A record number of students, including more minorities, women and non-Easterners than ever before, have applied for a place in the Harvard-Radcliffe class of 1992, the admissions office announced yesterday.
Byerly Hall received 14,386 applications for next year's incoming class, including those from early action candidates who apply in November, said Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons '67. This year's total shows an increase of 166 over last year's record figure.
Within the total is a record number of minority students, Fitzsimmons said. The applicant pool of Asian-Americans equaled 2253, an increase of 85 over last year, and the 824 Black student applications mark an increase of 41. In both cases, last year's figures had been all-time highs.
Likewise, the 289 Mexican Americans who applied for places in the class of 1992 constituted a new record by 27 candidates. Puerto Ricans are the only minority group with fewer applicants than last year. The number dropped from 154 to 150. The 272 applications from other Hispanic students surpasses last year's record by 63.
The gender breakdown of this year's applications is 8426 males and 5960 females, Fitzsimmons said. The number of female applicants is also a record, exceeding last year's total by 80.
The applicants for next year's freshman class have continued to follow some already established geographic trends, said Fitzsimmons, who is a sociologist by training. The applicant pool from California increased 5 percent, "topping 2000 for the first time," he said.
There was a 7 percent increase in the number of applicants from the South and the Southwest. Canada had a 7 percent increase in its applicants, and Puerto Rico had a 6 percent increase; however, these two figures represent relatively small numbers, Fitzsimmons said.
There has been a continued decrease in numbers from New England, whichFitzsimmons said he attributed to the "decline inthe number of 18-year olds in the area."
Although the Harvard--Radcliffe class of 1992will not be finalized' until acceptance andrejection letters are mailed on April 9, theadmissions office has already accepted 651students through its early action program.
The admissions committee is currently readingthe folders of all the applicants and holdingdiscussions in small groups. This process beganFebruary 16, and will continue until March 12,when each folder will have been read anywhere fromthree to five times and discussed by members ofthe committee, Fitzsimmons said.
The full committee will than meet for two weeksto choose the members of the class of 1992. Theclass is expected to number approximately 1600.The admissions committee will accept approximately2100 applicants to fill those slots, or just above14 percent, Fitzsimmons said.
On a percentage basis the class of 1992 will bethe hardest class to be admitted to, in thehistory of the College. Last year, the previousrecord low was the acceptance of just over 15percent of applicants admitted.
The committee hopes to be able to take studentsoff the waiting list this year, something theywere unable to do last year due to an unexpectedlyhigh number of candidates who accepted Harvard'soffer of admission, Fitzsimmons said.
Fitzsimmons said he attributes the recordnumbers of applicants to increased undergraduateminority recruiting and to Harvard's recruitingprogram in general, which sends admissionsofficers to every state