Class of 2006 Breaks Admissions Records

Harvard College sent out a record number of rejection letters yesterday to a record number of applicants.

The College accepted only 10.5 percent of its 19,605 applicants to the Class of 2006.

Taking advantage of Harvard’s new system of offering admissions notification online, 96 percent of the hopefuls opted to learn their fates via e-mail.

Women will likely make up 48 percent of the class—a drop of one percentage point from last year.

The racial distribution of this year’s admits resembles that of recent years.

Asian Americans comprise 16 percent of the admits, blacks make up 9 percent and Hispanics 7.8 percent.

Roughly two-thirds of the admits hail from public schools.

Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said the recent expansions in the financial aid program, which will result in nearly $100 million given to undergraduates next year, have attracted a larger and stronger applicant pool.

“We have the ability to reach out to outstanding students not just in the states but all over the world,” he said.

Fitzsimmons also pointed to increased recruiting efforts by admissions officers who are beginning their recruiting efforts earlier each year.

This month, Harvard’s admissions officers will visit 55 cities across the country to begin recruiting for the Class of 2007.

Director of Admissions Marlyn McGrath Lewis ’70-’73 said Harvard’s physical facilities—enhanced scientific labs, refurbished first-year dorms and newer building like the Barker Center—are also attractive to prospective applicants.

“The campaign to improve physical facilities is a major draw,” she said. “The residential system is comfortable and complete.”

Students who received good news yesterday will descend on Harvard later this month during pre-frosh weekend, scheduled for April 20-22. The admitted students must send their decision to Harvard’s admissions office by May 1.

—Staff writer Robert M. Annis can be reached at annis@fas.harvard.edu.