So far 82 percent of the students admitted to the Class of 2022 have notified Harvard College that they will matriculate to campus in August. The current yield is slightly below last year’s 82.8 percent, which was the highest since 1969, when 83.1 percent of those admitted to the Class of 1973 chose to attend.
Over the next few weeks, a small number of students will be admitted from the waiting list. The final statistics for the matriculants of the Class of 2022 will be determined after students arrive for orientation on Aug. 27.
“Chosen from a record applicant pool of 42,749, the Class of 2022 promises to be one of the best in Harvard’s long history,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “A transformative college experience awaits them here as they learn from and are inspired by our distinguished faculty — and one another — in the classroom, extracurricular activities, and Harvard’s historic Houses.”
“Critical to students’ decisions to enroll was our comprehensive financial aid program,” said Sarah C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid. “Over half of our students received need-based financial aid, and a record 19.3 percent are eligible for Pell Grants intended for low-income students.”
More than one in five of Harvard students come from families with incomes below $65,000 a year, which means that their families are not asked to contribute to the cost of their education. No loans are required for financial aid recipients, although some may choose to borrow to supplement their term-time and summer work expectations.
To date, a record 16.6 percent of the incoming class members come from first-generation college backgrounds, compared with 14.9 percent last year. At this time, the geographic origins and academic interests of the incoming class remain similar to those of last year’s, with 50.3 percent of the matriculants male, and 49.7 percent female. Currently, African-American students constitute 14.5 percent of the class, Asian-Americans 22.7 percent, Latinos 10.8 percent, and Native Americans and Native Hawaiians 2.3 percent.
More than 1,350 admitted students visited Cambridge from April 21 to 23 during the Visitas program. “We are enormously grateful to the entire Harvard community for providing a warm welcome,” said Timothy J. Smith, program director. The program is designed to give students a sense of what it would be like to study at Harvard over the next four years.
“Harvard faculty made numerous presentations to inform students about academic life in the College and the opportunities available at the University through the ‘One Harvard’ initiative,” said Smith. “We are also grateful to our student groups, including the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program (UMRP), Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, Harvard First Generation Program, Harvard College Connection, and the Undergraduate Admissions Council.” Students unable to attend Visitas in person were able to attend Virtual Visitas electronically.
“Student groups such as the UMRP, Harvard’s oldest student recruiting group, have made invaluable contributions to Harvard College’s ability both to admit and yield minority students,” said Tia Ray, director of the UMRP. “Student coordinators called, emailed, and met many members of the Class of 2022 over the past year — and we’re pleased so many of these students decided to matriculate to Harvard.”
“Alumni and alumnae throughout the country and around the world reached out to students over the past month and during the year to inform them about the opportunities at Harvard,” said Marlyn E. McGrath, director of admissions. “Alumni events hosted by our marvelous volunteers make a critical difference in enrolling remarkable students year in and year out.”
During Visitas, more than 200 students and families visited the Griffin Financial Aid Office on Sunday and Monday. The conversations they had with financial aid staff helped them to determine that Harvard was within reach no matter how limited family resources might be.
“This weekend always reminds us how far Harvard financial aid has come in the past 15 years,” said Fitzsimmons. “Financial aid has more than doubled during this time, playing a major role in doubling the number of applications.” In addition to nearly $200 million of undergraduate financial aid each year, Harvard also provides an additional $6 million in funding to aided students, including $2,000 startup grants for the one in five students from low-income backgrounds, as well as winter coats, summer internships, and research experiences for all financial aid recipients.
“We are already on the road for next year,” said Anne De Luca, associate dean for admissions and financial aid recruitment. “The staff will visit nearly half of the 150 locations planned for this coming recruiting year program spread between the spring and fall.”
Initial contact with current high school juniors began in February with mail and email outreach. Ultimately, nearly 55,000 students and family members, in addition to 3,000 high school counselors, attend sessions held throughout the nation and around the world, and another 47,000 guests will come to campus at the visitor center at Agassiz House.
After orientation, the projected 1,655 members of the Class of 2022 will attend their first day of classes on Sept. 4. Many will choose to attend one of several pre-orientation programs, including the new FYRE (First-Year Retreat and Experience) for first-generation students and those who may have attended underresourced high schools.