Harvard Makes History As It Admits Highest Number of Black and Latino Students to Date

By Julissa Catalan

Photo by Shutterstock

The graduating Class of 2018 will be a lot more diverse than previous years.

While some of the top Ivy League schools in the U.S. only accept 5 to 10 percent of students who apply, newly released data reports that Harvard University accepted 2,023 students out the 34,295 applicants for the Class of 2018.

Out of the accepted students, 11.9 percent are Black, while Latinos make up 12.1 percent, a record for the university.

Per The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Harvard typically receives a Black student yield of about 70 percent. Therefore, we can estimate that there will be about 165-170 Black students in this fall’s entering class.

Black students only made up 14 percent of US college enrollment in 2008. 10.8 percent of Harvard students were Black, while Princeton reported 8.2 percent, and Yale had 7 percent.

David Lammy— a Black MP (Member of the Parliament), former higher education minister, and Harvard Law graduate—speculates that Harvard has a higher minority acceptance rate compared to other Ivy Leagues because of its outreach practices. Harvard sends admissions recruiters to every state in the U.S., every year.

In addition to their recruitment practices, Harvard also encourages low-income students to apply for financial assistance.

15 percent of Harvard enrollees received federal Pell Grants in the 2008-09 academic year.

More than 60 percent of the students admitted to Harvard this year will receive need-based scholarships averaging more than $40,000.

About 46 percent of Black undergraduate students receive Pell grants.

Two of the Harvard-admitted Black students have made recent headlines. Kwasi Enin, the Long Island teen who was accepted to all eight Ivy League universities, and Avery Coffey who was admitted to five and hails from the prestigious Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington D.C. (BBAHS is know for having an impeccable track record with college acceptance rates. 100 percent of students who apply to college have been accepted since 1984.)

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