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(58,702 posts)
Thu Dec 28, 2023, 12:14 PM Dec 2023

Harvard Early Applications Take a Dive

December 19, 2023

Harvard Early Applications Take a Dive

By Liam Knox

Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. Early applications to the university dropped by 17 percent this fall.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Early undergraduate applications to Harvard fell by 17 percent this fall, according to data shared by the university. Harvard’s early-action program drew 7,921 applicants this cycle, compared to 9,553 last year.

It’s a marked decline amid a sea of rising troubles for the institution. Harvard came under fire earlier this month for President Claudine Gay’s responses during a congressional hearing on campus antisemitism. And this summer the university lost a landmark Supreme Court case on affirmative action, resulting in a nationwide ban on the practice.

The news also comes as early admissions policies are under renewed scrutiny; many critics believe they give priority to wealthy, white students. However, nationwide early applications increased from pre-pandemic levels by 38 percent this fall, according to preliminary Common App data provided to Inside Higher Ed.

Harvard admitted 692 students via early action, a little less than 9 percent of the pool. The university did not release the racial or demographic breakdown of those students, as it did last year.
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Harvard Early Applications Take a Dive (Original Post) mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2023 OP
Nobody wants to go to a school that has antisemitism jimfields33 Dec 2023 #1
Early action extra risky with FAFSA delays and changes JT45242 Dec 2023 #2
You are correct! MyMission Dec 2023 #3
Early admit requests down? Fine. Igel Jan 2024 #4


(17,141 posts)
1. Nobody wants to go to a school that has antisemitism
Thu Dec 28, 2023, 12:54 PM
Dec 2023

in their professors. Good for students to chose other schools.


(2,490 posts)
2. Early action extra risky with FAFSA delays and changes
Thu Dec 28, 2023, 01:18 PM
Dec 2023

Early action binds the student if they are accepted regardless of the financial aid package offered. With changes to FAFSA, that makes it risky for middle class and upper middle class students who cannot afford full freight if aid is too low.

My son is a senior in high school this year and several of his colleges have sent multiple emails and snail mail encouraging him to switch to early decision. It gives them number and money security, but is a total no go for us because financial aid will be a big part of the decision as to where he goes. We're upper middle class, make too much for most grants but not enough to just write a big check. So, that will be part of the story.


(1,867 posts)
3. You are correct!
Thu Dec 28, 2023, 01:33 PM
Dec 2023

I worked in academic administration, admissions and financial aid for many years.

Early decision especially appeals to students who desperately want to attend a specific school. They won't get the same offer of financial aid, less than if they'd applied regular admission. I'd often counsel students to do 2 years at a local or state college and then apply to transfer to their dream school. 2 years private tuition is costly enough.

Please note: for both early and regular admission
You can and should always request additional aid once the financial aid package has been offered. Ask if they can do any better.
Counselors will reevaluate and may be able to add a bit more to the package.


(35,705 posts)
4. Early admit requests down? Fine.
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 02:31 AM
Jan 2024

It happens.

Not being transparent with the 9% admitted?

1. It's a private college. They owe us nothing.

2. They get crap-loads of $ from us. WTH?

Within recent memory, Harvard had affirmative-admits that looked nothin like "America." If you were AA with ancestors here 130 years ag ago ... Whatever. Child of immigrants who were professionals ... "affirmative action." Hence President Obama. He fit the profile; his wife did not at the top tier 1+ schools. Transparency hurt them. Bad.

We the People have standards.

They, the Ivy League, have theirs.

They overlap. But on average they are not the same. Sadly. For the offended elite.

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