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Key Points

Key Points

Diversity for a globalized world

For more than 40 years, the Supreme Court has established and repeatedly affirmed that race can be one of many factors considered in college admissions as a critical means to create diverse campus communities that benefit all students.

Two federal courts ruled in Harvard’s favor

In her October 1, 2019 ruling, U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs offered an unequivocal affirmation of the principles of diversity and inclusion central to Harvard’s mission, and to the missions of colleges and universities throughout the country.

On November 12, 2020, the First Circuit upheld the District Court’s ruling in Harvard’s favor. 



An extraordinary applicant pool

The large majority of the 60,000+ applicants to Harvard College are academically qualified, requiring the College to consider more than grades and test scores.

  • In a recent admissions cycle there were:

  • 2,000

    available slots at Harvard College.

  • 4,000+

    applicants were ranked first in their high school classes.

  • 18,000+

    scored 700 or above on the SAT reading and writing test.

  • 20,000+

    scored 700 or above on the SAT math test.

Increase in Asian-American students

  • 28%

    of the 2026 admitted class self-identify as Asian-American.

The percentage of Asian-Americans in Harvard College’s admitted classes has grown significantly over time.

Preparation for a diverse society

A diverse university prepares students for a diverse society. The Supreme Court has consistently recognized that a class that is diverse on multiple dimensions, including on race, transforms the educational experience of students from every background and prepares graduates to succeed in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.