Fewer applications than the previous year were received by the Harvard College for the Class of 2018, according to new figures released by the University on Monday.
The announcement said the College 34,295, representing a decrease of 728 applications from last year whe it received 35,023 applications.
But there is no cause for alarm over the 2% decrease, as the Dean of Admissions And Financial Aid, William R. Fitzsimmons, maintains the number of applications has been largely constant in recent years.
But the Dean said, there were slight demographic differences, from race to geographic background, in the type of students applying.
He said 22.7% of the applicants requested an application-fee waiver, 6.3% more than last year, and 10.3% more than three years ago.
According to the Harvard Crimson, the Dean said the increase in students requesting application-fee waivers is an indicator that more students need financial aid and follows a broader trend in the demographics of college applicants, adding “More and more of the students out there require financial aid.”
In another University Press Release, Director of Admissions, Marlyn E. McGrath said the percentage of non-white students applying to Harvard has increased, with the exception of Native Americans.
The Director of Admissions said “There were also some geographic shifts, including a 5.8 percent decline in applications from the Midwest, a 5.1 percent decline from New England, and a 3.4 percent decline from international students.”
The decline was altogether not unexpected, as according to the Crimson, a report created by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education entitled “Knocking at the College Door,” revealed "the number of high school seniors has started to decline and is projected to continue to do so for the next 15 years."
The report also stated that students from the Midwest and Northeast United States were expected to apply to college in declining numbers, while those from the South and West will apply in higher numbers.
But the Dean said the number of applications has reached the “upper limit of what makes sense,” explaining that it would not be concerning if the admissions office were to receive slightly fewer applications, as was the case this year.
“It doesn’t do anyone any good if we, for example, decided to write many more search letters and to up the ante in recruiting and end up with 50,000 applications,” Fitzsimmons said.
“We could do it easily. Any college can actually do that.”
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