The rising cost of college does not seem to be deterring students from applying to colleges. Harvard just announced that it saw a record number of applicants for spots in the Class of 2015. In fact, Harvard had nearly 35,000 applications versus last year’s 30,489. That’s 15 percent more applicants than last year, which was also a record-setting year.
This meteoric rise has a reason. It’s not just because Harvard is a good school with a good reputation. It’s in part due to the generous financial aid program.
Harvard College’s financial aid program requires no contribution from families with annual incomes below $60,000, and asks, on average, no more than 10 percent of income from families with typical assets who make up to $180,000.
Currently, 70 percent of students receive some form of financial aid.
The worldwide economic downturn of the past three years seems to have been a major factor in spurring increases in applications at Harvard and peer institutions.
From the Harvard Gazette:
Two other factors also may have played a role in this year’s record total. The new School of Engineering and Applied Sciences continues to attract greater numbers of students who aspire to study engineering, computer science, and related fields.
In addition, more students than ever before, nearly 99 percent, are using online application services. Such services enable students, especially those with few counseling or economic resources, to apply to college more easily.
Applications increased from all geographic areas, but particularly from the South, the Midwest, the Mountain states, the Pacific region, and abroad. Gender breakdown is close to last year’s 50/50 ratio, and minority numbers have continued to rise.
The admissions selection meetings begin Jan. 25. Applications are reviewed in a careful, individualized process in which applications are discussed and compared by members of the Admissions Committee throughout the duration of the meetings.
Notification letters to all applicants will be mailed on March 30, and emails will be sent later that day to the 92 percent who have requested electronic notification.
Admitted students will be invited to visit Cambridge from April 16 to 18 for a comprehensive introduction to life at Harvard. They will have until May 1 to make their final college choices.