Harvard is the oldest higher learning institute in the US, established in 1636. It is the creme-de-la-creme of U.S. universities, even amongst Ivy League colleges. It has a $36B endowment fund, bigger than the GDP of Jordan and many other countries! Harvard boasts 48 Nobel Laureates, 32 heads of state, 48 Pulitzer Prize winners and lots and lots of famous people as its alumni. Even though it is a liberal arts university, it covers both liberal arts and STEM majors (total 49+ defined programs).
Let’s take a quick look at some statistics first. These are for the class entering in fall of 2017.
The number of applicants has hit a new record, it beat the old one by 462. Clearly, the competition is stiffening. You also see that if Harvard is your first choice, the odds of getting in early are significantly higher than through a regular application.
Harvard admits were split between 49.2% women and 50.8% men. Pretty balanced. The racial mix was 11.6% Latino, 1.9% Native, 22.1% Asian, 13.7% African American, 11.4% International. Interestingly, the percentage of Asian applicants was 21.8%. That means the acceptance rate for Asians is actually a smidgen higher than the rest of the population.
In terms of majors, 19.3% applicants indicated interest in computer science & engineering as compared to 22.3% for social sciences and 18.8% for biosciences. The interest in computer science is jumping, it increased a whopping 12.3% as compared to the previous year.
The regional breakdown of admitted students is as follows:
So if Harvard is a must-attend university for you, perhaps you should consider moving to Wyoming or Guam (obviously, we’re not serious)!
In terms of the undergraduate experience, Harvard has everything you might expect. There are 42 Division I intercollegiate sports teams. For those who don’t want to participate at that level, there are club sports (ranging from ultimate frisbee to wushu to ballroom dance), intramural sports and recreational fitness activities. Plus, there’s research opportunity, political leadership options, study abroad programs and over 400 student organizations that cover music, visual arts, media and journalism, public service, drama and dance, professional, service and faith/identity/culture.
In the next installment of this blog, we will discuss what it takes to get into Harvard.