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

School Total Number of Applications for the Class of 2025 % Increase Over Class of 2024
Boston College 39,877 35%
Boston University 75,559 24%
Brown University 46,469 26%
Bucknell University 11,109 12.3%
Colby College 15,700 13%
Colgate University 17,392 102.6%
Dartmouth College 28,338 32.5%
Harvard University 57,000 41.6%
Middlebury College 11,908 30%
Northeastern University 75,233 17%
New York University 100,131 20%
Rice University 29,509 26%
Tufts University 31,190 35%
Tulane University 45,000 2%
University of California – Los Angeles 139,500 28%
University of Pennsylvania 56,000 34%
University of Virginia 47,827 17%
Virginia Tech 42,084 36%
William & Mary 17,400 23%



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