5,177 Undergraduates Enrolled at Harvard for Spring Semester, Continuing Lower Enrollment Trend Amid Covid-19


The number of enrolled undergraduates remains roughly 20 percent below enrollment levels during previous academic years as the College continues to operate remotely due to the pandemic.

As of Thursday, 5,177 students were enrolled at the College for the spring semester, according to College spokesperson Rachael Dane. Dane noted that leaves of absence are still being processed by the Administrative Board.

In contrast, 6,755 College students enrolled during the 2019-2020 academic year, per Common Data Set filings.

Last fall, 5,382 undergraduates were enrolled as of the deadline for which students can opt to take the semester off without incurring a fee. As of that deadline this spring, Jan. 29, 5,227 students were enrolled.


The College conducted courses remotely during the fall and invited freshmen to live in Harvard’s dorms as well as students with special circumstances. This spring, the College invited seniors, juniors, and students with challenging learning environments back to campus to continue to take classes online.

Consistent with the fall semester, the Class of 2022 remains the smallest undergraduate cohort with 1,163 enrolled juniors this spring.

By contrast, 1,417 members of the Class of 2021 enrolled, making it the largest cohort. This spring, 1,354 freshmen and 1,243 sophomores enrolled.

More than 1,700 students are living on campus in the spring, including 655 seniors, 451 juniors, 414 freshmen, and 257 sophomores, as of Jan. 29, according to Dane.

Some students said they declared a leave of absence this spring after enrolling in the fall semester, but finding it marked by virtual classes, limited social opportunities, and canceled athletics.

Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana said in a late January interview that he encourages students debating whether to take a leave of absence to “make the best decisions for themselves.”

“Our goal has really been to provide information and advice and resources to help facilitate those decisions,” Khurana said. “Our focus is on the students right now who are currently enrolled, whether they are off campus or on campus.”

“We look forward to welcoming back students who’ve chosen to take a leave when they decide they want to come back,” he added.

—Staff writer Alex Koller can be reached at

—Staff writer Taylor C. Peterman can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @taylorcpeterman.