Top Colleges Report Record Low Rates of Admission

Harvard accepts just 7% of applicants
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2008 3:01 PM CDT
Jason Lee, 21, president of the Harvard Black Students Association, poses in front of the Widener Memorial Library at Harvard University, Monday, April 23, 2007 in Cambridge, Mass.   (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)
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(Newser) – Acceptance letters from the nation's top colleges will begin to arrive on prospective students' doorsteps today, but far more rejection letters are in the mail than ever before, reports the New York Times. Harvard and Yale accepted only 7.1% and 8.3% of applicants, respectively, both record lows as schools struggle with changing demographics.

Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, and Bowdoin also saw record lows in acceptance rates as the number of applicants swelled. Part of the increase is high school classes that have been increasing in size for 15 years. The convenience of online applications, aggressive recruiting, increased financial aid packages, and a rise in the number of applications filed by individual students also contributed to the record numbers.