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Harvard College Receives Record-High 57,000 Applications, Delays Admissions Release Date

The Harvard College Admissions Office delayed its regular decision release date by roughly a week due to a 42 percent surge in applications this year.
The Harvard College Admissions Office delayed its regular decision release date by roughly a week due to a 42 percent surge in applications this year. By Kathryn S. Kuhar
By Vivi E. Lu and Dekyi T. Tsotsong, Crimson Staff Writers

More than 57,000 students applied for a spot in Harvard College’s Class of 2025, marking a record high and forcing the Admissions Office to push back its decision release date by roughly a week, the office announced Thursday.

The College received roughly 42 percent more applications than last year, when 40,248 students applied for admission to the Class of 2024. This year’s record-high number of applicants comes two years after the Class of 2023 set the previous record with 43,330 applicants.

The Admissions Office notified applicants on Thursday that it would delay its admissions decision release date to April 6 due to the influx in applicants. Harvard released regular admissions decisions for the Class of 2024 on March 26, 2020.

Harvard College spokesperson Rachael Dane wrote in an email that admissions officers require more time to thoroughly review all of this year’s applicants.

“Harvard conducts a wide-ranging review of every application in its whole person admissions process,” Dane wrote. “More time is needed to ensure that all admissions decisions can be conducted in the same careful and comprehensive manner as in the past.”

Of the more than 57,000 applicants to the Class of 2025, 10,086 students applied early action and 747 were accepted. Those numbers mark a record-high number of early applicants and a record-low acceptance rate — 7.4 percent — for the early admissions cycle. Harvard deferred roughly 80 percent of early applicants to the regular admissions round.

Following the release of early admissions decisions this past December, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons '67 said in an interview he believed the significant increase in the number of applicants was due to Harvard's robust financial aid program, its online recruiting efforts, and its decision to make standardized tests optional.

Though it was inundated with early action applications to the Class of 2025, the Admissions Office did not delay the release of early admission decisions.

Given the push back of regular admissions decisions, the College will give admitted students two additional days to decide if they will accept their spot in Harvard’s Class of 2025. Students have until May 3 at 11:59 p.m. to accept or decline their spot in the incoming freshman class.

—Staff writer Vivi E. Lu can be reached at

—Staff writer Dekyi T. Tsotsong can be reached at

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