“We are thrilled to once again see so many extraordinary students from throughout the nation and around the world apply to Harvard College,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid.
There are slightly more men (50.2 percent) than women in the applicant pool this year. Most regions of the U.S. demonstrated increases in applications, especially the South, while interest from international areas remained strong.
There were increases across the board in academic interests, highlighted by an 11.6 percent increase in prospective computer scientists, 5.1 percent increase in social scientists, and a 4.2 percent increase in humanities-intended concentrators. Minority applications also increased, with a 5.1 percent rise in applications from Asian Americans, and a 3.4 percent increase on the part of Latinx students.
The economic diversity of the applicant pool also increased this year. Those requesting an application fee waiver rose by 15.5 percent over last year and first-generation College applicants increased by 13.8 percent.
Since launching the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative in 2005, Harvard has awarded more than $2 billion in grant aid to undergraduates. Harvard’s undergraduate financial aid award budget has increased more than 138 percent, from $80 million in 2005 to more than $191 million in 2018. Further, Harvard’s net-price calculator makes it easy for families to get a sense of the College’s affordability.
Harvard costs the same or less than most public universities for 90 percent of American families. More than half of Harvard students receive need-based financial aid, and the average grant is $53,000. No loans are required. Families with incomes up to $150,000 and typical assets pay 10 percent or less of their annual incomes. Families with higher incomes receive need-based aid depending on individual circumstances.
Applicants will be notified of the admissions committee’s decisions on March 28. Admitted students will be invited to Cambridge to attend Visitas, a special program designed to familiarize them with the opportunities at Harvard. This year Visitas will be held from April 27 to 29, and students will have until the national reply date of May 1 to make their final college choices.