Acceptance Rate Plummets to 7.2 Percent for Class of 2022

The regular decision admit rate was 4 percent, Dean of Admissions James Nondorf said at an admitted students reception in late March.

By Pete Grieve, Editor-in-Chief ('18–'19)

The acceptance rate for the Class of 2022 was a record-low 7.2 percent, Dean of Admissions James Nondorf said at an admitted students reception in late March.

The regular decision admit rate was 4 percent, and the admit rate for students who were deferred in the early round was just 0.5 percent, he said.

A person recorded Nondorf’s comments at the reception and anonymously uploaded the file online.

The University typically does not publicly comment on admissions numbers until fall quarter. However, a spokesperson responded to the audio recording and confirmed the numbers, noting that the figures are not yet final.

The number of students admitted this year, 2,329, is down from the approximately 2,410 students admitted last year when the acceptance rate was 8.7 percent.

“Students admitted to UChicago’s Class of 2022 reflect extremely high levels of diversity and academic ability,” University spokesperson Marielle Sainvilus wrote in an e-mail.  She said the University received 32,291 applications and admitted 2,329 students for a 7.2 percent acceptance rate. This is a steep increase compared to the 27,694 applicants for the Class of 2021.

“This is the best, most amazing class we ever had, I’m just gonna say it,” Nondorf said. “At least statistically speaking, you are the smartest, you are the most selective, you are the most diverse…. You name it, you are it.”

He joked, “Your average SATs were well above 1500 this year, which is insane, so you’re very good at cheating.”

Nondorf said he believes the Class of 2022’s essay prompts will go down as the best UChicago has ever had. His favorite was a question that asked students to write about an imaginary major of their own design with a one letter typo, such as “Com[m]uter Science” or “[P]undamentals.”

“I laughed, I cried…and everyone—at least everyone that was admitted—managed to stay away from the off-color things, like you know [f]art history and things of that nature, although I will tell you that many of your peers could not resist. That’s why they’re not here.”

At the end of the recording, Nondorf said he hopes students and parents are excited about the positive press that President Robert J. Zimmer received from Bret Stephens (A.B. ’95), the conservative New York Times columnist who published an op-ed about Zimmer and his free-speech stances in October, titled “America’s Best University President.”

Nondorf then celebrated the College’s No. 3 U.S. News ranking.