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Penn offers no demographic information on its admitted class but does tout one of largest cohorts from Philadelphia

The group is the first to be admitted following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to ban race-conscious admissions.

Whitney Soule, dean of admissions at Penn
Whitney Soule, dean of admissions at PennRead moreJESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

The University of Pennsylvania announced Thursday night that it had admitted next year’s freshman class from among more than 65,000 applications, but did not offer a racial breakdown of those accepted.

That mirrored actions at other highly selective colleges including Dartmouth, Duke and Princeton, which also did not release demographic information. This year’s class is the first to be accepted following the June decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to ban race-conscious admissions.

Penn also did not reveal the number of students it accepted, making it impossible to calculate the percentage of applicants who were successful — a move it started in recent years to downplay its selectivity.

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“This year’s admitted students represent one of the largest cohorts from the city of Philadelphia, along with students coming from 109 countries and all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Marshall Islands, and the military...,” Whitney Soule, dean of admissions, said in a post on the school’s admissions blog at 7 p.m.

Students must decide by May 1 whether they will attend Penn.

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It was the most applications Penn had ever received, up from more than 59,000 last year. That increase came despite last fall’s turmoil on campus over the university’s handling of the Palestine Writes Literary Festival and complaints that the school wasn’t properly protecting both Jewish and Palestinian students and faculty and their advocates following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel’s subsequent military response in Gaza. Former Penn president Liz Magill resigned in December, following a backlash to her congressional committee testimony over the handling of antisemitism on campus.

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Thursday is the day when the eight Ivy League universities — Penn, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia and Brown — announce to students if they have been accepted during the regular decision process.

Under federal law, colleges eventually must report the racial makeup of their classes, and that’s when a comprehensive look at colleges’ admitted classes will be possible, allowing a comparison with the current year’s class, which was selected before the court decision.

At Penn, 9.9% of this year’s 2,416 freshmen identified as Black, 12.4% Hispanic, 13.5% international, 24% white, 29.7% Asian and 5.2% two or more races, according to figures on the university’s website.

» READ MORE: What Philly-area schools are saying about the SCOTUS ruling to end race-based admissions in colleges

Duke University was among others that also released their acceptance decisions Thursday. The school said it had accepted 1,984 students from 54,190 applicants and that it looked forward to welcoming “this talented and diverse group of students to Blue Devil Days in April.”

Harvard accepted 3.59% of applicants, according to the student newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, but also did not release demographic information.

Dartmouth also said it would not report racial demographics during the selection process, according to The Dartmouth, the student newspaper. The university added an essay question inviting applicants to share their personal backgrounds and experiences, the newspaper said.

A spokesperson for Princeton said earlier this week that the university would not announce figures this week.

“We announce information about the enrolled class in early fall,” she said.

Earlier this week, the university’s board of trustees announced a new plan to more aggressively recruit low- and middle-income students. Princeton wants at least 70% of students to be eligible for need-based aid and 22% to qualify for federal Pell grants.

The move comes as the university looks for new ways to ensure diversity following the court decision.

“Princeton’s excellence depends upon attracting and supporting talent from all sectors of society,” Princeton president Christopher L. Eisgruber said in a news release. “I am grateful to the board for its vigorous commitment to the diversity of our student body and for these thoughtful recommendations about how best Princeton can create new opportunities for students from all backgrounds.”