Education

Harvard Receives Record Number of Applications

More than 42,700 Cambridge hopefuls applied for a spot in the class of 2022.


Harvard gate

Photo via iStock/marvinh

Jamaica Plain’s population and Harvard’s applicant pool are almost identical in size.

The Ivy League college announced it received an astronomical 42,742 applications for the class of 2022, outpacing its previous record by 8.2 percent and over 3,200 students. Meanwhile, roughly 42,300 people live in Jamaica Plain.

This is the fourth year in a row that the college has seen its applicant pool break previous size records, according to the Harvard Crimsonand admissions officials said the school’s steadfast commitment to affordability makes it an attractive option for students from around the world.

“Each year, more and more students are excited to learn that Harvard is open to outstanding students from all economic backgrounds,” William Fitzsimmons, the dean of admissions and financial aid, said in a statement.

Since launching a financial-aid initiative 15 years ago, the school has awarded almost $1.8 billion in grants to undergraduate students, and Harvard’s financial-aid budget has more-than doubled since 2005, according to a press release. Not only does Harvard not take a student’s ability to pay into account when reading an application, but it is also one of just a few schools around the country that meets the full demonstrated need of domestic and international students.

The college received slightly more submissions from women than men this year and also saw growth among some demographic groups. In the midst of the Department of Justice’s review of its racially sensitive admissions policies, Harvard received 18.7 percent more applications from African Americans and 14.9 percent more applications from Asian Americans. Interest in computer science also grew by almost 20 percent, according to a press release.

Though the raw number of applications Harvard received is certainly greater than many institutions, selective schools across the country have seen growing interest in recent years. But increased interest doesn’t necessarily correlate with increased spots in the classroom. In fact, Harvard announced back in September it planned to reduce the size of the incoming freshman class to offset the unusually crowded class of 2021, according to the Crimson. Last year, the school admitted 2,037 students, and 964 early-action applicants have already earned their way into the class of 2022. And so, the 42,742 Harvard hopefuls are staring down quite the competitive admissions cycle. The school will release its decisions on March 28.