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Harvard Application Numbers Skyrocket for the Class of 2025

22 JAN 2021

Harvard University today announced their application numbers for the Class of 2025 reached an unprecedented 57,000 — an increase of 17,000 from the year before. In line with this increase, Harvard and the other Ivy League universities have postponed their regular round notification date to April 6 — at least a week later than the usual admissions round notification date. Stanford has also announced they will delay their notification date to April 9.

Last month many Ivy League schools reported increases in their early round application numbers — suggesting applications submitted in the regular round (with an application deadline of January 1, 2021) may follow suit. Now, Harvard is reporting a year-on-year increase of 17,000 with Princeton, Yale, Columbia, UPenn, Brown, Cornell and Dartmouth yet to reveal their total application numbers for the Class of 2025. With Princeton not offering an early round for the Class of 2025, their regular round numbers are also expected to increase exponentially.

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Crimson CEO and Harvard graduate, Jamie Beaton, says the 2020/21 admissions cycle — and the obstacles related to it in light of the global pandemic — has resulted in an unprecedented shift in application numbers, noting the increase further highlights the already-high value placed on a world class education.

“There’s not doubt this year has been an extremely challenging one for application year students all over the world. With many standardised tests canceled, colleges have had to alter their academic criteria with most schools choosing to go ‘test optional’,” said Jamie.

“This change undoubtedly contributed to the increase in application numbers, but regardless of the factors impacting these historic increases, the numbers in general say a lot about the high regard students all over the world place on a top university education, as well as the necessity for students to stand out from the crowd.”

Crimson Senior Director of Global Service and Harvard graduate, Gabe Gladstein referenced a number of other components which may have contributed to the sharp rise in Ivy League application numbers.

“I think there are a few factors that can help explain increased application rates at Harvard and other Ivies,” said Gabe. “First, a generation of students that already largely lives online spent even more time on the internet this year, and the digital marketing gurus at Harvard and elsewhere rose to the challenge, offering unprecedented numbers of virtual events that reached millions of high school seniors. At the same time, every Ivy suspended the need for SAT and ACT scores, making admission seem more attainable to students who otherwise might have sat out.”

For students who do receive acceptances, in line with notification delays, the ‘accept or decline’ date has been moved back to May 3. Columbia University announced their date alterations as follows: “The joint notification date for the Ivy league this year will be Tuesday, April 6, at 7.00pm Eastern Time. Due to the increase in application and our continued commitment to our holistic review process, this change allows us to most effectively consider each student who has replied. Our candidate response deadline will be extended to Monday, May 3.”

Stanford University commented: “This year, the Office of Undergraduate Admission will release decisions for regular decision and deferred applicants by Friday, April 9. We are also extending the deadline by which students can confirm their enrollment to Monday, May 3. This new timeline reflects a notable increase in our application numbers and our commitment to maintaining a thoughtful and thorough review.”

For further information on the Class of 2025 early round application numbers see the table below:

Ivy League Early Round Acceptance Rates
Early RoundApplied (class of '25)Admitted Acceptance RateApplied (class of '24)Admitted Acceptance RateApplied (class of '23)Admitted Acceptance Rate
Brown ED5,54088515.97%4,56280017.5%4,23076918.18%
Columbia ED6,43565010.10%4,31865015.05%4,46165014.57%
Cornell ED---6,6151,57622.6%6,1591,39522.65%
Dartmouth ED2,66456621.25%2,06952626.4%2,47457423.20%
Harvard SCEA10,0867477.41%6,42489513.9%6,95893513.44%
UPenn ED7,9621,19415.00%6,4531,26919.7%7,1101,27917.99%
Princeton SCEA----791-5,33574313.93%
Yale SCEA7,93983710.54%5,77779613.8%6,02079413.19%
MIT EA15,0367194.78%9,2916877.4%9,6007077.36%

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