While Byerly Hall officials are burning the midnight oil to evaluate 18,687 applications to the College, their counterparts at Yale will have a lighter workload this spring.
The total marks a new record number of College applicants--the ninth such record in ten years.
"We really are very pleased," said Harvard Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons '67. "To have a record level at this point is obviously a sign that things are going well."
Fitzsimmons said there were three principal reasons for the continuing expansion of interest in Harvard: the expanded financial aid program announced last year, innovative recruiting efforts and continued improvement to Harvard's physical facilities.
Yale, meanwhile, received only 12,809 files, down 410 from the previous year.
Yale Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Richard Shaw said that publicity from the high-profile murder of student Suzanne Jovin last year could have been one factor leading to the smaller applicant pool at his school.
"If there was widespread national press, it could have an impact on people's perceptions on issues of security," Shaw told the Yale Daily News. He said separately that he does not believe the smaller pool will decrease quality of the accepted class.
According to the Harvard admissions office, more than 55 percent of Harvard's applicants had scores of 1,400 or higher on their SATs. Nearly 1,700 scored a perfect 800 on the verbal portion of the exam, and almost 1,900 scored 800 on the SAT math section. Just under 3,000 were valedictorians of their high schools.
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