In line with the trend this at many universities this year, Harvard College received a record breaking 42,742 applications for the Class of 2022. This was the the fourth year in a row that the College received record breaking applications. This year exceeded last year by more than 3,000, or nearly 8 percent.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons attributed this increase, in part, to the College’s financial aid program. He said affordability was likely a high priority for many applicants.
“I think affordability and accessibility are critical and they become more critical, I think, for more people every year,” Fitzsimmons said.
The applicant pool is marked by an increase in students requesting aid from the College, with 75.5 percent applying for financial aid and 25.9 percent requesting an application fee waiver.
Women, making up 50.3 percent of the applicant pool, slightly outnumber men in this year’s group.
Applications from certain minority racial groups increased at a higher rate than that of the overall applicant pool. In particular, the College saw an an 18.7 percent increase in applications from African Americans and a 14.9 percent increase in those from Asian Americans.
Students continued to express interest in STEM concentrations – this year’s pool saw a 19.7 percent increase in prospective students who reported they were interested in studying computer science on their applications.
“There’s a lot of excitement out there about technology, computer science, engineering, and the applied sciences, generally,” Fitzsimmons said. “Given that, and given the changes that have taken place here it’s no wonder, in a lot of ways, there’s been such an increase.”
Geographic diversity in the applicant pool increased as well. There were greater numbers of applications from each region of the United States, with significant jumps in applications coming from the South. Applications from international students remained at roughly the same level.
With a record number of applications—and after the College’s announcement that it will accept fewer students to its regular decision pool for the Class of 2022—applicants may face a particularly competitive admissions process this year. Nine hundred sixty-four students were already accepted in December during the College’s early action round.
Fitzsimmons emphasized the combined quality and size of the applicant pool, and reiterated his office’s decision to admit fewer students to next year’s freshman class.
“We will be very conservative this year. We will be projecting a yield of somewhere in the mid-80s,” Fitzsimmons said.
The College will notify applicants of their admissions decisions on March 28. Admitted students will have until the national reply date of May 1 to accept or decline the offer.