Tufts University offered admission to 9.7% of applicants to the undergraduate Class of 2026, the admissions office announced Tuesday, marking the lowest acceptance rate in university history.
In a year that saw applications climb and admissions offers plunge, the Class of 2026’s acceptance rate eclipses the previous record-low of 11% set by the Class of 2025 and falls nearly six percentage points below the admissions rate from 2020. More than 34,880 students applied for admission, and fewer than 3,200 were left with letters of acceptance.
Despite the university’s intent to grow the undergraduate student body, the size of the admitted class has shrunk considerably over the last two years. Approximately 600 fewer students were admitted to the Class of 2026 than to the Class of 2024 and nearly 400 fewer than to the Class of 2025.
Dean of Admissions J.T. Duck said in a statement on Tuesday that higher yield for the Class of 2025 motivated the contraction of this year’s admitted class. Just over 50% of admitted students chose to enroll at Tufts last year, a jump from 42.97% for the Class of 2024.
Last year’s higher-than-expected yield left university officials scrambling over the summer to house the incoming class, which occupies an additional residence hall that formerly housed sophomores and includes approximately 100 students who are housed in the Hyatt Place in Medford.
Just over 56% of students in the admitted class are people of color — matching the record-breaking total set by the Class of 2025 — including 11% who identify as Black, 14% who identify as Hispanic or Latinx and 20% who identify as Asian American.
Twelve percent of admitted students would be the first in their family to attend college, up from 10% a year ago.
Women comprise a majority of the admitted class at 55%, a slight decrease from last year’s 56%. Women also account for 55% of students admitted to the School of Engineering, setting a university record. Four percent of admitted students identify as nonbinary or genderqueer, up from 2% in the Class of 2025.
Students admitted to the Class of 2026 hail from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa. International students account for 11% of the admitted class, representing citizenships from 84 countries, according to the university’s press release. Admitted students also represent 15 tribal nations.
Twenty-four students matched with Tufts through the QuestBridge National College Match program, up slightly from 20 for the Class of 2025.
For the second consecutive year, about 60% of the admitted class, compared to roughly 50% of applicants, chose to submit SAT or ACT scores. The current application cycle is the second year of Tufts’ three-year test-optional pilot.
Regular decision offers of admission were released Tuesday at 7 p.m., following two rounds of early decision offers sent in December and February, respectively. The university has not publicized the number of students admitted through each round.
For the first time in three years, admitted students will be invited to campus for in-person ‘Bo Days in April. These admitted students’ days will be supplemented by virtual programming throughout the month, according to the press release.
Students have until May 2 to reply to Tufts’ offer of admission.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated the acceptance rate was 9%. That number was updated to 9.7% as more precise data became available.