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Harvard College admitted 3.41 percent of applicants to the Class of 2027, marking the second-lowest admissions rate in the College’s history.
The College’s Admissions Office notified 1,220 students of their acceptances in the regular decision cycle at 7 p.m. Thursday. The admitted students join 722 applicants accepted through the College’s early action program in December, totaling 1,942 admitted students from a pool of 56,937 applications.
This year’s acceptance rate reflects a slight increase from last year’s record-low acceptance rate of 3.19 percent, with a 7 percent decrease in the total number of applications from last year’s all-time high of 61,220 applicants.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said in an interview Thursday that he believes the Class of 2027, like every admitted class, is “unique.”
“Our admissions committee would say the proof in all this is the individuals we recruited, first of all — from around the country and around the world — and then ended up over a long period of time, admitting,” Fitzsimmons said.
“Now, of course, we hope they’ll choose to come here,” he added.
African American or Black students comprise 15.3 percent of applicants admitted to the Class of 2027, a decrease from 15.5 percent last year. The proportion of Latinx students admitted dropped to 11.3 percent from 12.6 percent in the year before. Just over 2 percent of admits are Native American, a drop from 2.9 percent last year. Native Hawaiian students made up 0.5 percent of accepted students this year, a drop from 0.8 percent last year.
Harvard admitted the highest ever proportion of Asian American applicants at 29.9 percent, marking a 2.1 percentage point increase from the 27.8 percent accepted to the Class of 2026.
“It’s been part of a long-term trend,” Fitzsimmons said. “The percentages have been going up steadily. It’s not a surprise.”
The uptick comes in advance of the Supreme Court’s decision on a lawsuit against Harvard brought by Students for Fair Admissions, an anti-affirmative action group that claims the College’s race-conscious admissions policies discriminate against Asian American applicants.
Legal scholars widely expect the Court’s strong conservative majority to overturn affirmative action, with a decision expected in late spring or summer.
Students admitted to the Class of 2027 come from all 50 states and 102 countries. Roughly 22 percent of admits hail from the Mid-Atlantic, 17.4 percent from the South, 15.9 percent from New England, 17 percent from the Western/Mountain region, 10.1 percent from the Midwest, and 15.8 percent from U.S. territories and abroad.
After the U.S., the countries with the highest numbers of permanent residents admitted to the Class of 2027 include Canada with 44 admitted students, the United Kingdom with 24 students, and China with 16 students. The College also admitted 12 residents of Australia, 10 from Italy, eight residents each from Germany, Turkey, and India, and seven residents of Ukraine.
For the sixth consecutive year, women make up at least half of the admitted class. 53.6 percent of students identify as women, a decrease from 54.2 percent last year. 32 admitted students identify as nonbinary.
This year’s admitted class also includes 23 veterans, a jump from 18 veterans accepted last year, amid Harvard’s campaign to increase veteran recruitment. 43 students expressed interest in the ROTC program, a slight increase from 40 students in each of the last two admitted classes.
Roughly 28 percent of admitted students intend to concentrate within social sciences, 17.4 percent intend to concentrate in biological sciences, 16 percent in the humanities, 9.5 percent in engineering, 8.8 percent in Computer Science, 6.8 percent in the physical sciences, and 6.5 percent in math. The remaining students, around 6.7 percent of applicants, were undecided.
For the second year in a row, Harvard expanded its financial aid policy for low- and middle-income families. The cost to attend Harvard College will be free for families with annual incomes falling below $85,000, an increase from last year’s threshold of $75,000.
The College also announced that for the 2023-2024 academic year, the total cost of attendance would increase by 3.5 percent to $79,450 for students not receiving need-based financial aid.
The Admissions and Financial Aid office estimated that 55 percent of admits will qualify for need-based grants, reducing costs for families to $13,000 annually. An estimated 19 percent of accepted students qualified for Pell Grants, a decrease from 20.5 percent last year.
Fitzsimmons said that the changes to Harvard’s financial aid initiative were “revolutionary.”
“You cannot pick up the newspaper today without looking at people’s concern about inflation and all kinds of issues in the world,” Fitzsimmons said. “In that context, this is again, to me, part of a stunning revolution.”
This marks the College’s third test-optional admissions cycle, which allows students to apply without submitting standardized test scores. The Admissions Office lifted its testing requirement in June 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and announced in December 2021 that the policy will extend through applicants to the Class of 2030.
When asked about the future of Harvard’s test-optional policy, Fitzsimmons said it is “too early to tell.”
“We put it out there that we would be test-optional through the Class of 2030 and that seems realistic,” he added. “We continue to look at what’s been happening and we’ll have plenty of evidence to make a good decision when the time comes.”
The Class of 2027 will have the chance to explore campus during Visitas — the College’s annual admitted students weekend — from April 23 to 24. “In some ways, the opportunity they have to learn from each other even during the two days of Visitas will make the biggest difference in terms of whether or not they’ll come,” Fitzsimmons said.
Admitted students have until May 1 to accept or decline their offer to join the College’s Class of 2027.
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