The record 11.8 percent admission rate for Harvard's class of 1999 is significantly lower than rates at other Ivy League schools, according to preliminary statistics available from four of the eight colleges.
Princeton University was next most selective, admitting 14 percent of its applicants. Princeton offered admission to 2,010 of 14,311 candidates.
Dartmouth admitted 20.6 percent of applicants. Approximately 10,000 students applied, and 2,163 were invited to join the class of 1999.
The University of Pennsylvania admitted approximately a third of those who applied, offering 4,960 students admission from the applicant pool of 15,050.
Columbia University, Cornell University and Yale University have not released their statistics. Statistics from Brown University were unavailable yesterday.
Harvard Dean of Admission William R. Fitzsimmons '67 said yesterday that Harvard's record number of applications may be due to a combination of intensive recruiting, need-blind admissions and this year's adoption of the Common Application.
"We have continued a very comprehensive recruitment process," Fitzsimmons said. "We also have become much more involved in what is called joint travel, where we traveled out with other colleges to different parts of the country."
Fitzsimmons said success was also due to the "absolutely critical" need-blind admissions and Harvard's "unwavering commitment to admitting the very best students wherever we find them and finding the money to meet their need is the cornerstone of recruitment efforts."
The use of the Common Application probably helped to reach students who might not have applied otherwise, Fitzsimmons said. "Our staff's impression is that the Common Application is one of the things that [increased applications]," he said. "We make every effort to be accessible."