Well, if Harvard’s Class of 2015 statistics are any indication, then our guess about last season’s application volumes was true: There were more Brave Supplicants tossing their hats into the ring than the prior year.
In fact, Harvard is telling us that they saw near-record volumes of apps last year: over 9,300, compared to 8,963 in 2011. That’s a 2% bump, and it is the second highest number they’ve ever reported. The highest was 9,524 in 2009.
HBS also increased the size of the class, to 941, from 919 last year. So that’s good news; they responded to the increase in demand by increasing availability. Of course, as Dee Leopold said, that number may change as the summer goes on (the schools call it the “summer melt” – it’s especially profound in undergrad admissions). But the yield ticked up to 90% so far, after having held constant at 89% for years and years. Most people admitted to Harvard go to Harvard.
We had some signals from other admissions directors that they were seeing an increase in apps last year too. None have released official numbers yet but we’ll be watching to see where the trends are. Columbia and NYU are almost certain to have seen an increase over last year; we’re guessing that Ross did too. We’ll report on this later in summer, as we know the data.
The more important trends to note? That HBS increased its acceptance in financial services – to 14% of the class, from 12% the prior year. Since the class size also increased, then this is noteworthy. The percentage of PE/VC peeps stayed constant. Healthcare industry acceptances went down, from 8% to 6%. None of these changes are earthshattering – but with Harvard, everything is fair game to be dissected and analyzed. Mostly what it tells us of course is that Harvard is consistent, which is always reassuring.
If you’re ready to dive in, Harvard also opened up its application yesterday. And we published our SnarkStrategies Guide for HBS on Friday – completely updated for 2013 (it’s a third longer than the previous version!).
So you’ve got what you need. Have fun with it!