Harvard College accepted 4.92 percent of applicants to the Class of 2024, representing a total 1,980 admitted students of the 40,248 who applied.
This year’s admissions rate marks a slight increase from the record-low 4.50 percent admitted to the Class of 2023. The College’s acceptance rate has steadily declined for the past several years; the bump in this year’s rate is the first increase since students applied to the Class of 2018. The number of applicants in this admissions cycle was seven percent lower than last year.
The Admissions Office notified 1,085 applicants of their admission Thursday evening, joining the 895 students admitted from the early action cycle in December.
Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 discussed the strengths of the incoming class in a press release Thursday.
“From their applications it is clear that the Class of 2024 will bring to Harvard extraordinary talents, ideas, backgrounds, and life experiences,” Fitzsimmons said in the press release. “We look forward to giving them a preview of what Harvard College has to offer during our Virtual Visitas program and getting to know them over the next four years.”
The percentage of Asian American admits decreased to 24.5 percent compared to last year’s 25.4 percent. Asian Americans remain the largest minority group among the admitted students. African Americans comprise 14.8 percent of the admitted class, a figure that remains the same from the previous class. The percentage of Latinx admits increased to 12.7 percent from 12.4 percent last year. The percentage of Native American or Native Hawaiian admits decreased to 2.2 percent, down from last year’s 2.6 percent.
Women make up a majority of the admitted class at 51.6 percent; there was gender parity in last year’s admitted class.
The number of admitted students who previously served in the military or indicated an interest in ROTC also grew. This year’s class admitted students include 13 veterans and 47 students interested in ROTC, an increase from six veterans and 41 ROTC prospects last year.
Fitzsimmons said in a Wednesday interview that he believes veterans bring a valuable perspective to campus.
“The difference the veterans make in terms of their interaction with fellow undergraduates is absolutely priceless. We certainly hope that we’re going to see the continued increases,” Fitzsimmons said.
Students from all 50 states and 92 countries earned admission to the Class of 2024. Mid-Atlantic states host the largest percentage of admitted applicants at 22 percent, followed by the South at 19.7 percent, New England at 17.4 percent, Western and Mountain states at 16.9 percent, and the Midwest at 11.9 percent. Twelve percent of the class come from the U.S. territories and abroad.
More than half of admitted students are eligible for financial aid, with an average expected family contribution at $12,000. Further, 23 percent of admitted students’ families would not contribute to the cost of attendance, an increase from 20 percent from the previous class. These students would also receive a $2,000 grant to finance initial expenses like move-in costs.
The percentage of admitted students who are first-generation or low-income increased to 19.4 and 19 percent from last year’s 16.4 and 17 percent, respectively.
The College plans to introduce admitted students to life at Harvard through Virtual Visitas, an online version of the on-campus admitted students weekend that will run for the entire month of April. The on-campus program, originally planned for April 18 through 20, was cancelled earlier this month due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
In discussing what to expect during Virtual Visitas, Fitzsimmons said faculty and alumni are taking an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to welcoming admitted applicants.
“There are many gatherings alumnae and alumni hold throughout the United States and around the world every year for admitted students. Those are not possible this year,” Fitzsimmons said. “So, alumnae and alumni are going to be doing emails, phone calls, and, in some cases, we’re going to try to get alumnae and alumni to be part of the regular Virtual Visitas.”
Until admissions and financial aid staff are able to return to campus, they will not mail out physical acceptance packets. Admitted applicants have until May 1 to accept or decline their spot in the incoming freshman class.
—Staff writer Dohyun Kim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.