and entering

Admissions Office Trashbags Full of Record Number of Applications

This year's applications piled up in the alley behind Harvard's Office of Admissions.

CAMBRIDGE-– Harvard’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid ­had a record year in receiving 39,000 applications for the Class of 2020. As a result, the office also broke its record for applications thrown away, with more than 35,000 tossed out. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 was thrilled with the higher numbers.

“It’s tough increasing the number of applications we get to throw away every year, but we get it done,” he said. “This year was great-– we dashed the hopes and dreams of tens of thousands of kids!”

Fitzsimmons believes improved outreach tactics were one reason the College was able to achieve such high numbers.

“Our mailing programs were instrumental, and without them we wouldn’t have been able to throw away so many applications,” he said. “We sent out these postcards to tons of kids who have no chance getting in, but when they get the card in the mail they think, ‘Oh, wow, Harvard says I should apply.’ It’s pretty cute when they get their hopes up.”

Fitzsimmons acknowledges that the office could be more environmentally friendly, but he is confident that printing out every application is worth it.

“Even though everything is online now, we like to have physical copies of applicants’ files,” Fitzsimmons said. “It makes discussing applications much easier, and there’s nothing like the feeling you get when you throw a particularly laughable application into the trash. I mean, we could cut down on trash, but where’s the fun in that?”

At press time, Office of Admissions interns were seen playing Trashketball with wadded-up applications.  

© 2016