Harvard College sent out more rejection letters than ever before at 12:01 a.m. this morning, accepting only 10.7 percent of the record 19,009 applicants for a place in the Class of 2005.
For the 12,914 students who applied regular decision, the rate of admission was slightly lower, at 10.6 percent. Over half of the class of 2005 was admitted under the early action process; they comprise 53.4 percent of the class.
In the biggest applicant pool Harvard has seen yet, the 2,401 admitted students to the Class of 2005 also had the largest percentage of women ever in its ranks, according to Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons '67.
Women will likely comprise 49% of the incoming class, reflecting the smallest gender gap an entering class has ever seen.
"It's hard not to sound like a broken record because in recent years we've had a record numbers of applicants," Fitzsimmons said. "We are looking not simply at the people we admitted but at the most promising members of this generation."
The applicant pool had 2,900 valedictorians, and two-thirds of those vying for a spot in the class of 2005 were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. About 55 percent of the candidates scored higher than 1400 on their SATs. Approximately 2,000 scored an 800 on the SAT math portion and 1,700 had perfect verbal scores.
"We're extremely impressed not simply with the statistical achievements but by the people we found as we read the essays and teacher reports," Fitzsimmons said.
The 35 admissions officers began reading early action applications in late October, starting the process that lasts until the end of March.
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