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Nearly Half of Surveyed Male Harvard Freshmen Interested in Joining Final Clubs, Other Social Orgs

By Ella L. Jones and Nia L. Orakwue, Crimson Staff Writers

This is Part IV of The Crimson’s Class of 2027 survey series. Part I is here, Part II is here, and Part III is here. Full data and visualizations can be found here.

Even though recruitment for Harvard’s exclusive social organizations — final clubs — generally takes place in a student’s sophomore fall, the topic is top of mind for a number of members of the Class of 2027.

According to The Crimson’s annual survey of the freshman class, 37.8 percent of the class said they were “very interested” or “somewhat interested” in joining a final club, a sorority, or fraternity.

This figure stood at 46.5 percent for men who responded to The Crimson’s survey and 31.4 percent for women.

Interest in social organizations also varied by family income. Roughly 45 percent of freshmen whose parents annually earn $250,000 or more combined said they are somewhat or very interested in joining these clubs, while only 30.8 percent of students whose parental income is under $124,000 said the same.

Of students who attended private schools, 47.7 percent of students were interested in joining social organizations. This marked a sharp increase over students from public schools, with 31.5 percent of these students interested in social groups.

Surveyed students who were interested in final clubs and other social organizations were more likely to have cheated in an academic context, with 34.6 percent of those who were “very interested” in social clubs answering that they had previously cheated.

This fourth segment of The Crimson’s four-part survey of the Class of 2027 examines the lifestyle choices and behavior of this year’s freshmen.

Around 45.8 percent of students in the Class of 2027 completed The Crimson’s freshman survey. The survey, which was open from Aug. 21 until Sept. 23, included questions about their backgrounds, beliefs, political views, social media use, and the application process. Due to rounding, reported statistics may not total exactly 100 percent.

The Crimson did not account for potential selection bias in its analysis of the survey results.

Employment at Harvard and After

Nearly half of the Class of 2027 — or 44.6 percent of freshmen — said they intended to pick up a term-time job.

The percentage of those seeking a job was significantly lower among students who do not receive financial aid from the College, with 29.3 percent planning to work during the term.

In October, Harvard’s non-academic undergraduate workers voted to create the Harvard Undergraduate Workers Union-United Auto Workers. For many students at the College on financial aid, unionizing is a means of ensuring financial stability.

Fifty percent and 65.4 percent of students on partial or full financial aid, respectively, said they intend to start working during the term.

More than a quarter of incoming freshmen who responded to the survey, or 28.2 percent, anticipated attending a professional school in some capacity immediately after graduation. Another 12.4 percent anticipated entering academia, which would also require continued education.

Four percent of entering students anticipated working in consulting, 9.4 percent in finance, roughly 6 percent in technology, and 7.7 percent in government or politics.

The Crimson’s survey of the graduating Class of 2023 found that 22.1 percent of students ultimately pursued careers in finance, 12.1 percent in technology, and 19.6 percent in consulting. Just 2.5 percent of graduates answered that they were pursuing careers in government or politics.

When asked about their goals for 10 years after graduation, 18 percent of the Class of 2027 said they hope to pursue careers in politics or government. Almost 12 percent of students see themselves in academia in a decade, while 13.8 percent are interested in working in health care in some capacity.

Just 6.4 percent and 1.2 percent of students hope to work in finance and consulting 10 years post-graduation, respectively.

Sex, Drugs, & Alcohol

As in years past, the majority of the freshman class said they entered the College as virgins.

Nearly two-thirds, or 63.4 percent of respondents, said they had never had sex. For those who have had sex, 56.2 percent have had one sexual partner. A small majority of respondents reported first having sex in 11th grade.

The vast majority of the Class of 2027 had not engaged in using illicit substances before starting college — with the exception of alcohol. Only 40 percent of respondents said they had never consumed alcohol, and 12.3 percent of the incoming class said they had a form of fake identification — presumably to drink before their 21st birthdays. This marks a slight dip from the Class of 2025 which saw 14.6 percent of students reporting owning fake identification.

Marijuana surpassed tobacco or nicotine in popularity with freshmen. Of respondents, 72.7 percent said they had never smoked marijuana, versus 85 percent for tobacco and nicotine. This figure includes both cigarettes and e-cigarettes containing nicotine.

Cocaine proved to be the least popular drug among members of the Class of 2027, with less than a percent of respondents answering that they had used the drug.

Personal Life

More than half of women, or 52 percent, worry about experiencing sexual assault or harassment on campus. Four percent of male students and 71.4 percent of nonbinary or genderqueer students fear the same.

A third of students who said they are “very interested” or “somewhat interested” in joining social organizations also said they are concerned about experiencing sexual assault or harassment in college.

Eighty percent of respondents to the Class of 2027 survey said their greatest source of pressure is self-imposed, while 8.2 percent said they feel the most pressure from their parents or family, and 6.3 percent said they feel no pressure at all.

Roughly a third of students in the Class of 2027 have previously sought mental health counseling.

The top social media platforms among the freshmen class are Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat at 95.9 percent, 61 percent, and 60.7 percent, respectively. Nearly 42 percent of surveyed students used TikTok, and X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, is used by 24.2 percent of freshmen.

—Staff writer Ella L. Jones can be reached at Follow her on X @ejones8100.

—Staff writer Nia L. Orakwue can be reached at Follow her on X @nia_orakwue.

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