You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Harvard’s admission rate drops to 5.8 percent

The odds of getting into an Ivy League school — always long — have gotten longer still.

On Thursday evening, as 35,023 applicants waited anxiously, Harvard sent out letters and e-mails offering 2,029 of them coveted spots in the class of 2017, college officials said. That’s 5.8 percent of the applicant pool, the lowest acceptance rate in the college’s history, following previous years of declines.

Continue reading below

Last year, 5.9 percent of applicants were admitted to Harvard. Admission rates also hit record lows this year at Yale (6.72 percent); Columbia (6.89 percent); and Princeton (7.29).

Declining admission rates are the byproduct of soaring applicant pools, in part because of stepped-up recruiting by top colleges seeking greater diversity, said Bari Norman, president of Expert Admissions, a New York admissions-counseling firm. The low rates are not deterring qualified students. “Even students who know full well that there is such a minute possibility of getting in still apply to Harvard to give it a shot,” she said.

Harvard said it is allocating a record $182 million in need-based financial aid this year, an increase of nearly 6 percent over the previous year. It expects that nearly 60 percent of the incoming students will need aid.

For thousands of students with Ivy dreams, Thursday was no-decision day; they remain in limbo, on wait lists.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.