Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Harvard Received 39,044 Applications for Class of 2020

Harvard College received 39,044 applications for admission to its Class of 2020—setting a new record for admissions the second year in a row and surpassing last year’s 37,305 total applications.

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said he attributed the 4.6 percent increase in the number of applicants in part to targeted recruitment aimed at students who might not otherwise consider Harvard, through student and alumni-led programs such as the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative and Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program. According to a press release, close to 25 percent of this year’s applicants received an application fee waiver because of “financial hardship.”

Fitzsimmons also said headline-grabbing donations to Harvard from former Microsoft CEO Steve A. Ballmer ’77 and hedge fund magnate John A. Paulson increased Harvard's visibility and could have factored into the application increase.

“All of this helps gets the word out for us, not just around the country but also around the world,” Fitzsimmons said.

The increased number of applications was accompanied by deepening interest in a variety of academic areas. Director of Admissions Marlyn E. McGrath said in a press release that applicants interested in studying the humanities had increased by 7.6 percent, continuing an upward trajectory.

“In some ways, you could argue we’ve been doubling down on the humanities in the past decade or so,” Fitzsimmons said, adding that recent admissions presentations and online information for applicants have highlighted Harvard’s strengths in those fields.

“Too often people are worried too much about what that first job will be after graduation and not enough about being educated broadly,” he said. “We think the humanities are vitally important for everybody.”

The number of applicants considering a concentration in Computer Science increased sharply, by 22.1 percent, which McGrath said may have been due to the online popularity of the course Computer Science 50: “Introduction to Computer Science I.”

Fitzsimmons added that increased resources at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences—which was renamed for Paulson last year after he donated $400 million to establish the school’s endowment—as well as the accomplishments of former Harvard students in the tech industry, like Ballmer and Facebook CEO Mark E. Zuckerberg, provide “a very persuasive set of possibilities” for students contemplating careers in engineering and computer science.

While applicants’ stated academic interests changed, the minority racial and ethnic composition of the applicant pool barely budged from last year’s numbers: 21.1 percent identified as Asian American, 12.2 percent as Latino, 10.6 percent as African American, and two percent as Native Americans and Native Hawaiians. The gender composition of the applicant pool was split nearly even, with women making up 49.3 percent of this year’s applicants.

“There is intense competition for top students of all kinds, including minority students,” Fitzsimmons said. He called Harvard’s efforts to recruit qualified minority students “very aggressive,” but added that many other colleges and universities do the same.

“If everybody is doing that every year, it’s hard to move the needle very far in one year,” Fitzsimmons said, adding that the more diverse “alumni and alumnae” the College graduates, the more likely they will help recruit and interview applicants to future Harvard classes.

Harvard’s peer institutions also reported new highs in their application pools. Yale received 31,439 applications, according to the Yale Daily News, while the Daily Princetonian reported that Princeton saw 29,313 applications. Both numbers of applicants were record totals for their respective schools.

Harvard has already offered admission to 918 students to the Class of 2020 through its Early Action program. Only 14.8 percent of early applicants were accepted in December—the lowest early acceptance rate since the program was reinstated in 2011.

Last year the College accepted a record low number of applicants from its admissions pool, just 5.3 percent of 37,305 applications.

The Crimson was granted early access to applicant statistics and an interview with Fitzsimmons under the condition that it not release the information until Tuesday morning.

—Staff writer Aidan F. Langston can be reached at aidan.langston@thecrimson.com Follow him on Twitter @AidanLangston

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Princeton Received 29,313 Applications for Class of 2020

The Office of Admission has received and processed a record applicant pool of 29,313 applicants for the Class of 2020, the highest in the University’s history, Dean of Admissions Janet Rapelye said.

The applicant pool for the class of 2020 marks an increase of 7.4 percent from last year’s pool of applicants, according to Rapelye.

A total of 27,290 applications were received for the Class of 2019, of which  1,908 students, or 6.99 percent, were admitted.

The application numbers are  yet to be analyzed for outstanding trends and specific metrics, Rapelye said. Rapelye added that the staff of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is currently reading and evaluating applications for the Class of 2020.

The number of applications has remained relatively constant since 2010, ranging between 26,000 and 27,000. The Class of 2020′s significant increase in number of applications marks a departure from this pattern.

The University has already admitted 785 students, or 18.6 percent, from a pool of 4,229 candidates for the Class of 2020 through the single-choice early action program, representing the largest number of early-admits in the University’s recent history, according to Rapelye. The admitted students come from 33 countries and 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. 11 percent of the admitted students are international students and 42 percent of the admitted students are U.S. students from diverse backgrounds.

Rapelye also noted that this was the first year that more women than men were accepted during early action. She also expects financial need to be consistent with that of previous years.

The Class of 2019 saw 767 of 3,850 students admitted through early action, for a 19.9 percent acceptance rate. The previous year, 714 of 3,854 students were admitted through early action for the Class of 2018, for a 18.5 percent acceptance rate, compared with 18.3 percent for the Class of 2017 and 21.1 percent for the Class of 2016.

