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Rejections from Harvard climb to a record high

Harvard University in Cambridge.Lisa Poole/AP File

Harvard University rejected a record number of applicants for its Class of 2019.

Admission letters were sent to 1,990 of 37,307 who applied, the college said, for an acceptance rate of 5.3 percent. The acceptance rate last year was 5.9 percent.

Applications rose 9 percent over last year amid publicity about financial aid and expanded multimedia outreach to prospective students.

“The Admissions Committee has assembled a class that promises to be one of the best in Harvard’s long history,” William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, said in a statement.

The admission rate at other Ivy League colleges ranged from 6.1 percent at Columbia University to 10.3 percent at Dartmouth to 14.9 percent at Cornell University, Bloomberg News reported.


Non-Ivy Stanford University had the lowest acceptance rate at 5 percent.

At Harvard, incoming students come from all across the country, with a strong international presence, the college said. Around 22 percent come from Mid-Atlantic states, 21 percent from Western states, 18 percent from the South, 17 percent from New England, 11 percent from the Midwest, and 11 percent from the US territories and abroad.

Harvard said about 3,200 of the applicants were ranked first in their high school classes. Tuition for the upcoming school year has increased by 3 percent to $41,632, with a total cost of attendance $60,659.

The college said that more than half of Harvard students are expected to receive need-based aid, and families will pay an average of $12,000 annually.

Admitted students have until May 1 to accept their offers.

Rebecca Fiore can be reached at