Harvard College faces a setback as applications drop by 5% compared to the previous year. This decline coincides with a turbulent period marked by the resignation of its president and a significant legal defeat at the Supreme Court.

The university disclosed that 54,008 students applied for admission to the freshman class for the upcoming fall semester. This marks the second consecutive year of declining undergraduate applications for Harvard, down from 61,220 two years ago when standardized testing requirements were waived due to the pandemic.

In contrast, rival Yale University reported a record-breaking 57,465 applicants, representing a 10% increase from the previous year.

In December, Harvard revealed a 17% decrease in applications for non-binding early admissions. The exact cause of this decline remains unclear, raising concerns about Harvard's reputation amidst allegations of antisemitism on campus. Additionally, the university grappled with the ramifications of a Supreme Court ruling prohibiting the consideration of race in admissions.

“Regular applications for fall 2024 were due Jan. 1. The next day, Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned from her post after she was accused of plagiarism and widely criticized for her testimony about antisemitism at the college at a congressional hearing in December,” reports Economic Times.

In adherence to the Supreme Court ruling, Harvard announced it would not access self-reported information about the race and ethnicity of applicants until the conclusion of the admissions process. However, the university provided other insights into the incoming class of 2028, set to begin their academic journey at the Cambridge, Massachusetts campus in the fall semester.

Harvard admitted 1,937 students to the class, representing 3.6% of applicants. The admitted cohort comprises approximately 53% women and 47% men, with the Mid-Atlantic region contributing the highest number of students, albeit slightly down from the previous year.

Students from families with an income of $85,000 or less will receive full financial support. The total cost of attendance, including tuition, housing, food, and fees, is slated to increase by 4.3% to $82,866 for the 2024-2025 academic year for families not receiving need-based aid. Notably, nearly a quarter of students attend with no parental contribution, according to the university.

The deadline for accepting admission offers from Harvard, known as the wealthiest college in the United States, is May 1.

At a Glance

  • Harvard College sees a 5% drop in applications amidst turmoil.
  • Yale University reports a 10% increase in applicants
  • Concerns over antisemitism allegations affect Harvard's reputation.
  • Harvard President resigns amidst controversy.
  • Despite fewer applications, Harvard admits 1,937 students; financial support offered to low-income families.