Harvard University's Acceptance Results for the Class of 2028

29/03/202418 minute read
Harvard University's Acceptance Results for the Class of 2028

Harvard remains extremely selective, with a 3.6% overall acceptance rate for the Class of 2028. Applications saw a slight dip, potentially influenced by the Supreme Court's affirmative action ruling. Despite this, 54,008 students applied for only 1,937 spots. The Early Action acceptance rate rose significantly to 8.7%, while Regular Decision increased to 2.7%.

Ever wondered what it takes to join the cohort of students admitted to Harvard's Class of 2028? Turns out, it remains incredibly challenging. Applications have skyrocketed 45% in the past decade, while the acceptance rate has steadily declined.

For this admission cycle, Harvard announced its Class of 2028 results, admitting 1,937 students with an overall acceptance rate of 3.6%, representing a slight improvement over previous years.

The aftermath of the Supreme Court's ruling against affirmative action is evident in Harvard's Class of 2028 admissions cycle.

Applications declined 5.1% overall, including a notable 17% drop in early applications. While the acceptance rate for early applicants increased substantially to 8.7%, the regular decision acceptance rate saw only a slight improvement at 2.7%.

Notably, Harvard withholds racial and ethnic demographic data for the admitted Class until after decisions are finalized, reflecting the complexities of complying with the Court's mandate.

We spoke with Crimson Education's COO, Arkesh Patel, who shared his insights into Harvard's admission trends and shed light on the evolving landscape of elite college admissions.

Harvard Class of 2028 Acceptance Rates
Number of ApplicationsAccepted StudentsAcceptance Rate
Early Applications7,9216928.7%
Regular Applications46,0871,2452.7%

Class of 2028 Regular Decision Acceptance Rate

This year's Regular Decision round for Harvard's Class of 2028 saw subtle yet noteworthy shifts in application numbers and acceptance outcomes. Out of 46,087 Regular Decision applications, Harvard accepted 1,245 students, resulting in a 2.7% acceptance rate

Applications decreased slightly by 2.7% compared to the previous year, with 85.3% of all Harvard applications coming through the Regular Decision process. Despite this decrease, the number of students Harvard accepted via RD increased by 2% (to 1,245 students from last year's 1,220). This resulted in a Regular Decision acceptance rate of 2.7%, representing a 4.9% improvement compared to the Class of 2027, which had an acceptance rate of only 2.6%

Harvard's Regular Decision Acceptance Trends
Class ofRD ApplicationsRD AcceptedRD Acceptance Rate

As you can see from the table, the trend of Regular Decision applications at Harvard over the past five years shows some interesting fluctuations. Here's a closer look at those patterns and what they might indicate:

RD applications peaked for the Class of 2026 (application year 2021/22). This coincides with the later end of the COVID-19 pandemic and Harvard's temporary introduction of test-optional policies from the class of 2025, suggesting these factors fueled the surge of applications.

In the following years, Regular Decision applications declined, potentially due to the diminishing influence of the pandemic on student decisions and the reintroduction of testing requirements at some institutions.

While the number of RD applications generally trended downward in recent years, the RD acceptance rate shows some fluctuation. The highest rate was for the Class of 2024, while the lowest was for the Class of 2026. Year-by-year, these variances could be influenced by the strength of the overall applicant pool or slight changes in the number of spots available in the freshman class.

Overall, the Regular Decision process for Harvard's incoming classes remains incredibly competitive. Although the acceptance rate for the Class of 2028 saw a slight increase compared to the previous year, gaining admission requires exceptional qualifications. Students accepted through the Regular Decision round consistently demonstrate academic excellence, a diverse range of talents, and the potential for significant contributions to the Harvard community and beyond.

Class of 2028 Early Action Acceptance Rate

Harvard's Early Action admissions cycle for the Class of 2028 saw notable changes.

Out of 7,921 applicants, only 692 students were accepted, resulting in an early acceptance rate of 8.7%. This year marked a significant decrease in applications (17%) compared to the previous year.

While the number of accepted students also decreased slightly, the smaller applicant pool led to a substantial increase (15.6%) in the early acceptance rate from last year's 7.6%.

Despite these changes, Harvard is committed to building a diverse incoming class. International students make up nearly 17% of early admits, a significant increase from recent years. Additionally, Harvard's sustained test-optional policy and emphasis on a holistic admissions process prioritize accessibility and attract a broader range of applicants.

These shifts in Harvard's Early Action statistics highlight the dynamic nature of college admissions, demonstrating how various factors can influence the admissions landscape from year to year.

Harvard's Early Action Acceptance Trends
Class ofEA ApplicationsEA AcceptedEA Acceptance Rate

Like the Regular Decision round, Harvard's Early Action results reveal interesting fluctuations over the past five years, as shown in the table. Here's a closer look:

Early Action applications peaked for the Class of 2025. This significant surge coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic and Harvard's implementation of a test-optional policy. However, subsequent years have seen a marked decline in EA applications.

