Wake Forest Acceptance Rate

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Wake Forest University - Profile, Rankings and Data | US News Best Colleges

Wake Forest: Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Wake Forest University is a private university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It was founded in 1834 by the Baptist Home Mission Society as a manual labor school for orphaned boys.

Today, it has a student body of over 8,000 undergraduate students and is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum and emphasis on undergraduate research. Wake Forest has been ranked by The Princeton Review as one of America’s Best Value Colleges since 2009 and was named one of the “Best Southeastern Colleges” by Forbes magazine in 2018.

The acceptance rate at Wake Forest University is typically higher than at other schools in the region—in fact, it was 20% in 2021 and 21% in 2026.

Wake Forest Acceptance Rate – Class of 2024

Wake Forest University Admission Trends

Wake Forest University has released its acceptance rate for the Class of 2024. There were 11,945 applicants for place in the Demon Deacon Class of 2024—only 3,836 were accepted. This calculates to an acceptance rate of 32%. The previous cycle saw a greater number of applicants for the Class of 2023—12,559 to be precise—as well as a lower acceptance rate of 29.5%.

The University’s dean of admission and financial aid, Dr. Jeffery Gibson, said that he was “pleased” with this year’s numbers and attributed them to an increase in applications over last year’s cycle (which saw 9,588 applicants) as well as a new outreach program which targeted high-achieving students from underrepresented communities across the country.

Wake Forest Admissions – SAT, ACT and Class Rank

Wake Forest University has been a test-optional institution since 2008, but the majority of students do submit SAT or ACT scores when applying. According to the most recent official statistics available (Class of 2023), the mid-50% SAT range for admitted freshman was 1340-1470; the ACT the range was 30-33. It is important to note that Wake Forest has been a test-optional institution since way back in 2008, but 44% of students do submit SAT scores to go along with 45% who submit ACT results. On the class rank front, 75% of freshmen had earned a place in the top 10% of their high school class and 92% were in the top quartile.

Admissions Trends & Notes – (Class of 2023)

Wake Forest University Admission Statistics Class of 2022 - IVY League
  • The middle-50% SAT scores went up slightly for the Class of 2024 from the previous year; ACT scores remained the same.
  • North Carolina residents made up 16% of the Class of 2024.
  • 56% of freshmen in 2020-21 were female.
  • 10% of this year’s incoming class qualified for Pell Grants.
  • Almost one-quarter identified as African American, Asian American, Latinx, Native American, or multiple racial backgrounds.

Who Get Into Wake Forest?

Let’s now turn our attention to the demographics of the Wake Forest undergraduate student body.

Geography- National

Geographically, the ten states from which the most undergraduates hail from are (out of 5,287 students):

  1. North Carolina: 1,027
  2. New York: 380
  3. Florida: 363
  4. New Jersey: 312
  5. Georgia: 265
  6. Massachusetts: 248
  7. Virginia: 235
  8. Pennsylvania: 228
  9.  Maryland: 203
  10. Connecticut: 200

As at any highly-selective school, Wake Forest is seeking geographic diversity.  If you hail from a less-populated state like Wyoming (3 students), Idaho (3 students), or South Dakota (1 student), your location is more likely to provide a boost to your admissions chances than if you live in a state with a flood of applicants every year (like the ten listed above).

Geography- International

Foreign students make up 9.7% of the undergraduate population at Wake Forest. Forty-nine countries are represented. The international student population has risen in the last few years—5 years ago, international students only made up 7.5% of the campus population.


Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown of the Wake Forest freshman class of 2019-20 is as follows:

  • White: 68.8%
  • Asian: 12.1%
  • Hispanic: 9%
  • African American: 5.4%
  • American Indian: 1%
  • Two or more races: 4.6%

Religious Preference

When it comes to their religious/spiritual identity, students most often identify in the following ways:

  • Catholic: 24%
  • Presbyterian: 7%
  • Christian: 6%
  • Baptist: 6%
  • Methodist: 6%
  • Jewish: 5%
  • No Preference: 17%
  • Other/Unknown: 6%

Wake Forest’s Yield Rate

Wake Forest University’s yield rate—the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted is 32%. This ranks behind other elite private schools in the same region like Duke (54%) Vanderbilt (49%), and Tulane (39%). This means that the majority of accepted students ultimately elect to attend a different institution.

How Wake Forest Evaluates Applicants

Wake Forest University - Profile, Rankings and Data | US News Best Colleges

Wake Forest ranks the following five categories as being “very important” to the admissions process: rigor of secondary school record, class rank, GPA, application essays, and character/personal qualities. Recommendations, an interview, extracurricular activities, and talent/ability are rated as “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 who have 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 be a massive boost to your admissions prospects. Wake Forest’s 16 varsity sports teams suit up 470+ undergraduates every year. For advice about how to stand out on the extracurricular front, check out our previous blog entitled How Many Extracurricular Activities Do I Need for College?

