Harvard Reinstates Early Admissions Process

Harvard University says it is restoring its undergraduate early admissions program and boosting financial aid to coincide with a nearly 4 percent increase in tuition.

Harvard dropped its early admissions program four years ago, saying it wasn't easy for disadvantaged students to access and contributed to high school student anxiety.

Bill Fitzsimmons, Harvard's dean of admissions and financial aid, says since then, early admissions have exploded nationwide — even among disadvantaged students.

"The world's economy collapsed, and what that did is it made many people, especially those who need financial aid, much less certain, really, about their futures," Fitzsimmons said.

The school announced Thursday it will restore the program that students seem to want. It also will try to improve recruiting of students from more modest academic backgrounds.

President Drew Faust said Harvard remains committed to "access, affordability, and excellence."

Harvard also announced that it will boost financial aid to more than $160 million for the 2011-12 academic year, when a 3.8 percent tuition hike takes effect. The total cost of attending Harvard next year is estimated at nearly $53,000.

With material from the WBUR Newsroom and the Associated Press.

This program aired on February 24, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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