"fter setting a new bar for rejection last spring, the College is slated to send small envelopes to even more high school seniors this year.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 announced last week that Harvard will be accepting fewer applicants than in previous years, even after receiving a record number of applications.
According to Fitzsimmons, the College’s decision to eliminate its early action program this year and the recent expansion of its financial aid program make this year’s yield—the percentage of admitted students who matriculate—hard to predict. The more conservative acceptance rate is an effort to ensure that the College does not admit more students than it can accommodate.
“We do not want to have overcrowding in the yard,” Fitzsimmons said. “We know that some Houses are very crowded. We will be very cautious.”
Fitzsimmons said he did not know exactly how many fewer students would be admitted, though he said the decrease would be “not insignificant.”
The admissions office may take more students off the waiting list than usual if the yield is lower than expected, Fitzsimmons added. "
No surprise to me. I'm anticipating an admission rate of around 5%, and a yield of around 93%.
However, I'm expecting admissions and merit scholarship offers to be up at places like Emory, Vanderbilt, WTSL and UNC, which replied on merit offers to lure students away from Harvard.
this is such great news*! (*sarcasm). If you get accepted, make the most of the amazing Harvard experience. If not, it's not the end of the world because you will still be successful if you work hard. Just going to Harvard isn't a free ticket to infinite riches, but it will sure help you get ahead in life.
I'd say 93% yield is a bit too high... it will be lower than usual (it is typically 80%) this year because more people applied to all three of the HYP. Although H usually wins the most cross admits, it will still lose some to other schools. I think a yield in the mid 70%'s is more likely... unless using the waitlist will boost yield, in which case it could go any way.
Wow, this is insane. I'm glad I'm not an admissions officer, because this would be an impossible decision- pick 5ish% from those 27,000 apps...
Isn't the Harvard freshman class size approximately 1600? Even if Harvard suddenly had 100% yield after accepting 5% of the 27,000 applications, that would only make for a freshman class of 1350. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't see that they were decreasing the class size, just the number of accepted students. What would be the point of accepting less than the number of students in your freshman class, besides making Harvard look even more selective?
Hypothetical situation (but probably going to be a reality for a number of kids come one month from now): what if you get waitlisted, send in a letter saying your DYING to attend (which probably everybody will), then get in, and they don't give you enough money. Yes, I probably would do everything I could to make it affordable, but what if somebody got significant merit awards from a second or third-rate school? What would happen to the wait-listed then accepted then seemingly ungrateful kid??
"Isn't the Harvard freshman class size approximately 1600? Even if Harvard suddenly had 100% yield after accepting 5% of the 27,000 applications, that would only make for a freshman class of 1350. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't see that they were decreasing the class size, just the number of accepted students. What would be the point of accepting less than the number of students in your freshman class, besides making Harvard look even more selective?"
They could then go to the waitlist to fill in the gaps. Better to have to go to the waitlist a lot than to accept more students than there's space for. Given the change in financial aid and EA, Harvard has every reason to admit in a conservative way since it doesn't know what will happen to its yield.
I could not really understand how the waitlist works. Students are supposedly made their choice by May 1st (unless admitted to ED). Harvard (and other schools) will not know the rate of matriculation until a few days after May 1st. If the rate of matriculation is lower than Harvard’s expectation, then some of the students on the waitlist will get called with an admission offer. Should those students drop the school that they have made choice on May 1st (violating their promise) and go to Harvard instead? That is not really encouraging the right behavior (which I consider violating a contract). Can someone provide some explanation?