Friday, May 20, 2011

Harvard legacy and waitlist admissions

The Crimson reports: Legacy Admit Rate at 30 Percent

"Harvard’s acceptance rate for legacies has hovered around 30 percent—more than four times the regular admission rate—in recent admissions cycles, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 told The Crimson in an interview this week.
Fitzsimmons also said that Harvard’s undergraduate population is comprised of approximately 12 to 13 percent legacies, a group he defined as children of Harvard College alumni and Radcliffe College alumnae.
"Fitzsimmons’ comments came the week after a discussion at New York University on legacy admissions between Yale Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel, senior fellow at The Century Foundation Richard D. Kahlenberg ’85, and Bloomberg News editor at large Daniel L. Golden ’78.
"According to a New York Times story on the event, Brenzel said that Yale rejected 80 percent of its legacy applicants. Brenzel reported that Yale legacies comprise less than 10 percent of the class, according to Kahlenberg.
"Brenzel also said that there is a positive correlation between alumni donations and legacy admissions. According to Brenzel, Yale fundraising suffers when fewer legacies are accepted. Still, he said, this year Yale rejected more children of top donors than it accepted.
"Fitzsimmons defended Harvard’s legacy admissions rate.
“If you look at the credentials of Harvard alumni and alumnae sons and daughters, they are better candidates on average,” said Fitzsimmons, part of what he sees as the explanation for the disparity in the acceptance rate. “Very few who apply have no chance of getting in.”
"Because of the family background of legacies, he said, students are more likely to be aware if they are unlikely to be accepted."

In other 2011 admissions news...
Higher Yield Means Few Waitlist Admissions
"The yield for Harvard College’s Class of 2015 increased to nearly 77 percent, up slightly from 75.5 percent last year, the University announced Thursday morning. The yield at Harvard, which measures what percentage of accepted students choose to attend, is typically among the highest in the nation.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said that he anticipates his office will admit approximately 10-15 students off the waitlist this year, with some decisions potentially coming as early as this Tuesday. This number is far lower than the 50 to 125 students Fitzsimmons previously said his office generally hopes to admit each year."

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