Tips for Applying to Wake Forest

If you plan on joining the 12,000+ Wake Forest hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

1) Wake Forest does strongly recommend signing up for an interview with the admissions staff, but it is not required. Each interview lasts roughly 25 minutes and they are evaluative in nature. During the pandemic, these interviews have been conducted virtually. The school does not offer alumni interviews. For advice on what types of questions you should be prepared to answer/ask visit our blog—College Interview Tips.

2) WFU does factor legacy status into the admissions process. Therefore, those with a parent who is a Wake Forest alum will receive a boost to their admissions prospects.

3) Wake Forest does consider “demonstrated interest” so, you should connect with the school via social media, make contact with an admissions officer, and, if possible—visit campus, take an official tour, or connect with admission staff at a college fair near you.

4) Be sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental essays and short answers required by Wake Forest. In the 2020-21 cycle, they were as follows:

  • 1a. List five books you’ve read that intrigued you.
  • 1b. Explain how a book you’ve read has helped you to understand the world’s complexity. (150 words) 
  • 2. Tell us more about the topic that most engages your intellectual curiosity. (150 words)
  • 3. Describe a community that is important to you. How has that community prepared you to engage with, change, or even build the Wake Forest community? (150 words)
  • 4. Give us your Top Ten list.
  • 5. How did you become interested in Wake Forest University? Feel free to tell us about any contact that you had with Wake Forest that was important to you. (150 words) 

These 5/6 essays are EXTREMELY important in the admissions process. Wake Forest genuinely wants to know a great deal about each student offered a place in their freshman class. One thing is for sure—Wake’s supplemental prompts are unique, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to modify content already written for other schools to which you are applying.

In the words of the admissions staff: “Our short-response prompts represent questions that are uniquely Wake Forest and thus afford you the opportunity to show us what is “uniquely you.” So, when preparing your essay and your answers to these prompts, take advantage of the opportunity to give us a glimpse into what drives you intellectually. Tell us what you’ve read, what you’ve done, what you think. About what? About anything and everything that is important to you.”

Wake Forest Tuition

College of Arts & Sciences

Full-Time Undergraduate Tuition$58,708
Part-Time Undergraduate (per semester hour)$2,434
Study Abroad/Away Enrollment Fee for Wake Forest-Affiliate Programs (per semester)$3,522
Audit (per hour)$75
Music Fees (1/2hr & 1 hr)$325/650
Silicon Valley Practicum Fee$11,244
Student Activity Fee$200
Student Health Fee$490
Wellness Fee$372
*A student may not register for fewer than 12 hours without specific permission from the appropriate Dean to register as a part-time student. Approval must be obtained before the last day of the “add” period for that term. See the Wake Forest Bulletin for more information.

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Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Full Time Graduate Tuition$38,650
Online Counseling & Human Services (per hour)$1,560
Part-Time Graduate (per hour)$1,560
Student Continuation Fee (per semester)$150
Audit (per hour)$150
Graduation Fee (Masters)$175
Graduation Fee (PhD)$175
Technology Fee (per semester, excludes on-line programs)$50
Student Health Fee$490
Summer 2021-Graduate (per hour)$1,560
Summer 2021-Graduate Audit (per hour)$150
Summer 2021- On-Line Counseling & Human Services (per hour)$1,510

Summer Sessions – Undergraduate 2021

Summer 2021-Undergraduate (per hour)$900
Summer 2021- Undergraduate Audit (per hour)$75
2021-School of Business-Summer Management (per hour)$1,490
Summer SportsBiz Program (per hour)$1,490

School of Law

Full time JD Tuition$49,276
LLM & SJD Tuition$49,276
SJD (Part-time/Returning Students)$24,638
Online Masters in Study of Law (per hour)$1,039
Audit Rate (not to exceed per hour)$2,060
Summer School 2021 (per hour)$1,643
Summer Study Abroad (per hour)$886
Technology Fee$400
Student Health Fee$490

School of Business

Business Undergraduate Tuition (including MSA 4th year)$58,708
Graduate Programs
MSA, Fifth Year Tuition$51,916
Winston Evening MBA Program, Second Year$40,698
Charlotte Evening MBA Program, Second Year$40,698
Charlotte Saturday MBA Program, Second Year$40,698
MS in Management Tuition$48,474
MS in Business Analytics Tuition (on ground)$52,106
Online MSBA (per hour)$1,475
Online MBA (per Hour)$1,507
Graduate Part Time (per hour)$1,340
Working Professionals Program (per hour)$1,507
Student Activity Fee (excludes, Evening/Weekend & On-Line programs)$300
Working Professionals Program Fee (per semester)$2,000
Student Health Fee$490

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