Economy

Only 3.4% of People Who Applied Got Into This College

Enrollment in colleges, particularly at those rated the best in the country, has surged a year after many students stayed away due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in demand has pushed the acceptance rate at many of these colleges to historic low levels. At one, the acceptance rate dropped to an all-time low of 3.4%.

Harvard University admitted only 1,968 students from a pool of 57,453 applications, according to The Wall Street Journal. Applications rose 43% over last year.

Harvard has a number of distinctions among universities and colleges. It is America’s oldest, founded in 1636. It also has the highest endowment at $40.1 billion, well ahead of second-place Yale’s $30.3 billion. Endowment size cannot be underestimated. Schools use the money to attract the best faculties in the world, to give them world-class research facilities, to build the infrastructure necessary for teaching and student housing, and to give scholarships to the most deserving students. Those scholarships, in theory, help student body diversity.

Harvard ranks at or very near the top of a number of lists of the nation’s and the world’s best universities. It takes the number two spot on the widely followed U.S. News list, just behind Princeton. It tops The Wall Street Journal Best Colleges 2021 list, just ahead of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is located only a few miles away. The Wall Street Journal list shows that the average graduate earns a $92,033 salary 10 years after entering college. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021, which includes more than 1,500 universities across 93 countries, ranks Harvard number three behind the United Kingdom’s Oxford and Stanford.

Another reason Harvard is in demand is due to what becomes of graduates over time. Harvard ranks first in Fortune 500 CEOs at 25, followed by Stamford at 11. Five American presidents went to Harvard, ahead of three each from Yale, Princeton and the College of William and Mary.

Harvard’s run as the “hardest college to into” is unlikely to end.

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