Early-action applicants faced tougher odds this year, with the University admitting fewer students from a larger pool of candidates. On Dec. 18 the University offered admission to 697 students, down from 726 a year ago. With applications up 10.6 percent to 3,810, the admission rate dropped from 21.1 percent last year to 18.3 percent.

“We hope to have more places available in the regular-decision round by taking a slightly smaller group in this cycle than we did last year,” Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said. Of the admitted students, 15 percent are legacies, 49 percent are women, and 40 ­percent identified as members of U.S. minority groups.