Inside Harvard's Admission Fallout: Declining Applications And Diversity Debates

By Jennifer Wentworth | Sunday, 31 March 2024 04:30 PM
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Harvard University recently disclosed its admission statistics for the 2024 academic year, revealing a significant drop in the number of applicants.

Out of the 54,008 hopefuls, only 1,937 were granted admission, marking a decline in application numbers unseen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This development follows a series of controversies involving the university's leadership, allegations of discrimination on campus, and a landmark Supreme Court ruling prohibiting affirmative action policies in college admissions.

The New York Post reported that Harvard received 5 percent fewer applications than the previous year, yet admitted .17 percent more students. However, the Harvard Gazette appeared to downplay the decline in applicants, stating that "this marks the fourth consecutive year Harvard has received more than 50,000 applications."

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The incoming Class of 2028 is geographically diverse, with students hailing from all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Island, and 94 countries. Females constituted 53.1 percent of the accepted students.

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Harvard has been under scrutiny in recent months, beginning with student groups' controversial statement blaming Israel for the October 7 massacre. The university's leadership was criticized for its tepid response to the incident, which led to a public backlash and an investigation by the Department of Education.

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The university's former President, Claudine Gay, faced criticism for her inadequate response to allegations of antisemitism on campus. Subsequently, her academic contributions were questioned, with allegations of plagiarism leading to her resignation.

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Adding to the university's woes, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in June that colleges and universities could no longer consider race in their admissions process, effectively banning affirmative action policies. This ruling has significant implications for institutions like Harvard, which have historically used such policies in their admissions process.

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