A quick look at the demographics of Harvard’s Class of 2017 yields a few basics: 1,600 members, more men (52.4 percent) than women, 57 countries and every state except Wyoming represented.
But take a closer look at the makeup of the 375th freshman class. The exclusive group represents a record-low 5.8 percent of applicants. (The pool of applicants totaled 35,022, also a record.) And the class is receiving record-high financial aid. That means the freshmen represent a new level of economic diversity.
There are other kinds of diversity too, with social meanings that go as deep. For instance, the freshmen come from 14 African countries, from Ethiopia to Swaziland to Zimbabwe. Some, including students from Tunisia and Egypt, experienced the Arab Spring at the street level. Harvard also accepted its first freshman in decades from Iran.