Class of 2026 Acceptance Rate Reaches Record Low of 5.4 Percent

The College’s acceptance rate was 5.4 percent for the Class of 2026, a full percentage point lower than that of last year’s class.

By Austin Zeglis

The acceptance rate for the College Class of 2026 was 5.4 percent, the lowest in the University’s history, according to data released by the admissions office.

This year, 37,526 students applied to the College, compared with 37,977 last year. In total, 2,041 students were accepted into the Class of 2026, 1,729 of whom chose to enroll. This represents an 84.7 percent yield rate, the highest in the past 10 years.

With yield rate generally understood as a metric of students’ demonstrated interest in a school, UChicago was also among the universities with the highest yield rates, only slightly below the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s 85 percent.

A line chart showing a decreasing admittance rate.
The acceptance rate for the College Class of 2026 was 5.4 percent, the lowest in the University’s history. (Chart: Michael Plunkett)

The Class of 2026 is made up of students from across the country, with strong representation from the East and West Coasts and the Midwest. International students make up 16 percent of the incoming class.

Students’ SAT scores ranged from 1020 to 1600, with a middle 50 percent of 1510 to 1560. ACT scores ranged from 20 to 36, with a middle 50 percent of 34 to 35. UChicago has not required standardized testing scores since 2018 in an effort to make the admissions process more accessible to first-generation, low-income students.

Yet erasing testing requirements did not make the application process easier for the Class of 2026. As high school seniors, the class grappled with the complicated landscape of applying to college during a global pandemic, facing barriers such as canceled standardized testing opportunities, virtual tours, and few opportunities for athletes to compete, The Maroon previously reported.

The newly admitted class is made up of a diverse group of students with wide-ranging interests. Twenty-two percent of the Class of 2026 are Hispanic or Latino, 22 percent are Asian, and 14 percent are Black or African American. Eighty-four percent of the Class of 2026 took part in community service activities in high school, and 67 percent were varsity athletes.