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As it Happened: Harvard Commencement 2023
A record-high 85 percent of admits accepted their offers to join Harvard College’s Class of 2025, meaning the College expects an unprecedented 1,962 freshmen to enroll this fall, it announced Sunday morning.
The 85 percent yield rate represents an uptick from last year’s 81 percent of admits who enrolled in the Class of 2024, and eclipses the previous record-high 84 percent of students matriculated to the Class of 2021.
In addition to the high yield rate among this year’s admitted students, the class is joined by admits from the Class of 2024 who deferred to the Class of 2025 — last year’s 349 deferrals were also a record high due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of this year’s admitted class, who replied to the College’s admissions offers by May 3, also experienced Harvard’s highest application numbers and lowest acceptance rate ever.
Unlike in previous years, applicants to the Class of 2025 were not required to submit scores for standardized tests. The College’s test-optional policy will extend to the Class of 2026’s application cycle.
“We are thrilled to welcome the many promising students admitted in the Class of 2025 and look forward to seeing all they accomplish in their years at Harvard,” Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said in Sunday’s press release.
Women make up the majority of the Class of 2025 at 52.6 percent, while men comprise the remaining 47.4 percent. Asian Americans make up 25.3 percent of the class, a slight increase from last year’s 24.6 percent, but close to the record-high 25.6 percent from the Class of 2023.
African Americans comprise 14.3 percent of the Class of 2025, a slight increase from last year’s 13.9 percent. The percentage of Latinx students remained steady at 11.7 percent compared to the previous year’s 11.8 percent, and Native Americans and Native Hawaiians make up 1.5 percent of this year’s` incoming class, a decrease from the 2 percent enrolling last year.
First-generation college students make up 18.6 percent of the Class of 2025, similar to last year’s 18.7 percent. The Class of 2025 also has 18 veterans, a slight increase from the 12 veterans from the Class of 2024.
Approximately 55 percent of the Class of 2025 students will receive need-based aid, meaning families will contribute an average of $12,700. Families with an income of less than $65,000 — 20.7 percent of the class — will pay nothing. The College does not require students on aid to take out loans.
In addition to direct support for costs relating to tuition, room and board, HFAI provides students on full financial aid with $2,000 start-up grants for costs related to transitioning to college.
In 2020, the College announced it would eliminate the summer work expectation for students receiving aid in favor of scholarship funds, and waived the term-time work expectation for the 2020-21 academic year due to the pandemic. Moving forward to the 2021-2022 school year, students will be expected to contribute $3,500 through term-time work to cover their estimated personal expenses.
The College has already announced that all students will be offered housing on and near campus at normal density this fall. It plans to use 1201 Massachusetts Ave. — the former Inn at Harvard — and apartments on Prescott Street to house freshmen, in addition to its typical housing stock.
—Staff writer Vivi E. Lu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Staff writer Dekyi T. Tsotsong can be reached at email@example.com.
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