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Penn received a record number of applications this cycle, with more than 59,000 students applying to the University across the Early and Regular Decision programs.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Penn announced regular decision admission results for the Class of 2027 after receiving a record number of applications.

More than 59,000 students applied to Penn this cycle, the largest first-year applicant pool in Penn's history, and over 4,500 more applications than the Class of 2026 and over 3,000 more than the Class of 2025. The Early Decision Program for this cycle also featured the largest applicant pool in the University’s history. Penn released regular decision results at 7 p.m. Thursday. 

Penn received a record number of applications this cycle

Penn did not immediately share the admit rate and demographic data for this year's class, continuing its decision to not publicly announce its acceptance rate during the regular decisions admissions cycle for the Class of 2026. The University similarly declined to announce the acceptance rate for this year’s early decisions admissions cycle.

"We are proud to report that [the accepted students] collectively represent the most diverse group of admitted students in Penn’s history in terms of racial and ethnic background, socioeconomic diversity … and those who are the first generation in their family to attend a four-year college or university," Soule wrote in the announcement.

According to Board of Trustees minutes, last year's admissions cycle for the Class of 2026 admitted 3,554 students from 54,588 applicants — an acceptance rate of 6.5%, an increase from the acceptance rate for the Class of 2025. This included 13% of the class being international students, 56% identifying as female, 55% being domestic students of color, 18% being first-generation college students, and 15% being legacy students.

Penn withholds immediate data on Class of 2027, but the admit rate increased slightly last cycle

Among the Ivy League, Brown University and Harvard University each reported their second-lowest admit rates in history on Thursday, while Yale University accepted a record-low percentage of applicants. Two of the University's peer institutions — Princeton University and Cornell University — joined Penn in withholding their acceptance rate last year. 

Penn has made several changes to the application and enrollment process for this cycle under Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions Whitney Soule. Soule began her post at Penn in July 2021, replacing former Dean of Admissions Eric Furda. On March 2, Jordan Pascucci began as Penn’s new vice dean and director of admissions — replacing John McLaughlin, who held the same position.

Ahead of the release of early decisions on Dec. 15, Penn Admissions announced the removal of the enrollment deposit for the Class of 2027 and future accepted classes. This decision removed the need for students to pay any portion of their tuition before their first semester of enrollment.

“We are intentional in our efforts to create equitable application processes and experiences," Soule wrote at the time in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian.

This year’s admissions cycle featured a test-optional policy for first-year and transfer applicants, continuing a policy first implemented during the 2020-21 admissions cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the policy, Penn Admissions accepts and reviews ACT and SAT scores submitted by applicants, but does not disadvantage students who are unable to or choose not to submit test scores. In January, Penn Admissions announced the extension of the test-optional policy through the 2023-24 admissions cycle. 

Penn also added a third supplementary essay prompt for this cycle, encouraging students to share feelings of gratitude. The prompt reads: “Write a short thank-you note to someone you have not yet thanked and would like to acknowledge,” also encouraging students to share the note with the person they chose to write about.

Soule heralded the new prompt as an opportunity for students to show a different aspect of themselves as applicants.

“The thank-you notes helped us see the students’ openness, receptivity, and generosity,” Soule wrote in the announcement.

The DP recently reported that Penn may be refining its policy pertaining to legacy applicants for this cycle. Penn Admissions’ webpage removed mentions of legacy applicants being given the “most consideration” through the Early Decision Program, and instead wrote that “Legacies who apply to Penn—like all applicants—receive thorough consideration in the application process.”

Admitted students will have until May 1 to declare their enrollment.

"Our admitted students have demonstrated commitment in so many ways," Soule wrote. "While these students all share the qualities of academic ambition and inspired action, each one of them will create their own unique imprint and contribution at Penn."