Of the students offered admission for the class of 2019, 52 percent were men and 48 percent were women, and 49 percent identified as people of color. Of those, 10 percent were African-American, 12 percent were Hispanic, less than one percent was Native American or Alaskan Native and 23 percent were Asian. The percentages of males and females admitted were about the same as last year.

Harvard College accepted 14.8 percent of the 6,173 early action applicants for the Class of 2020, marking the lowest early acceptance rate since Harvard reinstated its early action program in 2011.

Yale College has accepted 795 early action applicants for the Class of 2020. Fifty-three percent of the applicants were deferred for reconsideration in the spring, and 29 percent were denied admission; 1 percent of the applications received were withdrawn or incomplete.

Both Harvard and Yale have not released regular applicant pool numbers.

Rapelye said she expects to release admissions decisions at 5 p.m. on March 31. Admitted students to the University’s Class of 2020 have until May 1 to respond to their offer.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Yale Received 31439 Applications for Class of 2020

Yale has received 31,439 total applications for the class of 2020 — the highest number submitted for any individual class in University history.

The number of applications surpassed the 31,000 mark for the first time ever, exceeding the previous record of 30,922 applications for the class of 2018. While the number of early action applications remained relatively stable this year at around 4,700 — the same as last year — applications to the class of 2020 overall are up by 1,132 from the last admissions cycle.

Despite the increase, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said Yale values the overall quality of the applicant pool rather than sheer quantity of applications received.

“The goal is not to get more applications, but we’re always happy to see such strong interest in Yale College,” Quinlan said. “It’s more important to have the right 30,000 applications than to get more than 30,000, and I think there was some really positive growth in the applicant pool.”

Quinlan also noted that long-term trends in application data are more important than minor fluctuations from year to year. This year’s application numbers represent a 49 percent increase from the 21,101 applications Yale received for the class of 2009, he said. Quinlan attributed the massive increase to greater mobility of top secondary school students and technological changes to the admissions process, like more widespread use of the online Common Application.

Quinlan added that a goal for next year will be to continue raising awareness of Yale’s affordability among prospective students.

In addition to the overall increase in the regular applicant pool, the University also saw a 10 percent increase in applications from students identifying as African-American. Quinlan declined to specify the total number of applicants of that cohort, as it has traditionally been the University’s policy not to release that information.

The rise in applications from African-Americans is part of a long-standing trend of increasing minority student interest in Yale. Since 2013, the number of applications from African-American students has increased by 36 percent. For students who identify as members of a minority racial or ethnic group, that number has increased 18 percent in the same period. By comparison, the total number of applications from high school students in the United States has risen by 5 percent.
But Director of Outreach and Recruitment Mark Dunn ’07 said it is impossible to attribute an increase in applications — either overall or from a specific group — to one particular outreach strategy. However, he said the increasing diversity of the applicant pool aligns with Yale’s outreach philosophy, which focuses on reaching communities where students have not typically considered schools like Yale. Efforts to increase the diversity of the applicant pool include the Yale Ambassadors program, which sends current students to high schools to speak with standout students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and the Multicultural Open House, which invites students and their families to campus to learn about Yale’s academic and cultural offerings.
“One of the most important messages we share is that Yale’s close-knit and supportive communities are strengthened by their diversity,” Dunn said. “And more than anything, I think, it is these communities that draw prospective students to Yale.”

Despite a turbulent fall semester which saw campus demonstrations over complaints of a hostile racial atmosphere at Yale, students interviewed said they were not surprised to hear of the large increase in applications from African-Americans, as well as overall.

“I think that students of color and students who are on the liberal side of the spectrum saw the inherent problems on campus and the demonstrations that students at Yale underwent and saw it as a sign that Yale was a place that encouraged student activism and that students were proactive about creating an environment where they could thrive and feel at home,” said Isaac Scobey-Thal ’19.
Sam Bowers ’18 agreed that the turmoil would actually be positive for Yale. He said the dialogue on campus was a sign that there is work in progress to make the campus more welcoming and that there is an opportunity for students to make a difference by bringing about that change themselves.

Scobey-Thal added that the steps taken by University President Peter Salovey to address the situation — which included increased funding to the cultural centers, increased mental health resources for students of color and reforms to financial aid — likely made the University even more attractive for minority applicants.

“What happened in the fall exposed issues on campus, but it also showed that we had a student body who was willing to fight for what they believed in,” Ree Ree Li ’16 said.

Li added that increased administrative support for ethnic studies courses and the promulgation of “teach-ins” — educational events where students can learn about issues related to race and ethnicity — could have contributed to a more favorable view of Yale.

The University of Pennsylvania also received a record number of applications for its class of 2020, up 4 percent since last year to 38,792. Other Ivy League schools have not yet made their application data publicly available.

Admissions decisions for the Yale class of 2020 will be released on March 31 along with those from the other Ivy League schools.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Penn Received 38792 Applications for Class of 2020

Penn’s Class of 2020 received the highest number of applications in University history.

In total, there were 38,792 applicants to the Class of 2020, from both the early and regular decision rounds. The number of applications Penn received has increased 4 percent from last year and 22.5 percent from five years ago.

