Class of 2025 College Application Numbers

Friday, January 22, 2021

Colleges Report Record-High Application Numbers for the Class of 2025

Despite several significant changes to the admissions cycle due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many schools are reporting record-breaking application numbers for the class of 2025. 

This year, NYU reported more than 100,000 applications for its freshmen class, making it the first private university to exceed this figure. More than 95,000 students submitted applications to NYU’s New York, NY campus, while the rest applied to campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Overall, applications to NYU increased by 20% this year. 

Similarly, the University of Virginia has also reported a significant application increase. The number of first-year applications climbed 17% from the admissions cycle prior. In total, nearly 48,000 students applied for 3,800 spots in the University of Virginia’s Class of 2025.

Colgate University reported an astounding 102.6% increase in applications over the prior year – 17,392 for the class of 2025 compared to 8,582 the year before.

Overall the Common App reported that private, more selective colleges saw the biggest increase in applications, and they also the application per applicant ratio rise 9% – meaning more students are applying to even more colleges.

The first signs of rising application numbers came at the end of 2020, when a number of schools reported record-breaking application pools in the early rounds. Nearly 8,000 students applied via the University of Pennsylvania’s Early Decision program, a 23% increase from the year prior. Similarly, Brown University received over 5,500 Early Decision applicants, a 22% uptick from the number of students who applied via this process last year.

When it comes to the uptick in application numbers, there are likely several factors at play. A rise in test-optional admissions policies may be encouraging more students to apply to highly selective colleges that they may have previously considered out of reach. Simultaneously, the number of seats at some colleges may be limited due to the rise in students who deferred their admission during the previous year. At the University of Pennsylvania, for example, gap years increased by approximately 300% last fall.

Here are some available application numbers for the Class of 2025

SchoolTotal Number of Applications for the Class of 2025% Increase Over Class of 2024
Boston College39,87735%
Boston University75,55924%
Brown University46,46926%
Bucknell University11,10912.3%
Colby College15,70013%
Colgate University17,392102.6%
Dartmouth College28,33832.5%
Harvard University57,00041.6%
Middlebury College11,90830%
Northeastern University75,23317%
New York University100,13120%
Rice University29,50926%
Tufts University31,19035%
Tulane University45,0002%
University of California – Los Angeles139,50028%
University of Pennsylvania56,00034%
University of Virginia47,82717%
Virginia Tech42,08436%
William & Mary17,40023%


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