Acceptance Rate Falls to New Low

A record-low 6.9 percent of applicants have been accepted to the Harvard College Class of 2014.

The coveted fat envelopes will be mailed today to 2,110 students, the Office of Admissions announced earlier yesterday. Applicants will also receive their decisions via e-mail after 5 p.m. today.

Applications increased by about 5 percent this year, topping 30,000 for the first time. While the acceptance rate dropped by 0.1 percent, 64 more students received a ‘yes’ from Harvard in the initial round of decisions this year.

More than 60 percent of the accepted students are eligible to receive need-based financial aid from Harvard, with the average award totaling $40,000. Although some students’ financial aid applications are still incomplete or subject to change, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said that “there will almost certainly be a record percentage on financial aid.”

Next year’s financial aid budget will reach a new high of $158 million.

This year’s accepted class contains slightly more students who self-identify as Asian-American and African-American—18.2 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively—while the portion of students that identifies as Latino dropped marginally, from 10.6 percent last year to 10.3 percent this year.

The percentage of Native Americans in the admitted class saw the sharpest increase, jumping from 1.1 percent last year to 2.7 percent this year.

Fitzsimmons attributed the surge in Native American acceptances to two new efforts of the Harvard University Native American Program—a recruiting tour aimed at Native American students organized in conjunction with several other universities, and phone calls made by HUNAP to promising Native American high school students.

Admitted students hail from 79 countries, and international students comprise 9 percent of the class.

Drawn from an applicant pool that was 50.9 percent male, the admitted class is 52.4 percent male. A majority of last year’s admittees were male as well, but that entering class ultimately contained more women than men, since more women chose to accept the offer of admission.

Fitzsimmons said the growing reputation of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences caused more students to apply to Harvard this year, and 12.2 percent of the admitted students listed engineering as their intended concentration—up 2 percent from last year.

Roughly one-fourth of admitted students claimed an interest in the humanities—a 2.7 percent increase—while those planning to study the social sciences dropped from 24.6 percent last year to 21.3 percent this year.

Admitted students will receive invitations to visit campus from April 24 to 26. The admissions office predicts that 1,100 prospective students will participate in the April Visiting Program and another 200 will visit campus during the rest of the month.

Students may also be contacted via telephone by faculty, admissions and financial aid staff, and members of the Undergraduate Admissions Council, Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program, and Harvard Financial Aid Office over the next month as they evaluate their offers of admission.

An undisclosed number of students will be sent letters today telling them that they have been wait-listed. Fitzsimmons said that “we hope very much to take a substantial number” of students off the waitlist in May and June.

Fitzsimmons urged these students to provide the admissions office with additional information for the upcoming round of waitlist deliberations.

“If something good has happened to them since they applied, we would love to hear about it...from them and maybe from their counselors and teachers,” he said.

—Staff writer Julie M. Zauzmer can be reached at jzauzmer@college.harvard.edu.

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