Harvard University Applications Decreased By 5%

Applications to Harvard University for its incoming freshman class fell to its lowest level in four years whereas other Ivy League universities indicated  that they received record numbers of applicants.

Harvard announced on March 28, 2024 it received 54,008 undergraduate applications for the class of 2028. In 2023, the university had roughly 57,000 applicants, and for the two years prior roughly, about 61,000 applicants and almost 58,000 applications, respectively. 

The 5% decrease in total applicants was preceded by a 17% reduction in early-admissions applications to Harvard. It is generally speculated that Harvard’s fall in applications is largely due to tensions that emerged in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, its president’s resignation, and the Supreme Court’s overturning of affirmative action.

Massive disagreements popped off at Harvard between pro-Palestinians and Jewish students over the October 7 attack, which put university administrators in an awkward position. 

Harvard’s former President Claudine Gay resigned in January after dealing with plagiarism allegations and charges that she didn’t adequately handle anti-Semitic sentiments on campus. 

A House committee led by pro-Zionist Republicans have been investigating Harvard’s response to alleged acts of anti-Semitism. The investigation is still going on, and the committee is also looking into other universities, which includes Rutgers University and the University of California, Berkeley. Several Harvard donors and alumni board have stated they are unhappy with the school’s efforts to protect Jewish students from harassment.

Harvard’s admission rate for the class of 2028 hovered around 3.6%, per data the school published. The university admitted 1,937 students, the lowest admission figure in at least a decade.

Per the school’s figures, applications to Harvard peaked two years ago. The university has had north of 50,000 applicants for each of the past three years. Between 2014 and 2020, Harvard’s largest number of applicants hovered around 43,330 in 2019.

What’s occurring at Harvard is to be expected in a hyper polarized political climate. What should be an impartial institution that provides high-level education, has now morphed into a left-wing think tank that’s susceptible to interest group pressure.

Such environments are not conducive to learning and morph into political battlefields where petty fights occur in the regular. If Harvard wants to continue being the US’s premier institution of higher learning, it must crack down against noxious political influences.

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