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The Harvard Gazette

Harvard College has offered admission to 1,223 applicants for the Class of 2025 through its regular-action program, with 1,968 admitted in total, including those selected in the early action process. The total number of applications for the Class of 2025 was 57,435, a marked increase from 40,248 for the Class of 2024.

“These applicants have faced and overcome unprecedented challenges over the past year,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “Their applications and personal stories revealed a window into their resilience, their intellectual curiosity, and their many positive contributions to family, school, and community. They are truly inspiring.”

“We chose to admit a full class, despite the many deferrals matriculating this fall, because we believe in the promise of this incredibly diverse and accomplished group of students,” said Claudine Gay, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “Harvard is committed to opening the doors of opportunity to all talented students, even if it means confronting the challenge of accommodating more students on campus next year.”

This year’s admitted class, who learned of their admission Tuesday evening, hails from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and from 94 countries. International students make up 12.2 percent of the class, and 8.8 percent are U.S. dual citizens. About 20.4 percent come from the Middle Atlantic States, 19.8 percent from the South, 16.4 percent from New England, 17 percent from Western and Mountain States, 11.9 percent from the Midwest, and 14.5 percent from the U.S territories and abroad.

Based on projections, 55 percent will receive need-based grants, allowing families to pay an average of $12,000 annually. Harvard will require no contribution from 20 percent of families, representing those with annual incomes below $65,000. The students in this group will also receive $2,000 start-up grants to help with move-in costs and other expenses incurred in the transition to College. In addition, 27 percent of students qualified for the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI), representing those with annual incomes below $80,000. Since launching HFAI in 2005, Harvard has awarded more than $2.4 billion in grants to undergraduates.

“Despite the disruptions associated with the pandemic, Harvard has maintained all of its extraordinary need-based aid policies, and we remain committed to investing in our core value of removing barriers to a Harvard education for outstanding students from all economic backgrounds,” said Jake Kaufmann, Griffin Director of Financial Aid. “We are pleased that our attractive, need-based financial aid program continues to inspire applicants to see themselves at Harvard College.”

Last year, Harvard announced it would further expand its financial aid program by eliminating the summer work expectation from aid awards beginning in the 2020-21 academic year, and replacing it with scholarship funds. Due to the disruptions associated with the pandemic, Harvard eliminated the term-time work expectation for students receiving financial aid in the 2020-2021 academic year. At this time, with the hope that students and community members will return to campus this fall, students will be expected to contribute $3,500 through term-time work to meet their estimated personal expenses. Further information will be available when fall plans are finalized in the coming months.

This year, an estimated 401 admitted students, or about 20.4 percent, qualified for federal Pell grants, typically awarded to students from lower-income backgrounds, up from 380, or about 19 percent, last year. First-generation students, those who will be in the first generation of their family to graduate from a four-year college or the equivalent, represent 20.7 percent of the class, compared with 19.4 percent in 2020.

At Harvard, families with incomes from $65,000 to $150,000 and typical assets pay no more than 10 percent of their annual incomes. Loans are not required of students, and families who make more than $150,000 are generally eligible for aid on a sliding scale, depending on their particular circumstances, such as multiple children in college or unusual medical or other essential expenses.

Harvard’s net-price calculator makes it easy for families to get a sense of the College’s affordability. For students not receiving need-based aid, the total cost of attendance (including tuition, room, board, and fees) is scheduled to increase by 3 percent to $74,528 for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The Class of 2025 reflects the increasing diversity of the College’s applicants, with 18 percent identifying as African American/Black, 27.2 percent as Asian American, 13.3 percent as Latinx, 1.2 percent as Native American, and 0.6 percent as Native Hawaiian. Women account for more than half, 52.9 percent, of all those accepted to the class.

In a year when few high school students had access to standardized testing or the ability to travel to or access campus for in-person tours and meetings with representatives, Harvard temporarily revised its application requirements to allow students to apply for admission without requiring ACT or SAT test results. Recently, Harvard announced it would extend that standardized testing policy through the 2021‒2022 application cycle. In addition, applicants were encouraged to explore Harvard College through our online information sessions and virtual tour.

“We were delighted to see the diversity and strength of this year’s applicant pool, particularly in a year where no one could predict how it would change,” continued Fitzsimmons. “We will continue to review how the temporary changes to our application requirements impact the admitted class, and we will work hard to ensure that our many digital outreach initiatives encourage students to see themselves at Harvard no matter where they come from.”

Harvard has continued with its efforts to recruit individuals who have served in the U.S. military, working with groups affiliated with the Defense Department and joining the Service to School’s VetLink program in 2017. Nineteen veterans were admitted to this year’s class, and 40 students expressed interest in ROTC.

“The College has benefited greatly from the increase in military veterans applying to and enrolling on our campus,” said Marlyn McGrath, director of admissions. “These members of our classes offer unique perspectives that enhance campus diversity and learning.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, programming for Visitas, the College’s admitted student weekend, will once again be remote. Students are invited to participate in this year’s Virtual Visitas for one week, during which members of the Harvard College community will host online events at which admitted students can connect with current students and faculty. Admitted students can also connect with one another in the new Crimson Connect online community.

Staff members in the Griffin Financial Aid office will be available to speak with students and their families this month to help them as they make their final college choices.

This month, Harvard announced it is planning for a full return to campus in the fall, including opening residential accommodations at full density and holding classes in person.

Students have until May 3 to reply to their offer of admission.

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