Advertisement

Admissions

Student Life

Image

Admissions

Image

Step 1
Admissions

The Admissions Process

Step 5
Admissions

Step 5

The admissions packets that will be mailed out to roughly 2,000 lucky applicants on Thursday, having already been assembled, await their departure on the floor of the file room. On Thursday, a mail truck will pull up to the back door of the admissions office, and students and staffers will hoist over 30,000 decision letters out the door—a fitting outpouring of paper in response to the huge volume of papers that cascaded into the office just a few months ago.

Step 4
Admissions

Step 4

After an application is completed, it is whisked away to be evaluated by admissions officers. Each file is read first by the officer who covers the area of the world from which the applicant hails; applications might then be read by as many as four other people, including professors whom the admissions office consults to better evaluate applicants’ talents in their fields. Beginning on January 30, admissions officers meet in subcommittees to review applications. Though the 20 subcommittees are divided by region, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 insists that “the person from Cambridge Rindge and Latin is competing with the person from Kuala Lumpur. The subcommittee is just the place to start from.” The applications that make it past this phase are reviewed by the full committee, which met this year from March 4 to 20 for six days each week.

Step 3
Admissions

Step 3

Some of the materials that come into the office’s mail room can’t be stored in filing cabinets. On a set of shelves across the hall from the file room, all of the supplementary materials submitted by this year’s applicants—from music CDs to a knitted hat to a bottle of homemade hot sauce—are stored, carefully tagged to identify their creators. “A lot of kids write books, more than you’d think,” says Manager of Records Operations for Admissions Ian Anderson, gesturing casually at a shelf stuffed with these literary efforts. Anderson keeps some of the most unusual submissions from past years in his office—including homemade soaps decorated with pictures of Memorial Church and John Harvard.

Step 2
Admissions

Step 2

Though more than 96 percent of applicants applied online this year, the admissions workers print out all application materials. This year, Harvard received a record-breaking number of applications—approximately 30,500. At about 30 pieces of paper per applicant—including teacher recommendations, interview reports, and other supplementary materials—this equals nearly 1 million pieces of paper.

Step 1
Admissions

Step 1

Applications begin to trickle into the filing room in the basement of Harvard’s Office of Admissions in the fall, and by December, the stream of applications has become a deluge. The 30 students who work in the file room begin to file applications on Oct. 1, placing material submitted by applicants into alphabetized folders that fill dozens of filing cabinets in the long, narrow file room. In January, a team of 40 students from the surrounding area, drawn mainly from the University of Massachusetts system, processes the bulk of the applications.

Admissions

Z-Listed Students Experience Year Off

Each year, Harvard offers admission to a select group of students—known among admissions officers as the “Z-list”—on the condition that they take a mandatory year off before enrolling in the College.

Admissions

Harvard College Hikes Costs Past $50,000

The price of a year at Harvard College will break the $50,000 barrier next year as a result of a 3.8 percent hike in tuition, room, and board, the University announced today.

Admissions

BYU is More Popular than Harvard

Many of us Harvard students weren’t exactly known as the popular kids in high school. But it seems that as a university, we’re doing pretty well on the popularity scale. Still, we're not yet king.

Admissions

Image

Brigham Young would be proud.

Admissions

Penn Launches Outreach Program to LGBT Applicants

In response to Penn's new outreach initiative directed toward LGBT-identified applicants, Harvard admissions staff emphasized providing information without invading students' privacy.

Race

Harvard Considers Putting Out Admissions Materials in Spanish

In an effort to assist applicants from Spanish-speaking families during the admissions process, Harvard has recently begun offering informational materials in Spanish and may expand these offerings in the future.

Admissions

Applications Up at Top Universities

Many top universities have seen their application totals increase in numbers that range from moderate to dramatic, a jump some counselors have attributed to anxious high school students submitting more college applications.

Advertisement