Harvard College received a record-breaking 42,742 applications for admission to the Class of 2022—setting a record for the fourth consecutive year and exceeding last year’s pool by more than 3,000.
This roughly 8 percent increase represents the first time the applicant pool numbers more than 40,000.
The 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. The increase in these early indicators of economic diversity comes 15 years after the launch of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, which aims to make the College affordable for all admitted students, regardless of their income.
Women, who make 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. These demographic changes come as the College continues to face legal scrutiny regarding its race-conscious admissions practices.
Continuing an upward trend in students interested in STEM concentrations over the past several years, this year’s pool saw a 19.7 increase in prospective students who reported they were interested in studying computer science on their applications.
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 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.
Several of the nation’s other top universities saw their applicant pools similarly break records this year. Yale received a record 35,305 applications, an increase of 7.3 percent from last year, according to the Yale Daily News. The Brown Daily Herald reported that Brown received a record 35,368, showing an 8 percent increase. And Dartmouth College received 22,005 applications, a 9.8 percent increase and also a new record, according to the Dartmouth.
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.
—Staff writer Delano R. Franklin can be reached at [email protected].
—Staff writer Samuel W. Zwickel can be reached at [email protected].