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Higher Yield Means Few Waitlist Admissions

By Justin C. Worland, Crimson Staff Writer

The yield for Harvard College’s class of 2015 increased to nearly 77 percent, up slightly from 75.5 percent last year, the University announced Thursday. Harvard’s yield, which measures what percentage of accepted students choose to attend, is typically among the highest in the nation.

In the same announcement, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said that he anticipates his office will admit approximately 10 to 15 students off the waitlist this year, with some decisions potentially coming as early as Tuesday. This number is far lower than the 50 to 125 Fitzsimmons has said his office generally hopes to admit each year.

“We try to create a class that will educate each other in dorms, in dining halls, in classrooms, and in extracurricular activities. [In this sense,] this class has the potential to be the greatest class in the history of Harvard,” he said, pointing to the ethnic, economic, and geographic diversity of the class of 2015.

The new class is currently 9.8 percent African American, 18.9 percent Asian American, 10.3 percent Latino, and 1.6 percent Native American.

Nearly 12 percent of the incoming students are citizens of other countries, making it the most international class in the history of the College. At over 90 percent, the yield for these international students was especially high this year, according to Fitzsimmons.

He also said that his office has beenespecially diligent about recruiting international students, writing personal notes to each of them this year.

Overall, Fitzsimmons attributes the high yield to a number of factors including the attention students and faculty members gave accepted students, financial aid, and a successful Visitas, the visiting program for admitted students.

“It was really a team effort,” he said.

Every waitlisted application will get a second look, according to Fitzsimmons. The admissions committee, he said, began meetings earlier this week to reevaluate applications.

“We’ll admit some, we’ll hold on some, and, for anyone who doesn’t have a chance at this point, we’ll let them go,” Fitzsimmons said of his office’s handling of the waitlist at this juncture.

With nearly 35,000 applicants, this March the College accepted a record low 6.2 percent of first-year applicants for the class of 2015.

More than 60 percent of the students in the class of 2015 have been offered need based financial aid. The average scholarship totals more than $40,000.

Peer institutions have not yet released their yield numbers. In past years, Harvard has had the highest yield of its Ivy League peers.

—Staff writer Justin Worland can be reached at


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