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MBA Application Trends: Harvard Sees 5% Decline, Rival Universities Experience Surge

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Last Updated on March 31, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Harvard College Sees Decline in Applications for Second Consecutive Year

Harvard College, known for its prestigious reputation and highly competitive admissions process, has experienced a decline in applications for the second consecutive year. According to recent data, the number of students applying to Harvard for next fall’s freshman class has dropped by 5% compared to the previous year, with a total of 54,008 applications received. This decline comes after a two-year decrease from 61,220 applicants two years ago.

The reasons behind this decline in applications to Harvard are not entirely clear, but some speculate that recent controversies and the university’s tumultuous period, including the resignation of its president and a recent defeat at the Supreme Court, may have played a role. Despite the decrease in applications, Harvard still maintains an extremely low acceptance rate of 3.6%.

In contrast to Harvard’s decline, other prestigious universities such as Yale University reported a record number of applicants, with 57,465 students vying for admission. Additionally, universities like Duke, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania also saw an increase in applications.

The admissions landscape is currently under scrutiny following a Supreme Court ruling against Harvard and the University of North Carolina regarding the use of race in admissions. Harvard recently admitted 1,937 students for the class of 2028, aiming for a gender balance of 53% women and 47% men. The university also announced an increase in undergraduate aid spending, estimating $260 million for the upcoming year.

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Students who received admission offers from Harvard have until May 1 to accept their offers, with those from families making $85,000 or less receiving full financial support. Some experts suggest that external factors, such as the university’s recent controversies or even weather conditions, could have contributed to the decline in applications.

Reports have also emerged suggesting that some former Jewish students have opted to exclude Harvard from their college lists due to concerns about the university’s climate. Harvard officials have not publicly commented on these specific concerns but remain committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus environment.

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