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Harvard accepts 740 students for early admission, will continue not requiring SAT or ACT

Harvard Yard.Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg

Harvard University on Thursday accepted 740 students for early admission to the class of 2026 and said that because of the coronavirus pandemic it will continue not to require SAT or ACT scores for the next four incoming classes.

The admitted students were chosen from a pool of 9,406 applicants and are the second class admitted without standardized test scores being required, with the pandemic limiting access to testing sites, Harvard said in a statement. Applicants through the class of 2030 will not be required take the SAT or ACT.

Last year Harvard accepted 743 out of 10,087 early admissions applicants, the university said.


“Each year Harvard sees an outstanding, talented pool of applicants in the early admissions cycle,” William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, said in the statement. “This year’s admitted class brings to Harvard robust talents and life experiences that will shape our community for years to come.”

In the absence of standardized tests, Harvard is considering applicants’ academic achievements, community service, extracurricular activities, family responsibilities, and employment, officials said.

“Students who do not submit standardized test scores will not be disadvantaged in their application process,” Fitzsimmons said. “Their applications will be considered on the basis of what they have presented, and they are encouraged to send whatever materials they believe would convey their accomplishments in secondary school and their promise for the future.”

Almost 12 percent of the newly admitted students will be the first in their families to attend college, compared to 16.7 percent last year. An estimated 10.8 percent are eligible for need-based federal Pell grants, Harvard said.

The admitted student population is 25.9 percent Asian American, 13.9 percent Black, 10.5 percent Latino, 3.7 percent Native American and Native Hawaiian, and 12.6 percent international, officials said.

Prospective students have until Jan. 1 to apply for regular decision admittance. Students not accepted during early admittance will be considered again in that cycle, Harvard said.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.