Applications to Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Virginia increased this year, with Harvard showing the most dramatic rise.
Applications for admission to Harvard rose by nineteen percent to 27,278, and, according to Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons, the college will accept 2,100 of them – 7.7 percent – to fill the Class of 2012. Last year, with fewer applications but the same number of admitted students, the acceptance rate was 9.1 percent.
Applications to Princeton rose 6.2 percent to 20,118, and applications to UVA increased 4.5 percent to 18,900.
Having eliminated their early action programs this year, which called for candidates to submit applications by November 1 for a determination in mid-December, the admissions offices at all three universities had more time available in the fall to recruit in the field rather than to devote their hours to thousands of early decisions.
This year’s increase in applications at Harvard also may have been influenced by the university’s recent announcement outlining an overhaul of its financial aid commitment, which ostensibly makes the prestigious institution more accessible to low- and middle-income families.