Class of 2026 acceptance rates plummet


Graphic by Jason Stein ’22

Acceptance rates for the class of 2026 reach an all time low due to miscalculated yields and over-enrollment.

For the class of 2026, college acceptance among the top 100 colleges is at an all-time low according to U.S. News.

Last year, Northeastern University’s acceptance rate was 18%. This year it’s 7%.

Northeastern was not the only school with lower acceptance rates. According to College Kickstart, Boston University’s acceptance rate has dropped from 18% to 14%, Wesleyan’s dropped from 19% to 14% and Northeastern’s dropped from 18% to an astounding 7%. 

“This year was just crazy,” Gustav Zauls ’22 said. “It’s more like a lottery than ever before.”

Several college admissions sources point to the 2020-21 Covid-19 admissions season as the reason.

Representatives from Northeastern have said that they underestimated their yield for last year’s admitted class (the number of accepted students who attended). Instead of the usual 3,300-student-sized class, the class of 2025 consisted of 4,504 students. As a result of last year’s over-enrollment, they had to decrease the class of 2026 by 25%, driving down the acceptance rate. 

“The biggest factor that contributed to last year’s over enrollment was the shift to a test-optional admissions process,” Associate Vice President and Boston University Dean of Admissions Kelly Walter said in an interview with The Daily Free Press. “We never see that kind of differential yield. It was unprecedented.”