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Class of '84 Boasts Lowest Sex Ratio

By Wendy L. Wall

Harvard will send letters of undergraduate admission to 2148 students, including the largest proportion of women ever, admissions officials announced yesterday.

The 1.55 to 1 male/female ratio of admits to the Class of '84 is the lowest since Harvard-Radcliffe admissions merger five years ago, William R. Fitzsimmons '67, director of Admissions, said yesterday.

A record 21 per cent of the students admitted to the Class of '84 are minorities, Fitzsimmons said.

Although nearly 800 more students applied this year than last, 101 fewer students were accepted, Fitzsimmons said, adding that this decrease reflectes a desire to prevent overcrowding in freshman dormitories.

Of the 13,846 applicants to the university this year, only 15.5 per cent were accepted, making this the most difficult year in history to gain admission to Harvard.

"We had to turn away 900 more students than ever before," L. Fred Jewett '57, dean of admissions and financial aid, said yesterday. "They included many qualified applicants so we felt the pressure more this year than ever before," he added.

While only 15.3 per cent of the males who applied were accepted, 15.8 per cent of the women gained admittance, making this the fourth year in the last five when the percentage of women admitted was slightly higher than that of the men.

Huh?

"We don't know how to explain it," Fitzsimmons said. "We think that maybe because women have to go through more barriers to get to the applicant pool, they are slightly better qualified. There are still many families and guidance counselors who will not encourage women to apply," he added.

The total number of students who applied this year increased 763 from last year's figure of 13,083, despite tuition increases.

"I think it reflects a sort of general interest in high quality institutions," Jewett said, adding, "Some of our increases occurred in areas a long distance away--there was a 20-per-cent increase in ap- Sex Ratios Class  M/F Ratio 1984  1.55 : 1 1983  1.74 : 1 1982  1.68 : 1 1981  1.8 : 1 1980  1.9 : 1 1979  2.3 : 1

plicants from Northern California and a similar jump in those from the South and Sothwest.

"This may reflect changing trends in students' interests or an increased willingness to go away from home," Jewet said.

Significantly more Asian Americans applied this year than last, and more were accepted. The number of Blacks who applied this year did not correspond to the increase in total applications, so slightly fewer were accepted. Other minority group acceptances remained approximately the same.

Fitzsimmons said the admittance of 351 children of alumni is "about normal.

plicants from Northern California and a similar jump in those from the South and Sothwest.

"This may reflect changing trends in students' interests or an increased willingness to go away from home," Jewet said.

Significantly more Asian Americans applied this year than last, and more were accepted. The number of Blacks who applied this year did not correspond to the increase in total applications, so slightly fewer were accepted. Other minority group acceptances remained approximately the same.

Fitzsimmons said the admittance of 351 children of alumni is "about normal.

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