81 Percent of Class of 2024 Admits Accept Spots in the College Amid Pandemic Uncertainty


Roughly 81 percent of the admitted students to the College Class of 2024 will attend Harvard next year, the College announced Friday morning.

When Harvard’s reply deadline passed on May 1, the yield figure stood at 84 percent — the College’s highest since the 1970s. It decreased three percentage points since then as students deferred enrollment due to uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new 81 percent number marks a slight dip from the 82 percent of Class of 2023 admits who enrolled in the College this past fall. As admits elect to take gap years, the College has already pulled students off its waiting list and will make all final decisions by the end of July.

Over half of entering freshmen applied for financial aid. Roughly 22 percent will have their education covered by the College’s Financial Aid Initiative — a slight increase from 20 percent of Class of 2023 students who qualified for the initiative’s low-income portion.


Women make up over half of the incoming class: 51.8 percent, compared to 48.2 percent men. Asian Americans represent 24.6 percent of the incoming class, a slight decrease from a record-high 25.6 percent for the Class of 2023. African Americans comprise 13.9 percent of the class, an increase from 13.1 last year, and the proportion of Latinx students remained level at 11.8 percent. Native Americans and Native Hawaiians make up 2 percent of the class, down slightly from 2.2 percent last year.

Prospective social science concentrators make up over a quarter of the incoming student body at 27 percent, with 19.9 percent interested in concentrating in the biological sciences, 15.1 percent in the humanities, 9.5 percent in engineering, 7.4 percent in physical sciences, 7 percent in math, and 6.8 percent in computer science. Just over seven percent of the Class of 2024 remains undecided about their potential field of study.

Still, those statistics may change during the three semesters entering students have to select a concentration. A recent College report surveying data from the incoming classes of 2015 through 2021 found that “58% of students who report that they intend to concentrate in a Humanities discipline in the application to Harvard actually end up declaring a concentration in a non-Humanities discipline.”

International students make up 11.5 percent of the incoming class, a decrease from 13.1 percent of current freshmen.

First-generation students are 18.7 percent of the class, jumping from 14.5 percent for the Class of 2023. The number of students with prior military experience or who look to participate in ROTC at Harvard also grew. Twelve veterans and 34 students interested in ROTC will join the entering class, an increase from six and 28 from the Class of 2023, respectively.

“The Class of 2024 is comprised of so many of the nation’s and world’s promising students,” Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said in the release. “We are delighted that they have chosen Harvard for their undergraduate experiences, and we look forward to seeing all they accomplish in their years here.”

—Staff writer Benjamin L. Fu can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BenFu_2.

—Staff writer Dohyun Kim can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @dohyunkim__.