“I want to reiterate that applications do not increase every year,” Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said in an email, calling this year’s increase “impressive.”

For the second year in a row, the deadline for the Penn regular decision application was Jan. 5, four days later than the traditional Jan. 1 deadline. Previously, the deadline had only been extended in the case of extenuating circumstances, such as Common Application glitches in 2014, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Meanwhile, this year’s deadline was not extended, but set as Jan. 5 from the beginning of the application process.

“Last year I was going to make our deadline for regular decision on January 5 so it would no longer be on a holiday when the University was closed,” Furda said. “We made the deadline last year and stayed with that deadline.”

Other colleges have also started setting later deadlines for their applications — including Duke University, which was Jan. 3 this year, and Johns Hopkins, which was Jan. 4.

Brian Taylor, director of the private college counseling practice Ivy Coach, attributed the later deadline to an increasingly common strategy among colleges to increase the number of applicants to the school.

“Penn is not the only school to do this. It’s been a trend for the last three years. It started with Hurricane Sandy, but now schools just do it with no excuses and are doing it just to secure more applicants,” Taylor said.

Taylor does not believe that the later deadline changes the way most students apply to schools like Penn and attracts only procrastinators.

Anirudh Prabu, a regular decision applicant to the Class of 2020, thought that the Jan. 5 deadline was helpful as it allowed him to apply to all of the schools with Jan. 1 deadlines first, and then gave him more time to work on the Penn essay. Eric Teichner, another regular decision applicant to the Class of 2020, did not feel as if the deadline changed his application process to Penn.

“I started my application pretty early, so I had it in pretty early as well. I did submit on the 5th but it didn’t really affect how I was planning my application,” Teichner said.

Results for regular decision applicants will be released by April 1 this year.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Northwestern Received 35034 Applications for Class of 2020

Northwestern broke its previous record for the highest number of applications received this year, drawing 35,034 first-year applications.
Prospective students had to submit their Regular Decision applications to the University by Jan 1., adding an additional 32,012 applications to the already 3,022 students who applied Early Decision. The combination of Early Decision and Regular Decision applications went up 9 percent this year, said associate provost for university enrollment Michael Mills, and the University eclipsed its previous record set two years ago with 33,674 applications.
Mills said he expects the final acceptance rate to be about 11 percent. Mills attributes the higher application numbers to NU excelling in distinguishing itself from other schools.
“We have had a more focused message about what we think is unique about the undergraduate experience here at Northwestern,” Mills said. “We’re doing a better job of describing to people what makes studying here different from other places.”
In addition to establishing a new record in total first-year applications, the University also set new records in international student applications as well as Chicago Public Schools applications — receiving more than 5,000 and about 1,500 applications, respectively.
In December, Northwestern admitted 106 international students and twice as many Chicago Public Schools students as last year. During the Early Decision process, Mills said the school put an increased emphasis on underrepresented minority students, and it has continued to do so in the Regular Decision pool.
“I think part of that is being more inclusive and open,” Mills said. “We’ve done a nice job of making Northwestern a more inclusive place for students that have traditionally not been a part of the undergraduate population here.”
Mills also noted a spike in students who applied for the new neuroscience major at Northwestern. The University debuted the neuroscience program last Fall Quarter.
“In terms of majors, the new neuroscience major has played some part in this year’s increase,” Mills said. “We are seeing a lot of interest in the neuroscience major.”
The University has already filled more than 50 percent of the class of 2020 with Early Decision applicants, who were notified of their admission decision in December.
Mills said with the record-breaking number of applications and the anticipated acceptance rate of about 11 percent, it will be difficult to evaluate the Regular Decisions applications.
“In terms of evaluating, we are doing that right now,” Mills said. “It’s going to be really difficult to make those choices this year because there are so many great kids.”

Email: danielwaldman2019@u.northwestern.edu

Monday, December 28, 2015

Dartmouth Accepted 494 Students in ED to the Class of 2020

Dartmouth admitted 494 students into the Class of 2020 out of 1,927 early decision applicants, an acceptance rate of 25.6 percent, according to ...


Monday, December 21, 2015

Penn Accepted 1335 Students in ED to the Class of 2020

By SYDNEY SCHAEDEL ・ 12/11/15 11:57am

Penn admitted 23.2 percent of its early decision applicants this year, down a fraction of a percentage point from last year’s 24 percent admittance rate.

Of the 5,762 students who applied, 1,335 received an acceptance at 3:00 p.m. today, via an online admissions decision.

In a statement, Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said there is “an outdated notion that Early Decision serves a narrow group of students.” This notion, he said, “does not hold true at Penn.”

Furda cited grant-based financial aid, extensive recruitment and quality of post-college outcomes as reasons for the increase each year in the number of students who apply to Penn through the Early Decision program  — up 5 percent from last year and 58 percent since 2009.

The early decision class represents 46 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and 44 countries. Of the accepted students, 10 percent will be the first in their family to attend college, over 44 percent self-identified as members of minority groups and 11 percent are international.

These students make up 54.6 percent of the target class of 2,445 students for the class of 2020, very close to the percentage of early decision applicants who were accepted in the class of 2019, which was at 54.4 percent.