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Harvard, Yale, Ivy League Universities, Report Record Low Admission Rates.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia universities reported record-low freshman admission rates for the 2013-2014 academic year as applications soared. The class admitted will report in early September this year.

Harvard admitted 2,029 students, or 5.8 percent of a record 35,023 applicants. About 10 Kenyans, mostly from national and leading provincial schools, were also admitted, from the early admission decision in December and the regular admission decision released on Thursday, March 28. Yale accepted 6.7 percent, Princeton offered admission to 7.3 percent and Columbia accepted 6.89 percent, the schools said in statements.

Top U.S. Ivy league universities that offer generous financial aid are luring record numbers of applicants even as the cost to attend increases faster than the pace of inflation and the number of high school graduates declines. The Common Application, an online form that lets students apply to multiple schools, has helped drive the surge, said Robin Mamlet, former dean of admissions at Stanford University.

“More students are going for their reach or dream colleges through the use of the Common App,” Mamlet said in a phone interview. In years past, completing laborious paperwork for each school limited the number
that most students applied to, Mamlet said. “That barrier has been taken away.”
Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut, offered admission to 1,991 students. It received 29,610 applications. It admitted 6.8 percent last year.

Princeton accepted 1,931 students from a pool of almost 26,500. A year ago, it accepted 7.9 percent, a record low at the time.

Financial Aid

The four schools, which make up half of the northeastern U.S.-based Ivy League, are among the wealthiest universities in the U.S, and in the world. They are “need blind” institutions, where a student’s ability to pay isn’t taken into consideration for admissions.
Harvard increased its financial-aid budget for the coming year by 5.8 percent to $182 million (Kshs. 14.4 billion), the school said earlier this week. Almost 60 percent of the new freshman class will need assistance, said financial-aid director Sarah Donahue.

Much of the application increase over the past few years has been driven by students seeking Harvard’s aid and scholarship, said William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, in a phone interview.
Perhaps, this might be an encouragement to poor but talented students from minority groups, in Africa, and from other areas where a student might not have the ability to pay the full fees.

Harvard hasn’t increased marketing to potential applicants because it would be “counterproductive to invite people into a pool and then turn them down,” Fitzsimmons said.

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