Harvard Accepts Record Low 6.2 Percent of Applicants to the Class of 2015

Editor's note: The article below was a breaking news report. An updated version of this article, which appeared in the March 31 print edition of The Crimson, can be found here, along with photography and video taken at the Office of Admissions.

Harvard College today offered admission to a record low 6.2 percent of the applicants to the class of 2015. This group of accepted students was selected from an application pool of nearly 35,000 students—more than applied in any previous year.

Notification letters were mailed shortly after noon today. Students who elected to receive their decisions online were sent emails beginning at 5 p.m. eastern time.

“Stepping back, we feel very good about the future ... You can’t help but feel optimistic when you look at an applicant pool like ours,” said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67. “It’s a big sign that American higher education has democratized.”

Students accepted to class of 2015 represent an increasingly diverse spectrum of students from around the country and the world—17.8 percent of the class is Asian-American, 11.8 percent is African-American, 12.1 percent is Latino, 1.9 percent is Native American, and 0.2 percent is Native Hawaiian. Approximately 20 percent of the admitted students are either foreign citizens, U.S. dual citizens, or U.S. permanent residents.

The financial aid budget increased to $160 million this year, and more than 60 percent of the class of 2015 is expected to benefit from an average need-based scholarship of more than $40,000. Under the provisions of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, students from families with a household income of less than $60,000 are able attend Harvard at no cost.

The College did not disclose the number of students given the opportunity to take a position on Harvard’s wait list. While Fitzsimmons said numbers vary from year to year, he said his office generally hopes to accept 50 to 125 students off the list.

Accepted students must notify the College whether they intend to enroll by May 1 in order to hold a place in the class.

The decline in the acceptance rate is consistent with the numbers at peer institutions. The acceptance rate for Princeton University’s class of 2015 was 8.39 percent, down from 8.8 percent last year. At Stanford University, 7.1 percent of applicants gained acceptance, a slight decrease from 7.2 percent the year before.

Check thecrimson.com for more updates.

—Staff writer Justin C. Worland can be reached at jworland@college.harvard.edu

This story has been revised to reflect the following clarification.

CLARIFICATION: MAR. 30, 2011

An earlier version of the Mar. 30 article "Harvard Accepts Record Low 6.2 Percent of Applicants to the Class of 2015" said that 20 percent of admitted students are foreign citizens. In fact, nearly 20 percent of the class is composed of foreign citizens, U.S. dual citizens, and U.S. permanent residents.

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