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Harvard accepts 5.8 percent of applicants for class of 2017, a record low

Posted by Your Town  March 29, 2013 12:05 PM

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Harvard College has accepted 5.8 percent of its applicant pool for next fall's freshman class, marking the lowest acceptance rate in its history, college officials announced.

Harvard sent out letters and e-mail notifications of admission Thursday to 2,029 students, out of the 35,023 applicants.

A total of 3,400 applicants were ranked first in their high school classes, according to a statement released by the college.

William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, said in the statement that, “beyond statistical measures, the Class of 2017 embodies all the intangibles, attributes of strong character and personal qualities that foster unusual academic and extracurricular excellence. Their remarkable creativity, intellectual curiosity, and love of learning will add immeasurably to the education of their fellow classmates and to the entire Harvard community.”

Columbia, Cornell, Penn, Princeton and Yale — also had record-low acceptance rates this year, with Dartmouth being the only Ivy League school to have a higher acceptance rate than last year, according to The Brown Daily Herald.

This year, the college is allocating a record $182 million in need-based financial aid, the statement said.

“We expect that nearly 60 percent of the students admitted to the Class of 2017 will need financial assistance in order to attend,” said Sarah C. Donahue, director of financial aid. “Their families will pay an average of only $12,000 per year. About 20 percent of Harvard families, those with normal assets making $65,000 or less annually, will pay nothing.”

The admitted class is 11.5 percent African-American, 19.9 percent Asian-American, 11.5 percent Latino, 2.2 percent Native American, and .5 percent Native Hawaiian, the statement said.

MIT recently said it had admitted 8.2 percent of students who applied this year, marking the lowest ever acceptance rate in the history of that university.

Tufts University also had a new record low acceptance rate of 18.7 percent, said Kim Thurler, a spokeswoman for the university.

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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