Wake Forest Early Decision Acceptance Rate 2024

What is the Wake Forest Early Decision Acceptance Rate? Wake Forest University, nestled in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, often finds itself somewhat obscured in discussions about top-tier colleges in the U.S. South. While names like Duke, Vanderbilt, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the University of Virginia typically headline such lists, Wake Forest is a mid-sized, private institution with a rich history dating back to 1834.

Renowned for its academic excellence and athletic prowess, Wake Forest University maintains a competitive admissions process that has evolved significantly over time. Gone are acceptance rates exceeding 45% in the early 2000s. Today, the university grapples with an influx of applicants, with acceptance rates hovering in the 20-25% range. Consequently, gaining admission to Wake Forest has become increasingly challenging, requiring prospective students to navigate a complex and competitive admissions landscape.

Aspiring Demon Deacons must demonstrate exceptional academic credentials and a diverse range of talents, experiences, and personal qualities that align with Wake Forest’s values and mission. With the university attracting more than twice as many applicants as in previous decades, the issue of securing admission to Wake Forest has become more nuanced and demanding than ever before.

Wake Forest Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Wake Forest Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Wake Forest University provides two Early Decision (ED) rounds for prospective students, with deadlines on November 15th for ED I and January 1st for ED II. The university has not disclosed the acceptance rates for the Class of 2025 or 2026 through the early decision process. However, for the Class of 2024, they admitted 773 out of 2,241 ED applicants, resulting in a 34% ED acceptance rate.

This rate was slightly higher than the 31% acceptance rate for regular decision (RD) applicants in the same year. Nonetheless, analysis of student data suggests that the marginal variation between ED and RD acceptance rates may be influenced by a notable presence of non-competitive applicants within the ED pool. Therefore, these statistical disparities might underestimate the advantage that competitive applicants gain by applying through the ED route at Wake Forest University.

Wake Forest Acceptance Rate – 2023

There were 17,496 applicants for a place in the Demon Deacon Class of 2026—only 3,601 were accepted. This calculates to an acceptance rate of 20%. While Wake Forest has yet to release official Class of 2027 admissions data, we do know that the number of applicants was slightly below 17,000. Therefore, we can project that the Wake Forest Class of 2027 acceptance rate is likely around 20-21%.

Wake Forest Admissions – SAT, ACT, and Class Rank

According to the most recent official statistics (Class of 2026), the mid-50% SAT range for enrolled freshmen was 1400-1500; the ACT range was 31-34. It is important to note that Wake Forest has been a test-optional institution since way back in 2008, but 28% of accepted students did submit SAT scores, along with 29% who submitted ACT results. On the class rank front, 74% of freshmen had earned a place in the top 10% of their high school class, and 93% were in the top quartile.

Admissions Trends & Notes – (Class of 2027)

94% of the 2027 students admitted were in the top 20% of their class. Wake Forest University (WFU) aims to assemble a freshman class of 1,400 students for the 2023-24 academic year. The average SAT score of admitted applicants was 1480, with an average ACT score of 33. Additionally, nearly one-quarter of recent acceptees identified as African American, Asian American, Latinx, Native American, or multiple racial backgrounds.

Who Gets Into Wake Forest?

Let’s now examine the demographics of the Wake Forest undergraduate student body.

Geography- National

The ten states contributing the most undergraduates are:

1. North Carolina

2. Florida

3. New York

4. New Jersey

5. Georgia

6. Virginia

7. Massachusetts

8. Connecticut

9. Pennsylvania

10. California

As with any highly selective institution, Wake Forest values geographic diversity. Applicants from less densely populated states, such as Wyoming, Idaho, or South Dakota, may have an advantage over those from states with high application volumes, like the ten listed above.

Geography- International

Foreign students constitute 9% of the undergraduate population at Wake Forest, representing 49 countries. Over the last decade, the international student population has grown—seven years ago, international students comprised only 7.5% of the campus community.


