Penn received a record of more than 59,000 applications to the Class of 2027, around an 7% increase from last year.
The applicant pool consists of over 4,500 more applicants than the Class of 2026 and 3,000 more than the Class of 2025, the latter of which previously held Penn's all-time high number of applications. Early decision admissions for the Class of 2027 — announced on Dec. 15 — also included the largest applicant pool in the University’s history. Over 8,000 students applied through the early decision process, which typically fills about half the class size ahead of regular decision.
“This year, our team is reading more than 59,000 applications to the Class of 2027,” Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions Whitney Soule wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian. “This is the largest first-year applicant pool for Penn, and we’re already deep into reading through each of them.”
As the University receives more applications — a trend seen across the Ivy League — Penn's Office of Admissions has also instituted a number of changes to its admissions process.
With its release of early decision results in December, Penn continued its policy of withholding the acceptance rate, which began with regular decision admission results for the Class of 2026. Penn started the test-optional program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and after the policy was announced, Associate Director of Admissions Sara Cohen predicted that it might lead to an increase in the number of applicants.
This year, Penn Admissions also eliminated the enrollment deposit for the first time. The $400 deposit typically served to help create an estimate of the number of people committed to the University and class size. Penn followed six other Ivy League institutions — excluding Cornell — by making this decision.
“We are intentional in our efforts to create equitable application processes and experiences," Soule wrote in a statement to the DP on Jan. 10. "As part of that work, we chose to remove a financial component as a means of expressing a commitment to enroll."
This application season, Penn also included a new application question in its admissions process. Students were asked to write a thank-you note to someone they had not thanked and wanted to acknowledge. Applicants were also encouraged to share their notes with the person. “We love reading the thank-you notes!” Soule wrote.
Regular decision results will be released by the end of March on Ivy Day, and students admitted to Penn are required to commit by May 1.