The number of freshmen accepting sophomore status is expected to jump more than 50 percent this year, as the last of the projected 185 advanced standing applicants submit their plans this week.
Officials attribute the marked increase--up from 123 last year--in part to a 100-person rise in freshmen eligible for sophomore standing. Officials at the Office of Special programs said the number of eligible freshmen jumped from 375 last year to 475 this year.
Advanced standing allows students the opportunity to receive a bachelor's degree in three years. Students frequently take the option to save $16,000 in academic fees or to get an early start on graduate work.
Carol Thorn, a staff assistant in the special programs office, said she thought the increase in freshmen eligible for advanced standing can be attributed to a heightened awareness of the option and to students increasing tendency to fulfill College requirements with Advanced Placements tests.
Applications are subject to review by the Administrative Board, which generally approves all requests.
Students can become eligible for sophomore standing by showing mastery in three separate fields, either by AP tests or by international examinations, such as the International Baccalaureate or the British A-levels.
Special programs Director Katherine Auspitz '63 said that students who accept sophomore standing are not required to graduate in three years, but that about one in four will do so.
Students taking the fourth year at Harvard have the options of studying or traveling abroad, fulfilling honors requirements, taking graduate-level courses for later credit, or earning a master's degree in some fields