Harvard Applications Drop Following Scandals, Antisemitism Controversy

Students on the campus of Harvard Law School in Cambridge, MA. Harvard Law School is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)

Undergraduate applications to Harvard University dropped this year following a chaotic period that saw the historic Ivy League school’s once-stellar reputation tarnished by antisemitism and plagiarism scandals.

Harvard announced Thursday it received 54,008 applicants for the class of 2028, down 5% from the year before.

This marks the fewest applications to the storied 387-year-old Massachusetts institution since 2020, which coincided with the start of the COVID pandemic.

But Harvard tried to put a positive spin on the data, stressing that this was the fourth consecutive year that the university had received more than 50,000 applications.

“Beyond another strong applicant pool, we are delighted by the stunning array of talents and lived experiences the class of 2028 will bring with them from throughout the United States and around the world,” William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, said in a statement.

Harvard said it has accepted 1,937 students to the class of 2028 — an admission rate of 3.58%, up from last year’s rate of 3.41%.

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