The application numbers are in for the Early Action and Early Decision admissions cycle for the class of 2014, and they’re scary high – and the acceptance rates are scary low at some schools.

Research has shown that the number of high school graduates peaked a few years ago, and everyone was hopeful that it would reduce some of the frenzy and the competitiveness of college admissions. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, at least not this year in the early admissions cycle at many of the country’s most selective colleges.

There are three basic Early Admission programs:

• Early Decision is binding, so if a student is accepted, the student has committed to attend the institution and to withdraw all other applications.

• Early Action is not binding. It allows students to apply to other colleges, notifies them earlier and does not require a decision until May 1.

• Single Choice Early Action or Restrictive Early Action programs vary slightly from college to college. They allow students to apply to their schools of choice early and notify the students early, but they do not require the students to commit to attending if accepted.

Some of the numbers from this year’s early application season:

• Early Decision applications at Duke University were up 25 percent over last year, its largest increase ever. Northwestern and Boston University weren’t far behind, with 15 percent increases.

• Stanford’s Restricted Early Action program proved more selective than any of the Ivy League schools’, with 6,948 applications and a 10.8 percent admit rate.

Record-breaking became commonplace at most of the Ivy League schools:

• Brown University received 3,088 Early Decision applications and accepted 583 students, an 18.9 percent acceptance rate.

• The only information available from Columbia University is that its applicant pool grew by 5.4 percent over last year.

• Cornell University received 4,775 Early Decision applications and accepted 1,325 students, a 27.7 percent acceptance rate. Cornell’s Early Decision pool has increased by 75 percent over the past decade.

• Dartmouth University received 1,678 Early Decision applications and accepted 469 students, a 27.9 percent acceptance rate, filling 40 percent of the freshman class.

• Harvard University received 4,692 Restrictive Early Action applications and accepted 992 students, a 21 percent acceptance rate.

• Princeton University received 3,831 Single Choice Early Action applications and accepted 714 students, an 18.5 acceptance rate. Fifteen percent were legacy students who had a parent graduate from Princeton.

• University of Pennsylvania received 5,149 Early Decision applications and accepted 1,299 students, a 25.3 percent acceptance rate, an increase of 6.7 percent, filling about 54 percent of the freshman class.

• Yale University received 4,750 Single Choice Early Action applications and accepted 735 students, a 15.5 percent acceptance rate.