The Class of 2028 saw a 17.1% decrease in applications compared to the previous year. Arkesh notes that these shifts could reflect the diminishing impact of the pandemic on college decisions, changing testing policies, and the evolving public perception of the university in light of its stances on various social and political issues.

The EA acceptance rate has varied significantly. The Class of 2024 saw the highest rate (13.9%), followed by a notable dip for the Class of 2025 (7.4%). However, the acceptance rate increased for subsequent years, reaching 8.7% for the Class of 2028. These variations likely reflect year-to-year changes in the overall strength and size of the applicant pool.

Applying Early: Does It Offer an Advantage?

Harvard's Early Action acceptance rate of 8.7% is significantly higher than its 2.7% Regular Decision rate. This aligns with Arkesh's observation of a 2-3x advantage in early rounds at many top schools, indicating that applying early may boost your chances.

Why the Early Advantage? There are a few reasons behind this:

  • Demonstrated Interest: Applying early signals your strong commitment to Harvard.
  • Smaller Applicant Pool: You compete against fewer applicants, potentially increasing your odds.

Important Reminder:

While timing matters, demonstrating exceptional qualifications is paramount. Whether applying early or regular, Harvard seeks students with outstanding academic records, diverse talents, and the potential to make significant contributions to their community. Ensure your application is meticulously prepared, highlighting your unique strengths and showcasing your readiness for the Harvard experience.

Harvard's admissions landscape has transformed dramatically over the past ten years. A close look at acceptance rate statistics reveals clear trends: a dramatic increase in applications, a fluctuating yet downward trend in acceptance rates, and intriguing shifts in response to policy changes

Let's break down what this means for prospective students, particularly in light of the recent changes to affirmative action policies.

  • Escalating Competition: The most significant trend is the substantial application growth alongside a consistent decline in acceptance rates. Compared to the Class of 2019, the application pool for the Class of 2028 grew by an astonishing 45%. This reflects not only the ever-increasing competitiveness of Harvard admissions but also a broader trend in higher education where students are strategically applying to a wider range of elite institutions.
  • The Impact of Test-Optional Policies: The surge in applications for the Class of 2025 coincides with Harvard's temporary test-optional policy. This suggests that the policy change significantly expanded the applicant pool.  With Yale, Brown, and Dartmouth reinstating testing requirements, it will be interesting to see how Harvard's application numbers evolve in the coming years.
  • Enduring Appeal: Despite a lower acceptance rate, Harvard remains a highly sought-after institution. This reinforces the consistent allure of the university's academic reputation, global reach, and unparalleled opportunities.
  • The Affirmative Action Cloud: The recent Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action adds another layer of complexity to Harvard's admissions landscape. The full impact of this ruling on application numbers admitted student demographics and future legal challenges remains to be seen.
Harvard's Acceptance Statistics: Last 10 Years
Class ofTotal ApplicationsAccepted StudentsAcceptance Rate

Who Gets Into Harvard?

Gaining admission to Harvard University is an increasingly rare achievement, as evidenced by the growing number of applications and the declining acceptance rate. In this dynamic landscape, further complicated by the Supreme  Court's ruling against affirmative action, successful applicants must present truly exceptional profiles that showcase both scholarly potential and broader personal strengths.

So, what does it take to get into Harvard? Here's a closer look:

  • Excellence Inside and Outside the Classroom:  Harvard seeks students who demonstrate a strong foundation of academic excellence through consistently high grades in challenging courses and intellectual curiosity.  Equally important are talents, passions, and experiences beyond the classroom.  This could include leadership roles in extracurricular activities, a demonstrated commitment to community service, exceptional athletic or artistic abilities, or unique research experiences.
  • Compelling Personal Narrative: The admissions committee looks for students with compelling stories to tell. Whether through personal essays or letters of recommendation, applicants should highlight their unique experiences, challenges they've overcome, and how their backgrounds have shaped their perspectives.
  • Potential for Impact: Harvard values students who show the potential to make significant contributions to both the Harvard community and the wider world. Applicants should articulate how they plan to use their education to create positive change and address global issues.

In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling, it's uncertain how Harvard's admissions process will evolve.  However, the university's commitment to building a diverse and intellectually vibrant class remains steadfast. Prospective students should focus on showcasing their unique strengths and demonstrating their potential to thrive in this challenging and rewarding environment.

If Harvard is your dream school, be sure to read our complete guide on what it takes to get into Harvard!

Proven Success in a Competitive Landscape

Crimson Education has a track record of helping students achieve their admissions goals. Our personalized approach and expertise in selective admissions have led to impressive results. This year alone, over 200 Crimson students were accepted to top US universities in the early round. Here's a breakdown of our numbers so far:

Updated 2023/2024 Admissions Cycle Stats so Far (9:20pm ET)

  • 126 offers to the Ivy League.
  • 280+ offers to the US Top 20, including offers to Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Rice, Vanderbilt, and University of Notre Dame.
  • 15% of Ivy League and 27% of top 20 early round applicants received offers to their dream schools.
  • 1280+ offers to the US Top 50, including offers to NYU, University of Michigan, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, University of Virginia, and Washington University in St. Louis.
  • 1000+ offers to each student’s first choice school.

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