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Why does Harvard defer so many applicants?

ibanker38ibanker38 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
Why does Harvard defer so many applicants during the SCEA round? It almost seems that they're trying to artificially tamper their acceptance rates during the RD round (possibly to seem more selective or prestigious?).
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Replies to: Why does Harvard defer so many applicants?

  • ap012199ap012199 Registered User Posts: 1,624 Senior Member
    Who knows. It is a good point you make, though.
  • caesarcreekcaesarcreek Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    For real? You think Harvard is gaming the system to "seem" more prestigious? Or maybe more charitably they legitimately need to know more about the deferred applicants (senior fall semester grades and extracurriculars) before they decide. Maybe they are giving MORE people a chance than schools who reject willy-nilly at the EA level.
  • hhjjlalahhjjlala Registered User Posts: 729 Member
    If everyone got rejected Harvard EA, no one would apply Harvard EA. A deferral is a nice way of saying you're rejected (in most cases).
  • ibanker38ibanker38 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    Think about it. 6,173 applied, 918 accepted, 4,673 deferred. I think they know damn well that they won't be looking at a few of those deferred applicants during RD, especially since they'll be receiving 30,000 more applications for only 600 more spots. Especially with all the increasing competition from Stanford, MIT, etc., it is reasonable to think they're trying to protect their prestige. So yes, I am for real.
  • ibanker38ibanker38 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
  • Multiverse7Multiverse7 Registered User Posts: 551 Member
    Stanford only accepts 9% early and rejects about 80% of the rest and it doesn't seem to deter anyone from applying EA.

  • ibanker38ibanker38 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
  • NASA2014NASA2014 Registered User Posts: 2,310 Senior Member
    That's because Stanford and Harvard is different. Everyone in the world have Harvard as their dream school to go to. If they were to reject a lot of people instead of deferred. Then Many people dream would vanish
  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 9,185 Senior Member
    I don't think they particularly care about keeping students' dreams alive. They have a set number of spots in the class and many of those people who dreamed about Harvard will get rejected in the end, whether they were deferred or not.
  • Multiverse7Multiverse7 Registered User Posts: 551 Member
    edited February 2017
    @NASA2014 Not sure I follow the logic about the deferrals or buy into the belief that "everyone" considers Harvard as their dream school. I turned down Harvard to go to Stanford and would do it again in a heartbeat.

    When you are talking about schools in the top twenty, it's not the name of the school that is ultimately as important as what you accomplish at the school.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,866 Senior Member
    It's not necessarily the case that deferral = rejection. I know at least one kid who went to Harvard, and several who went to Yale, who were deferred SCEA and accepted RD. Of course, the vast, vast majority of deferred SCEA applicants are ultimately rejected or waitlisted, but that's true of all RD applicants (other than athletic recruits and movie stars, or the equivalent). Applying to Harvard means that you are overwhelmingly likely to be rejected. The only think you could do to make your chances any worse would be not applying to Harvard.

    However, deferring SCEA applicants doesn't change how Harvard reports its admission rate at all. If Harvard and Stanford get the same number of total applicants and issue the same number of acceptances to fill their respective classes, they will report exactly the same admission rate, even though Stanford rejected 80% of its SCEA applicants without deferring them and Harvard only rejected 30% and deferred 55%, rejecting almost all of them later. That would mean that Harvard probably accepted a slightly lower percentage of RD applicants than Stanford, because more of the people it was accepting RD were deferred SCEA applicants. But Harvard generally doesn't want to publicize that, and goes to some lengths to make it difficult to figure out.

    Also, Harvard will accept a lot more than 600 people in its RD round. Generally, it accepts a bit more than 2,000 people to fill a class of 1,650. If it accepted 940 people EA, it will probably accept around 1,100 people RD. Of the people Harvard accepts, about 400 decide to go elsewhere.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 1,633 Senior Member
    edited February 2017
    I personally like Stanford's policy of deferring only 10% ~ 12% of all applicants rather than deferring 80%. When I first found out that Harvard does that, I was thinking "Are you serious?" Most applicants will be rejected TWICE from Harvard! lol

    Also, since Harvard defers 80% from SCEA, doesn't this mean there will be more applicants during Regular Decision round because you have to add those deferred applicants who still want to be considered during RD round PLUS new RD applicants? If so, that's sort of disingenuous to me to reduce acceptance rate during RD round. In other words, the same group of people (deferred applicants) are being counted TWICE during SCEA round and RD round?

    Example:

    SCEA round: 1,000 applicants. 100 accepted, 800 deferred and 100 rejected. This means acceptance rate of 10% during SCEA round.

    RD round: 9,200 new applicants PLUS 800 old deferred applicants = 10,000 total applicants during RD round. Only 500 accepted which equates to 5% acceptance rate during RD.

    Total applicants during SCEA and RD rounds: 1,000 PLUS 10,000 = 11,000. Out of these 100 (SCEA round) PLUS 500 (during RD round) are accepted, which equates to 600 accepted students.

    600 divided by 11,000 = 5.45% acceptance rate. Is this how Harvard calculates the acceptance rate? I am not sure so I am asking.
  • ibanker38ibanker38 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    Yeah. Same here
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 1,633 Senior Member
    edited February 2017
    @ibanker38 Is the below how Harvard calculates their acceptance rate? If so (I am not sure), that's disingenuous way of calculating their acceptance rate because it has an effect of artificially lowering their acceptance rate by increasing number of applicants in the RD round by adding the same group of deferred applicants from SCEA round -- in effect, counting the same group of applicants TWICE. Please tell me that Harvard doesn't do that.

    Example:

    SCEA round: 1,000 applicants. 100 accepted, 800 deferred and 100 rejected. This means acceptance rate of 10% during SCEA round.

    RD round: 9,200 new applicants PLUS 800 old deferred applicants = 10,000 total applicants during RD round. Only 500 accepted which equates to 5% acceptance rate during RD.

    Total applicants during SCEA and RD rounds: 1,000 PLUS 10,000 = 11,000. Out of these 100 (SCEA round) PLUS 500 (during RD round) are accepted, which equates to 600 accepted students.

    600 divided by 11,000 = 5.45% acceptance rate. Is this how Harvard calculates the acceptance rate? I am not sure so I am asking.
  • ibanker38ibanker38 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    @websensation I was thinking of the same question. According to JHS, the answer is no. The high deferral rates have no effect on the overall acceptance rate.
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