Nearly 83 percent of students admitted to Harvard College’s Class of 2023 accepted their offers, an increase from the Class of 2022, in which 81.7 percent of admitted students accepted their offers, the College announced Thursday.
A record-high 43,300 students applied to the Class of 2023 and 1,950 received offers of admission for a record-low acceptance rate of 4.5 percent.
“Harvard is indebted to the many undergraduates, faculty, and alumni/ae who have helped attract so many of the nation’s and world’s promising students,” Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said in a press release. “That outreach and guidance provide the critical difference by informing prospective students of the robust opportunities that await them in Cambridge.”
The yield rate has only topped this percentage once since 1969 — in 2017, when 84 percent of admits joined the Class of 2021. As a result, no students were accepted off the waitlist that year and 28 freshmen had to be housed in DeWolfe, a building traditionally reserved for upperclassmen. The press release indicated that “only a small number of students” will be admitted off the waitlist this year.
Fitzsimmons’s office decided to admit fewer students to the Class of 2022 in hopes of retaining the ability to accept students off the waitlist. The total number of students admitted into the Class of 2023 was slightly less than that of the Class of 2022, even though the number of applicants increased.
The press release cited financial aid as a crucial consideration for “a large segment of those enrolling in the Class of 2023.” The average family contribution for students receiving need-based financial aid is $12,000.
“Harvard’s financial aid program has continued to open the doors to low- and middle-income students,” Director of Financial Aid Jake Kaufmann said in the release.
More than half of the entering class applied for financial aid and 20 percent qualified for the low-income portion of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative. More than 23.3 percent requested application fee waivers.
The press release also credited efforts by alumni, the Undergraduate Admissions Council, the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program, the Harvard First Generation Program and Harvard College Connection for this year’s high yield. Some selling points those groups offered included a “robust advising system,” 130 freshman seminars, research opportunities, 49 secondary fields, and a revised General Education program.
The incoming class comprises a record-high 25.6 percent Asian American students. This record enrollment comes amidst ongoing litigation brought against Harvard by anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions alleging that the College discriminates against Asian American applicants. African American students make up 13.1 percent of the entering class, while Latinx students comprise 11.8 percent and Native Americans and Native Hawaiians together make up 2.2 percent.
International students constitute 13.1 percent of the class, and 14.5 percent of the class are first-generation college students.
Women and men were roughly even in the incoming class. In addition, six veterans and 28 students who expressed an interest in ROTC are among the members of the Class of 2023.
Prospective social science concentrators make up 26.1 percent of the incoming class, while 19 percent were interested in the biological sciences, 16 percent in the humanities, and 10.5 percent in engineering.
Even as the 2023 admissions cycle draws to a close, the Admissions Office is already looking to next year’s class.
“Recruiting for next year’s Class of 2024 is already underway,” Director of Admissions Marlyn E. McGrath ’70-’73 said in a press release. “We have communicated with thousands of prospective students through electronic and social media and our outreach efforts are more multifaceted than ever before. Recruitment ‘season’ truly never ceases.”
—Staff Writer Camille G. Caldera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @camille_caldera.