Admissions to both Harvard and Radcliffe declined this year, despite increases in the number and quality of applicants; admissions officials said yesterday.
In an effort to ease overcrowding and avoid last year's problem of over-acceptances, Harvard admitted 1357 applicants Saturday to fill a class of 1100. This represents fewer acceptances than last year for 70 fewer spaces.
Only 601 girls received Radcliffe acceptances yesterday, compared to 653 last year, although next year's freshman class will be about 475, the same size as this year's
The applicant pool for both colleges was up this year, but Harvard applications increased only slightly, while Radcliffe applications rose by almost 240. Alberta Arthurs, dean of admissions at Radcliffe, said yesterday this figure paralleled an increase in female applications at prestige colleges throughout the country.
Most of the increase in applications came from the Midwest and South. Mary Ann Schwalbe, director of admissions at Radcliffe, said the Midwest was "way up in Radcliffe acceptances," and added that Indiana had a very "big year."
L. Fred Jewett '57, dean of admissions at Harvard, said that Ohio and Texas had unusually large numbers of acceptances from Harvard, but added that the usual Harvard-Radcliffe "feeders," New York, Massachusetts, California, and Pennsylvania once again had the largest group of acceptances. Nevada and Alaska were the only two states who had no candidates admitted to Harvard.
Neither Jewett nor Arthurs could comment yet on the secondary school background of the Class of '8, but both said they expected the current public school ratios to remain about the same.
Jewett said the admissions offices' decision took "no account" of the type of high school an applicant attended. The increase in Midwest acceptances, where there are fewer private schools than in the Northeast, might account for the decrease in the number of "preppies" in the class, he said.
The number of students applying for financial aid to both schools decreased by two per cent for the second year in a row, reflecting what Jewett and Arthurs called a growing affluence among their applicants.
No applicant who qualities for financial aid will be denied help, and some students who would not normally qualify for scholarships will be promised loans and job opportunities in a new policy implemented by both admissions offices this year. Jewett said this move aims at helping "middle and upper income family brackets" afford Harvard.