Claire S. Yoo, a senior at Idaho Falls High School, said she was so nervous waiting for the results of her early action application to Harvard College that she took an “hour-long shower.”
She was “shaking” as she navigated to the applicant portal.
“I clicked it — and the confetti went everywhere,” said Yoo, who started screaming as her mom ran into the room.
“We all came downstairs and started jumping around,” Yoo added. “It was the best day of my life. Like, genuinely.”
Yoo is one of 1,942 applicants to the College who opened their admissions portals on Dec. 13, 2022 and March 31, 2023 to confetti and the word “Congratulations!” — an official welcome to the Class of 2027.
The 1,220 students accepted during regular decision last month join 722 admits from the early action cycle, who learned of their acceptances in December. The 1,942 admitted students were selected from a total applicant pool of 56,937.
The College admitted 3.41 percent of applicants, marking a slight increase from last year’s 3.19 percent and the second-lowest acceptance rate in the College’s history.
Dev S. Ahuja, a member of the incoming class from Cleveland, Ohio, described Harvard as his “dream school” but said he was deferred after applying early action to the College.
On Ivy Day — when all eight Ivy League schools release admissions results — he planned to open up decisions in alphabetical order, with his parents and grandmother in the room and sister on FaceTime. Still, he decided to save Harvard for last.
“Then I just saw the status update,” Ahuja said. “I took a deep breath. And then I hit the button. And immediately I saw the confetti and I jumped out of my chair.”
Jason Coreas, a senior attending Avalos P-TECH School in Houston, Texas, opened his decision with his mother and brother at his side.
“I opened it, and then the three of us were bawling our eyes out,” Coreas said.
Coreas said his mother, who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico at age 18, “dreamed” of him attending Harvard. As a first-generation college student, Coreas said getting accepted to the College meant “making every single person” in his family proud.
For Stephanie Yakoff, a senior from Fort Lee, New Jersey, who committed to playing tennis at Harvard during her junior year, opening the status update wasn’t such a surprise.
Still, Yakoff said she is looking forward to meeting other members of the class during Visitas, the College’s admitted students weekend, on April 23 and 24.
“Definitely hoping to meet new people and learn more about how Harvard works in general,” Yakoff said.
Yakoff said she has already started to connect with other admits through social media.
“Through Snapchat and Instagram we have all these group chats, through LinkedIn, Discord. So I’ve met, I would say, a good 30, 40 percent of the Class of ’27 now,” Yakoff said.
For Nana Yaa P. Dwomoh, a high school senior from Brookings, South Dakota, decision day coincided with her mother’s birthday.
“The whole day, she was like, ‘All I want for my birthday present is for you to get into Harvard,’” Dwomoh said.
Dwomoh opened her Harvard decision alongside her parents and younger siblings, whom she described as her “motivation.” She said she wanted her siblings to know they could “achieve things like this” and not be discouraged by racial barriers or being from “such a small town.”
“I feel like this was the best example that I could set for them. And so I was crying, seeing their reaction and their happiness,” she said.
Dwomoh — who moved from Ghana to the U.S. during elementary school — utilized organizations like First Gen Scholars and the College For All Program to navigate the admissions process. She immediately texted her mentor after her acceptance.
“And he called me immediately, and he was crying,” Dwomoh said.
Olivia Pan, a senior from Middleton, Wisconsin, said the night before early decision results were released, she had a dream — that she was rejected.
When Pan opened her decision, however, confetti floated across her computer screen.
“I was crying, so I couldn’t speak,” Pan said.
Dominic W. Sheeks, an admit from North Baltimore, Ohio, decided to take a gap year after graduating from high school in 2022. During his time off, he interned with the Hancock Public Health Department on drug addiction policy before applying in the early action cycle.
Though some of his teachers were worried that Sheeks wouldn’t attend college if he took the gap year, Sheeks said it was “by far, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
“I’ve had so much personal and professional growth and gained so much insight into the recovery field but also myself,” he said.
Sheeks said his acceptance to the College was a “full circle moment.”
“I didn’t apply to Harvard for the prestige,” Sheeks said. “But to be able to go to the most competitive university in the nation when years ago, I didn’t even see myself graduating, is very surreal. And I’m definitely very humbled by all of it.”
Correction: April 13, 2023
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Claire S. Yoo was accepted to the Class of 2027 during regular decision. In fact, she was accepted early action.