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Judgment Day arrived for prospective members of the Class of 2000. And the gods judged harshly.

Acceptance letters were mailed at 12:01 a.m. yesterday to 1,985 secondary students across America. The class was chosen among a pool of 18,190 applicants, making Harvard's admission rate a paltry 10.9 percent--the lowest in College history.

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons '67 praised the students selected for the first class of the 21st century.

"This is a very, very impressive class in every way," Fitzsimmons said.

"Personal qualities of the group seem very strong," he said.

According to Fitzsimmons, The class reflects Harvard's commitment to assembling a diverse student body.

Women compose 45.4 percent of the group, which is the third largest percentage of women admitted in school history.

In addition, the incoming class is 16.4 percent Asian, 9.4 percent black, 8.5 percent Hispanic and 0.8 percent Native American.

Although the percentage of minority students accepted is down slightly from last year, Director of Undergraduate Minority Recruiting Roger Banks said his staff worked hard to attract minority applicants.

"We are very pleased with the results of our recruitment efforts," he said in a press release.

Fitzsimmons said he expects an increase in the number of accepted students who ultimately decide to enroll at Harvard because of new admissions policies at Yale, Princeton and Stanford.

This year, Yale and Princeton switched from offering non-binding early action to early decision policies, which require the student to enroll at the school immediately after being admitted. Stanford also maintains such a policy.

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