Harvard’s acceptance rate hit an all-time low this year

The 4.59 percent admission rate is the lowest of all the Ivy League schools this year.

Pedestrians cross the Harvard University campus.

Harvard received a record-high number of applicants for the Class of 2022, and then subsequently set another record.

The prestigious Cambridge university offered admission to a total of 1,962 of its 42,749 applicants this year, the school announced Wednesday. According to the Harvard Crimson, the 4.59 percent acceptance rate is the lowest in Harvard’s centuries-old history, and it’s the fourth straight year that the percentage has decreased.

Last year, the school accepted 2,037 of 39,506 for an acceptance rate of 5.2 percent.

Harvard’s acceptance rate for early-action applicants is substantially higher than it is for regular applicants. The 6,630 students who applied early were accepted at a 14.5 percent rate, while only 2.43 percent of regular-decision applicants were offered admission. Admitted students have until May 1 to decide whether to accept their offers.


Harvard and the seven other Ivy League schools notified regular-decision Class of 2022 applicants of their admission decisions Wednesday. According to the Wall Street Journal, seven of the eight posted record-high application numbers — and seven of the eight also posted record-low admission rates. The other, Yale, reportedly tied it lowest-ever rate. Per the Journal:

  • Brown: 7.2%; admitted 2,566 of 35,438
  • Columbia: 5.5%; admitted 2,214 of 40,203
  • Cornell: 10.3%; admitted 5,288 of 51,328
  • Dartmouth: 8.7%; admitted 1,925 of 22,033
  • Harvard: 4.6%; admitted 1,962 of 42,749
  • Penn: 8.4%; admitted 3,731 of 44,491
  • Princeton: 5.5%; admitted 1,941 of 35,370
  • Yale: 6.3%; admitted 2,229 of 35,306

According to the Journal, the record-high number of applicants is partly a result of more students applying to more schools.

Harvard officials also noted Wednesday that a record-high 20.3 percent of their admitted students come from modest or low-income backgrounds. Women also make up 50.1 percent of admitted students, compared with 49.3 percent last year. According to the Crimson, it’s the first time in 10 years women have constituted the majority of admissions.