World & Nation

No, this isn’t the first time the majority of students admitted by Harvard University are nonwhite

FILE - In this March 7, 2017 file photo, rowers paddle down the Charles River near the campus of Har
A view of the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

The Boston Globe reported this week that for the first time in Harvard University’s 381-year history, the majority of the students offered admission are not white.

The Washington Post and BBC published their own version of the story, which took off on social media.

The story is correct that 50.8% of the students admitted are minorities. But it is not the first time. In fact, the proportion is down slightly from 51.4% last year.

The data are released each spring and published in the official Harvard Gazette.


Of the 2,056 candidates offered admission this year, Asian Americans comprise 22.2%, followed by African Americans at 14.6%, Latinos at 11.6%, Native Americans at 1.9% and Native Hawaiians at 0.5%.

Of the 2,037 admitted last year, the breakdown was 22.1% Asian American, 14% African American, 12.7% Latino, 2.2% Native American and 0.4% Native Hawaiian.

Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane said the numbers in the Gazette were accurate. She declined to comment on the various reports hailing Harvard’s minority admission numbers as record-setting this year.

At least some other Ivy League schools also made the majority of their admissions offers to non-white students, including Princeton and Cornell.


Staff writer Jaweed Kaleem contributed to this report.

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