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75 Percent of Admits Will Attend Harvard

By Andrew A. Green

About 75 percent of students admitted to the class of 1999 will attend Harvard College this fall.

Director of Admissions Marlyn McGrath Lewis '70 said yesterday she was pleasantly surprised by the yield rate, which is about the same as last year's decade high total.

"This is a high yield, and because there is so much competition among colleges for students, the continued high yield is a pleasant surprise," Lewis said. "One would not be surprised by a somewhat lower yield."

The admissions office is aiming for a first-year class of around 1620 students for next year. Their goal for the class of 1998 was 1605 students, and last September, 1616 students enrolled.

Lewis said that decisions about students on the wait-list still need to be made because some students who decided to attend Harvard will change their decisions over the summer.

"It's a phenomenon called summer melt," Lewis said. "A few students who are planning to attend at this point will decide to defer. You can never tell for sure, so you always need a couple of extra students."

Lewis said the number of wait-list cases to be decided is about a dozen.

Lewis said that the combination of need-blind admissions and the commitment to providing financial aid to meet the total need of admitted students is an important factor in producing the College's high yield.

"Perhaps more obvious is the fact that we are absolutely committed to providing the opportunity for families to send their children here despite financial need," Lewis said. "But possibly more important is that when students choose to come here, they know that they will be with people who are talented enough to be here, not just those who can pay."

Lewis said that this facet of Harvard admissions is a subtle but important draw for students.

"When we ask students why they came, almost always, a main answer is that they valued being with talented and interesting students," Lewis said. "Since the only basis of admission is talent, Harvard is appealing to those who can pay as well as those who can't."

Women and minorities made slight gains in the class of '99, both up from record numbers last year.

The class of '99 is expected to have 728 womenand 866 men, up nearly one percentage point fromlast year's 721 to 890 ratio.

Records were again set for the yield amongminority groups. The number of African-Americansincreasing by four from last year's total to 149.

Lewis said that in spite of the efforts of theadmissions office, minority enrollment isdifficult to predict.

"We were pleased that we did so well withNative-Americans, AfricanAmericans, and PuertoRicans," Lewis said. "But we never know until theend how many will be strong enough to be admittedand how many will come.

The class of '99 is expected to have 728 womenand 866 men, up nearly one percentage point fromlast year's 721 to 890 ratio.

Records were again set for the yield amongminority groups. The number of African-Americansincreasing by four from last year's total to 149.

Lewis said that in spite of the efforts of theadmissions office, minority enrollment isdifficult to predict.

"We were pleased that we did so well withNative-Americans, AfricanAmericans, and PuertoRicans," Lewis said. "But we never know until theend how many will be strong enough to be admittedand how many will come.

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