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Ivy League admission has always been competitive, but this year Penn and some of its peers have seen a significant increase in the total number of applicants.

Receiving 26,800 applications — the largest number in University history — Penn saw a 17-percent increase in the number of applicants to the class of 2014.

Princeton University’s applications increased by 19 percent and Brown University’s by 20 percent, according to the New York Times.

“It’s the biggest relief ever, very exciting to be a part of such a historic class, and I can’t wait to get there,” said Hayley Brooks, a high school senior from Florida. She was accepted to Penn through early decision.

“People see the value of such a prestigious university in tough times,” she added.

While Brooks applied and was accepted before the historic totals were relased, other seniors are still waiting for regular decisions amidst more daunting statistics.

“I’m resigned that there is a lot of competition for top schools like Penn,” said Will Miller, a senior at Kent Denver School and a regular decision applicant.

Surprised at such an increase, Miller theorized that application numbers vary with the school, and perhaps this year Penn is a popular choice — the “en vogue” university of the moment, as he describes it.

One deferred applicant from Lower Merion High School, who preferred not to be named, doesn’t share Miller’s calm.

“I feel less confident,” he says upon hearing about the record-breaking total of applications.

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