The ethnic composition of the Wake Forest student body is as follows:

– White: 68%

– Asian: 4%

– Hispanic: 8%

– African American: 6%

– Two or more races: 5%

Religious Preference

Regarding religious/spiritual affiliation, students identify as follows:

– Catholic: 24%

– Presbyterian: 7%

– Christian: 6%

– Baptist: 6%

– Methodist: 6%

– Jewish: 5%

– No Preference: 17%

– Other/Unknown: 6%

Yield Rate

Wake Forest University’s yield rate—the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of admitted students—is 38%. While this is a respectable figure, it ranks behind elite private schools in the same region, such as Duke, Vanderbilt, and Tulane. This suggests that most accepted students ultimately choose to attend a different institution.

How Wake Forest Evaluates Applicants

Wake Forest considers the following five categories “very important” in the admissions process: the rigor of the secondary school record, class rank, GPA, application essays, and character/personal qualities. Recommendations, interviews, extracurricular activities, and talent/ability are also rated “important.”

As the Dean of Admissions once explained, “…a holistic and careful process allows us to consider each candidate individually. We seek students who have excelled academically, exhibited intellectual curiosity and creativity, and demonstrated character and concern for those around them. We thoughtfully review the skills, talents, and experiences that each student would bring to the Wake Forest community.”

Being an athletic recruit can also significantly boost your admissions prospects. Wake Forest’s 16 varsity sports teams accommodate over 470 undergraduates every year.

Wake Forest Early Decision Acceptance Rate
Wake Forest Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Tips for Applying to Wake Forest University:

1. Interview: While not mandatory, Wake Forest strongly recommends scheduling an interview with the admissions staff. These interviews, lasting around 25 minutes, are evaluative and have been conducted virtually during the pandemic. Note that the school does not offer alumni interviews. For guidance on interview preparation, refer to resources like our blog on College Interview Tips.

2. Legacy Status: Applicants with a Wake Forest alum parent receive favorable consideration in the admissions process, boosting their prospects.

3. Demonstrated Interest: Wake Forest values demonstrated interest, so engaging with the school through social media, connecting with admissions officers, and, if feasible, visiting the campus, taking an official tour, or attending college fairs where admission staff are present is beneficial.

4. Supplemental Essays: Allocate ample time and effort to crafting the supplemental essays and short answers Wake Forest requires. In the 2022-23 admissions cycle, the essay prompts were as follows:

– List five books that have intrigued you.

– Explain how a text you’ve read, whether fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or literature, has contributed to your understanding of the world’s complexity (limit: 150 words).

– What sparks your intellectual curiosity, and why (limit: 150 words)?

– Create your Top Ten list. (The theme is your choice.) (limit: 100 characters per line)

These essays play an exceptionally significant role in admissions, providing Wake Forest with insight into each applicant. The school seeks to learn extensively about the students offered admission to their freshman class. As emphasized by the admissions staff, the supplemental prompts are unique to Wake Forest, allowing applicants to showcase what makes them “uniquely you.” Use this chance to glimpse your intellectual passions, experiences, and thoughts on topics that matter to you.

Conclusion on Wake Forest Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Wake Forest University’s Early Decision (ED) acceptance rate reflects a competitive admissions landscape. While specific acceptance rates for recent classes like the Class of 2025 or Class of 2026 have not been disclosed, historical data indicates that the ED acceptance rate for the Class of 2024 was 34%, marginally higher than the regular decision (RD) acceptance rate of 31% in the same year.

However, it’s important to recognize that small differences between ED and RD acceptance rates may be influenced by various factors, including the composition of the applicant pools.

Analysis suggests that the ED pool may include a relatively higher percentage of non-competitive applicants, which could potentially underestimate the advantage that competitive applicants gain from applying ED. Despite this, Wake Forest University remains committed to a holistic admissions process, evaluating applicants based on a range of criteria, including academic performance, extracurricular involvement, personal qualities, and demonstrated interest.

Prospective applicants considering Wake Forest for early decision should carefully weigh their options, ensuring alignment with their academic and personal goals. While the ED route offers advantages in terms of demonstrating commitment and potentially enhancing acceptance prospects, applicants should also consider factors such as financial aid and overall fit with the university’s culture and community.

Ultimately, each applicant’s journey is unique, and thorough research and thoughtful consideration are essential in making an informed decision regarding early decision applications to Wake Forest University.


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