A record-high 43,330 students applied for admission to the Harvard College Class of 2023, marking the fifth consecutive year of climbing application numbers.
“We are thrilled to once again see so many extraordinary students from throughout the nation and around the world apply to Harvard College,” Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said in a press release.
The total number of applicants this year is 1.4 percent greater than the number last year, when 42,749 students applied. That cycle — for admission to the Class of 2022 — was the first time the number of applications to the College exceeded 40,000 and marked an 8 percent increase in application numbers from its previous cycle.
Applications from certain minority racial groups grew at higher percentages than the applicant group as a whole, while other groups saw less dramatic increases. The number of Latinx applicants to the Class of 2023 increased by 3.4 percent from last year, and the number of Asian American applicants increased by 5.1 percent. The number of African American applicants increased by 1.1 percent.
Harvard faces an ongoing lawsuit brought by anti-affirmative action advocacy group Students for Fair Admissions over whether its race-conscious admissions policies discriminate against Asian Americans.
This year’s application cycle also saw greater diversity of family background and socioeconomic status. First-generation College applicants increased by 13.8 percent from last year. The number of applicants requesting a fee waiver also saw an increase of 15.5 percent.
The applicant pool this year comprises slightly more men than women, at 50.2 percent — a change from the previous application season, in which women made up 50.3 percent of applicants. Regional diversity also increased, especially from the South, according to the press release.
The academic interests of applicants also shifted, including an 11.6 percent increase in prospective computer science concentrators, a 5.1 percent increase in prospective social sciences concentrators, and a 4.2 percent increase in prospective humanities concentrators.
The College notified 935 early applicants of their acceptance to the Class of 2023 in December 2018. Regular decision applicants will be informed of their admissions decision on March 28. They will have until May 1 to decide if they will attend Harvard College. Visitas will be held a few days before, from April 27 to April 29.
Correction: Feb. 28, 2019
Due to incorrect information provided by Harvard, a previous version of this article incorrectly stated there was a decline in African American applicants. In fact, there was a 1.1 percent increase in African American applicants.