular Decision round, 32,232 students applied, and 1,733 were accepted — a rate of 5.4 percent. Between Early Decision and Regular Decision, 36,794 students applied to Brown. Overall, the acceptance rate for Brown’s Class of 2024 was approximately 6.9 percent, which is up slightly from 6.6 percent for the Class of 2023, after a trend of rapid decline that spanned a few years.

As for Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME), in which students receive both a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree in eight years, 2,530 students applied to the Class of 2024, and 88 were accepted, at a rate of 3.4 percent.

The Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program saw 725 student applicants to the Class of 2023, of which 20 earned admission at a 2.7 percent acceptance rate.

Early Applicants: 4,562

Early Admits: 800

Early Admission rate: 17.5 percent

Regular Decision Applicants: 32,232

Regular Decision Admits: 1,733

Regular Decision Admission Rate: 5.4 percent

Total Applicants: 36,794

Total Admitted: 2,533

2020 Admission Rate: 6.9 percent

Fun Fact: Brown accepts between 100 and 200 transfer students each year, and roughly 15 percent of students are from outside the U.S.

Dartmouth College:

At Dartmouth, Early Decision applicants numbered at 2,069 in 2020, and of these potentials, 547 earned admission. The 26.4 percent acceptance rate is up slightly from last year’s 23.2 percent, which was the lowest ED admission rate in Dartmouth’s history. Of the 19,325 Regular Decision students who applied, 1,334 applicants were accepted — a 6.9 percent acceptance rate. A total 21,394 students applied to Dartmouth’s Class of 2024, a slight drop from last year following a steady increase over the preceding few years. All in all, 1,881 students were accepted. The overall acceptance rate for Dartmouth’s Class of 2024 was 8.8 percent. (This figure stood at 7.9 for the Class of 2023, and 8.7 percent for the Class of 2022.)

Early Applicants: 2,069

Early Admits: 547

Early Admission rate: 26.4 percent

Regular Decision Applicants: 19,325

Regular Decision Admits: 1,334

Regular Decision Admission Rate: 6.9 percent

Total Applicants: 21,394

Total Admitted: 1,881

2020 Admission Rate: 8.8 percent

Fun Fact: About 48 percent of undergraduate students receive financial aid from Dartmouth College, and 15 percent of the admitted class of 1,881 are first generation college students.

Columbia University:

Unlike other Ivy League schools, Columbia reveals more information about its admitted students later on in the year. For now, we are going to give you last year’s information—but once the university releases admission statistics, we will update the information below!

In 2019, Columbia University received a monumental 4,461 Early Decision applications to its incoming class, compared to 4,085 in 2018. Of these applicants, 650 were accepted, at a rate of 14.57 percent. A word of advice: If Columbia is your school, check the school’s website regularly.

The Regular Decision applicants to Columbia in 2019 numbered at 38,108, adding to a total of 42,569 student applicants. Of these Regular Decision students, 1,540 were accepted at a rate of 4.04 percent. Columbia admitted 2,190 students, giving the school an admission rate of 5.14 percent.

(Compare these numbers to the 40,203 students who applied to Columbia’s Class of 2022, and the 2,214 who were accepted, at a rate of 5.5 percent.)

Early Applicants: 4,461

Early Admits: 650

Early Admission rate: 14.57 percent

Regular Decision Applicants: 38,108

Regular Decision Admits: 1,540

Regular Decision Admission Rate: 4.04 percent

Total Applicants: 42,569

Total Admitted: 2,190

2019 Admission Rate: 5.14 percent

Fun Fact: The 2023 class hails from all 50 U.S. states and 74 countries.

Cornell University:

Cornell University’s 6,615 Early Decision applicants for the Class of 2024 hedged their options, and 1,576 were successful, indicating an ED acceptance rate of 23.8 percent. (The Class of 2023 ED rate was 22.6.)

However, those are the only 2020 admissions cycle figures currently available for Cornell, because the university has gone a step further than Columbia, announcing that it will not be posting acceptance rates at all! However, more statistics are expected to become available later this year, so as with Columbia, watch this space for updates. Until then, here are the figures for last year’s admitted Class of 2023…

Regular Decision applicants numbered at 42,959, of whom 3,788 were accepted to the Class of 2023 — an 8.82 percent acceptance rate. Among the overall pool of applicants, 49,118 students submitted applications, and 5,183 were admitted at a rate of 10.5 percent. (This acceptance rate is a minor increase from 2018’s 10.3 percent.) The total number of students admitted after all things were considered was 5,330.

Class of 2024:

Early Applicants: 6,615

Early Admits: 1,576

Early Admission rate: 22.6 percent

Class of 2023:

Regular Decision Applicants: 42,959

Regular Decision Admits: 3,788

Regular Decision Admission Rate: 8.82 percent

Total Applicants: 49,118

Total Admitted: 5,330

2019 Admission Rate: 10.5 percent


Fun Fact: Diversity is coming along. The Cornell Class of 2023 is 55 percent female, and 48.5 percent of Cornell’s incoming freshmen identify as students of color. Even cooler, 430 students of this class are the first college attendees in their families.

It is worth noting that the universities that make up the Ivy League are some of the hardest to get into with some of the lowest acceptance rates in the country. It may also be worth your time to apply to some safety schools. Learn more about safety schools and why you should consider applying to some here .