Harvard University announced the early acceptance rate for its Class of 2024 climbed to 13.9%. Harvard admitted 895 of its 6,424 EA applicants yesterday. The 0.5% EA acceptance rate increase was the first increase since 2013.
While Harvard admitted fewer EA applicants this year, the school admitted 935 last year, the number of EA applications dropped from 6,958 last year. William R. Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, stated the application decline was due to, “uncertainty economically in the world and the broad category of economic issues.” Fitzsimmons also conjectured the California wildfires, other natural disasters, and school shootings may have also contributed to the decline in early action applications.
We are a bit skeptical the reasons cited by Fitzsimmons drove the slight decline in the number of Harvard Class of 2024 EA applications. We also believe that there is still a good chance Harvard could see another record-low acceptance rate this year. After all, a drop of only 500 EA applications can easily be covered at a school that received over 43,000 applications last year.
We won’t pretend to know Harvard’s application volume drivers better than Fitzsimmons. However, there is a chance that Harvard’s extreme shift to the left is beginning to alienate a section of the country from either bothering to apply to the highly esteemed school. As we discovered in 2016, there is a significant portion of the US population that gets overlooked by the mainstream media and doesn’t seem to be polled very accurately. As we mentioned before, this is premature speculation of course. We are, however, quite comfortable going on record and stating that Harvard would benefit from a shift back toward the center of the political spectrum. It’s not inconceivable they could lose their aura to a more central school like the University of Chicago if they continue to lean hard to the left.