Among the Ivy League, there is no university more coveted than Harvard, and a record low amount of high school seniors discovered just how precious a Harvard acceptance is. On Ivy League acceptance day, Thursday afternoon, March 31, 2016, at 5 p.m. thousands of anxious high school seniors found out if they were accepted to their choice university and they will join the privileged ranks of those select few that have any Ivy League education. Among the Ivies, Harvard kept its reputation as the most selective accepting only 2,037 students, a record low 5.22% out a historic high amount of 39,044 applications.
On Thursday’s regular admission date, only 1,119 students received acceptances, while an additional 918 students received acceptances in December as part of the early action program. This year’s 5.2% acceptance rate is down over a percent from last year’s then-record low. For the Class of 2019 Harvard had 5.33% acceptance rate with 1,990 students accepted out of 37,307 applicants.
The trend continues with a higher number of applications followed by lower acceptance rates. The Common App makes it easier for students to apply to multiple schools, and those in the middle class and above take their chances at more universities, and Harvard is the American dream of college education. Since the Class of 2015, the acceptance rates how have lowered from 6.2 percent to now 5.22%, except the Class of 2018, were the acceptance slightly rose only to fall in for the Class of 2019.
As is the tendency with the other Ivies, Harvard accepted a record high percentage of visible minority students including “African American and Asian American students.” As the Harvard Crimson, notes 14% of those accepted are African-American, and 22.1% are Asian-Americans. Additionally, 12.7% of those accepted are Latino, with 2.2% Native American, and 0.4% Native Hawaiians. White students have now become the minority with 48.6% of those accepted being White.
Race and the admissions process have become an issue for Harvard. The university previously had a lawsuit claiming discrimination against admitting Asian American students; the 2014 lawsuit is on hold. The Crimson explains part of the remedy consists of, “a group running for Harvard’s Board of Overseers request[ing] Harvard be more transparent in how it considers race in its admissions practices.”
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 commented on the increase in minorities to the Crimson, “We’re certainly gratified to see everything going in the right direction, because we know there are lots of talented students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds who ought to be looking at this place.”
While to the Harvard Gazette, Fitzsimmons explained, “Harvard’s financial aid program allows us to attract and bring together outstanding students from profoundly different walks of life who contribute enormously to our classroom and residential learning environments. For the Class of 2020 admissions, economic diversity has increased, and records were set for both African-American and Asian-American students.”
This year’s incoming class also is the most economically diverse, with 20% of students coming from families earning $65,000 a year or less. Those with than annual income will be eligible for Harvard’s new financial aid program the $2,000 “startup grant.” The program’s assistant director Mike Esposito says, “When students hear firsthand from students that Harvard is financially possible for those from modest income backgrounds, the message of access is personalized, and the dream of attending Harvard becomes real.” Additional facts about the incoming class, 48.4% are women and 15 percent first-generation college students.
Despite having the distinction of being the most selective Ivy, Harvard could not beat Stanford in desirability and the lowest acceptance rate of only 4.69 percent. On Friday, March 25, 2016, only 1,318 high school seniors received offers of admission from Stanford, the West Coast’s answer to the Ivy League. In combination with the 745 students accepted this past December, only 2,063 students received the exclusive invite to join Stanford University’s freshmen class of the fall of 2016.
The following is the remaining Ivy League Class of 2020 acceptance data:
Brown University: Brown had a 9% acceptance rate for the Class of 2020, with 2,919 students accepted out of 32,390 applicants, a record number. Brown is the exception having a higher acceptance than other Ivies this year after last year’s record low.
Columbia University: Columbia had a 6.04% acceptance rate for the Class of 2020, with 2,193 students accepted out of 36,292 applicants.
Cornell University: Cornell had a 13.96% acceptance rate for the Class of 2020, with 6,277 students accepted out of 44,966 applicants. Cornell has the highest acceptance rate of all the Ivies.
Dartmouth College: Dartmouth had a 10.52% acceptance rate for the Class of 2020, with 2,176 students accepted out of 20,675 applicants. Dartmouth is the only Ivy after Brown to admit more students than last year making it an exception.
Princeton University: Princeton had a 6.46% acceptance rate for the Class of 2020, with 1,894 students accepted out of 29,303 applicants.
The University of Pennsylvania: UPenn had a 9.4% acceptance rate for the Class of 2020, with 3,661students accepted out of 38,918 applicants. This year’s acceptance rate is “the lowest in the University’s history.”
Yale University: Yale had a 6.27% acceptance rate for the Class of 2020, with 1,972 students accepted out of a record 31,455 applicants.