On Friday, March 18, the college released its regular admissions decisions for the Class of 2026. According to Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Matthew McGann, this year’s record-breaking tally of 14,800 applicants represents a 5.7 percent increase compared to last year’s applicant pool of 14,000 people, and resulted in an acceptance rate of 7 percent — 1 percentage point lower than last year’s 8 percent. Following tradition, the decisions were released at 18:21, or 6:21 p.m. EDT, in recognition of the college’s founding in 1821.
Amid the second year of the Covid pandemic, Amherst continued using test-optional policies. The college first decided to go test-optional and discontinue consideration for SAT Subject Tests on April 6, 2020, following similar policies from peer institutions.
The admitted students this year are even more diverse than those admitted in the Class of 2025, with the percentage identifying as domestic students of color rising from 60 to 62 percent. Matching last year’s admission cycle, 22 percent of the admitted students identify as first-generation college students. Nine percent are international students, down 1 percent from last year.
The college plans to enroll 473 students in the Class of 2026. Admitted students are invited to attend one of two “Be A Mammoth” programs, held on Sunday, April 10, and Mon- day, April 18. Students have until Monday, May 2, to accept or decline their offer of admission. As with the Classes of 2024 and 2025, the admissions deposit has been waived for all students.