Applications to the program increased significantly, to 843 from 630 in 2008. The number of students admitted also increased from 106, but Leopold said that there is no direct correlation between the number of applicants and the number admitted.
The Business School admissions staff mounted a marketing campaign over the past year, visiting nearly 60 undergraduate schools as of last spring.
At an April information session in Boylston Hall, Leopold emphasized that “this program was not designed for Harvard College.” Still, the 27 Harvard College students admitted represent an increase over last year’s number, when 22 entered the program.
“That is not a managed number,” Leopold said. “We are looking for people best suited to this program.” She noted that students in the program come from 51 colleges and universities.
The 2+2 Program, now in its second year, allows students to apply to HBS in their junior year. Those accepted work for two years after their college graduations before entering the Business School. This year’s 2+2 “cohort” will graduate from HBS in 2014.
According to Leopold, the program was designed to attract students for whom business school is not a traditional choice, such as those interested in science. Of the students notified of their acceptance on Tuesday, over 50 percent have educational backgrounds in engineering and natural sciences, according to a profile Leopold released to The Crimson.
Students from last year’s cohort have found positions at organizations as various as MTV Networks, Cisco Systems, and Teach for America, Leopold said.
Stephanie M. Kaplan ’10, who was admitted to the program, is hoping to spend her two years developing an online media startup, named Her Campus, that she began last year. After being admitted to HBS, she says she feels “more comfortable taking that risk now.”
Caleb L. Weatherl ’10, an admitted student and economics concentrator who has been heavily involved in politics on campus, said that no matter what his career goals are, an HBS education is valuable. Weatherl is also a Crimson editorial editor.
“The great thing about business school, particularly Harvard, is it certainly teaches a lot about business, but in some sense it’s a leadership school,” Weatherl said.
—Staff writer William N. White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.