To jaded Harvard students today may seem like just another spring day in the Yard. But for more than 12,000 high school seniors across the country and in many parts of the world, it's D-Day.
At 12:01 a.m. today, the Harvard-Radcliffe admissions committee mailed acceptance letters to the 1376 men and 819 women admitted to the Class of '82. Those numbers mean the College's male-female admission ration has shrunk to an all-time low of 1.68 to 1 as compared to 1.8 to 1 for the Class of '81.
The College told 510 of the lucky winners last January under the early action program.
A record total of 12,712 high school students applied, including an all-time high of 4532 female applicants. The committee admitted 18 per cent of the female applicant pool and 16 per cent of the male applicant pool.
The Office of Financial Aid will offer the incoming freshmen about $2.4 million in scholarships. $1.5 millions will go to men and $900,000 to women, Martha C. Lyman, acting director of financial aid, said.
Harvard and Radcliffe have admitted about 350 children of alumni and 100 foreign students into next year's class, William R. Fitzsimmons '67, director of admissions, said this week. The admitted class will be 35-to 40-per-cent "preppie," the figures show.
Harvard has the third-stiffest admissions criteria in the country, following only Amherst College and Brown. It's 17-per-cent acceptance rate requires a lot of cutting in the admissions committee.
Admissions officers say about one-half the applicant pool is clearly admissible. They rely on what admissions officers call the "tip factor"--a special advantage from the rest of the group--to select the final 2100 students.
"Tip factors" vary, but only about 5 per cent of the Class of '82 earned their acceptance letters on pure academic merit.