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Undergraduate applications to Harvard University for the class of 2028 dropped to a four-year low, indicating the school’s reputation during a period of historic turmoil and the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action. Despite a 5% decrease in applicants, Harvard still received 54,008 applications, the fourth-highest in its history. The admissions rate for the class of 2028 was 3.58%, up from the previous year, showcasing consistent demand for Harvard despite recent controversies.

While Harvard experienced a decrease in applications, other Ivy League schools such as Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania saw increases in their applicant pools. Columbia University reported a 6% increase in applications, making it the third-highest number of applicants in the university’s history. Meanwhile, the University of Pennsylvania received its largest first-year applicant pool with over 65,000 applicants. Despite controversies and leadership changes, the schools continued to attract interest from prospective students.

The class of 2028 admissions cycle marks the first after the US Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action in college admissions programs. Harvard remains embroiled in controversy, particularly regarding allegations of antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus. Other Ivy League schools, such as Cornell University and Brown University, also reported changes in their applicant pools. Cornell University admitted over 5,000 students without disclosing the number of applications, while Brown University saw a decrease in applicants compared to the previous year.

Harvard’s early admission applications also experienced a decline, falling by 17% to four-year lows. The acceptance rate increased to 8.7% for early applicants, compared to 7.6% the previous year. This decrease in early applications occurred before Harvard President Claudine Gay’s testimony on antisemitism and a plagiarism scandal. Harvard continues to face scrutiny from the House Education and Workforce Committee, which is investigating allegations of antisemitism on campus and has issued a subpoena for documents.

Overall, the admissions figures for the class of 2028 at Harvard University and other Ivy League schools reflect a mix of trends, with some experiencing declines and others witnessing increases in their applicant pools. Despite recent controversies and a changing legal landscape around affirmative action, demand for prestigious universities like Harvard remains strong. The future of admissions at these institutions will continue to be influenced by external factors, including ongoing investigations, leadership changes, and societal issues.

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