College accepts 740 students in class of 26 for early action program – Harvard Gazette
Harvard College today accepted 740 students into the class of 2026 from a group of 9,406 who applied for the early action program. Last year, 743 students were selected from the 10,087 who applied.
“Each year Harvard sees an exceptional and talented pool of applicants entering the admissions cycle,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “The class admitted this year brings strong talents and life experiences to Harvard that will shape our community for years to come.”
All students deferred in the early admission process will again be considered in the regular action cycle. Candidates for the ordinary decision are expected to receive admissions decisions at the end of March.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its continued impact on test access for high school students, Harvard College will allow students to apply for admission without needing SAT or ACT scores for the next admitted classes of ’27, ’28, ’29 and 30.
The current admission cycle – for the class of 2026 – is the second for which students have been able to apply to Harvard without requiring standardized testing, as many students continue to have limited access to testing sites due to COVID- 19. As per Harvard’s Whole Person Admission Process, standardized testing is one factor among many considered. Achievements in and out of the classroom during the high school years – including extracurricular activities, community engagement, employment, and family responsibilities – are considered part of the admissions process.
“Students who do not submit standardized test results will not be at a disadvantage in their application process,” said Fitzsimmons. “Their applications will be considered on the basis of what they submitted, and they are encouraged to send in any material that they believe demonstrates their accomplishments in high school and their promise for the future. “
Harvard’s generous financial aid program was cited as a factor by students and families during the Zoom sessions as a reason for applying. Harvard’s financial aid program – backed by the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI) – aims to make the College accessible to any admitted student. More than half of undergraduates receive needs-based scholarships, paying an average of $ 12,700 per year in fiscal 2021. Twenty percent of families pay nothing, and Harvard does not require loans. International students receive the same financial aid as domestic students.
So far, nearly 12% of admitted students have come from first-generation academics, up from 16.7% last year. In addition, this year, an estimated 10.8% are eligible for Federal Pell Grants for those with exceptional needs.
African Americans make up 13.9% of those admitted (16.6% last year), Asian Americans 25.9% (23.4% last year), Latinx 10.5% (10.4% last year) and Native Americans and Hawaiians 3.7% (1.3% last year).
International citizens make up 12.6 percent of students admitted so far this year, up from 12.2 percent last year.
Students were notified of the early action decisions by email at 7 p.m. on December 16. Those admitted are not required to attend and have until May 1 to make their final decision. At this time, Harvard plans to maintain its current deferral policy for this admission cycle.
The deadline to request a regular ruling is 11:59 p.m. EST on January 1.
Currently, Harvard College is planning to host students on campus for a Visitas weekend in person. From April 24 to 25, Harvard will host a number of events designed to welcome the Admitted Class of 2026 and introduce them to the academic community, as well as the resources and opportunities available at Harvard. Harvard will continue to host virtual events for students through Crimson Connect, its online platform for the 2026 class, which will be used throughout the spring to engage with current students, faculty and staff. Students will receive information about Visitas and Crimson Connect through the Admitted Students website. The programming of Visitas in person will depend on the public health guidelines of the university, region and state. Any potential changes to the planned programming will be announced directly to the students.
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