The Yale Corporation authorised creating two new residential colleges that will increase student enrollment to 6,100, Levin said. It will be the New Haven university's biggest expansion since it began admitting women in 1969.
'This expansion will allow us to make an even greater contribution to society by preparing a larger number of talented and promising students of all backgrounds for leadership and service,' Levin wrote in a letter to the Ivy League school's alumni, faculty, students and staff.
He noted that Yale now admits fewer than 10% of the more than 20,000 students who apply each year.
The new colleges are expected to open in 2013. Yale currently has 12 residential colleges in a system designed to give students a small-college experience within a larger university.
Yale's undergraduate enrollment hit 5,200 in 1978 and has remained between 5,150 and 5,350 ever since, Levin said.
Yale will also expand the number of faculty positions, Levin said.
Trustees authorised increasing the goal of a fundraising campaign from US$ 3 billion to US$ 3.5 billion to help pay for the expansion. Levin said the university has already secured US$ 140 million in gifts and pledges for the project.
Yale also has a more than US$ 22 billion endowment.