In what might be considered good news for the economy, Harvard saw a record number of people applying to go to school there this year, with over 37, 307 applications submitted. However, Harvard also decided to accept the lowest number of applicants in the history of the school, with only 5.3 percent of those who applied managing to make it into the program. In 2014, the acceptance rate was 5.9 percent, so there is a fairly considerable decline in the admissions rate this year, although there was only 34, 295 applications last year. Harvard only had 2,000 seats available for 2015, which makes it even more difficult to get into the school, even if you have a 4.0 GPA.
52 percent of the people accepted into the school are men, but more men applied than women, so that number makes sense. 21 percent of the accepted students are Asian-American, 13.3 percent are Latino, and 12.1 percent are African American. What is really impressive is that nearly 3,200 of the students who applied had been ranked first in their class in high school, showing that the competition was very fierce this year compared to some years.
Other top schools in the United States also found themselves in this situation, which is a lot of applicants but not enough spots to take all of the best students the country has to offer. Columbia only took 6.1 percent of students, Stanford accepted 5 percent, Cornell accepted 14.9 percent, and Yale accepted 6.49 percent of applicants. Most of the top schools saw either the highest application rates ever or very close to it, which bodes well for an economy that is still unstable somewhat. This shows that people are willing to pay to get a good education, and with a lot of the students being fresh out of high school, that means a lot of parents are also doing well enough they can help out to send their child to one of the top schools. 13 percent of the students admitted to Penn were the first in their family to go to college, and 45 percent of those were minorities. This is a really positive sign for the economy because it shows that families are willing to spend the money to get their son or daughter into a good school, regardless of the socioeconomic background they come from. A lot of minorities make less money than Caucasian Americans, which means they have to be saving more money out of their paychecks to afford to help send their child off to college.
Another way to look at this is that students are applying for more loans to go to college, which is great considering that financially a few years ago, people were hesitating to get loans due to the economy. The fact that more students are willing to get loans to go to the top schools shows that they believe there will be jobs coming out of college, which is needed in order to pay back the money they spent on school. When students apply for loans, it also helps the economy because that is money that will be pushed back into the system once it gets paid back, which then helps the economy grow. So when you look at what this means, it means that people feel more comfortable taking on the debt associated with college, specifically, top colleges where tuition can be over $100,000 for a four-year degree. While other parts of the economy might not be doing that well, this is one sector that is improving, and you can tell that by the impressive application rates for some of the best schools in the country.