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The Ivy Coach Daily

August 8, 2020

It Will Be Tough for the Class of 2025

This next year is going to be a tough admissions cycle at our nation’s elite universities — because there will be fewer available slots.

Yesterday, we reported that 340 first-year students in Harvard’s Class of 2024 would be deferring their enrollment. Typically, this same figure at Harvard falls between 80 to 110 students. So if Harvard’s 340 first-year students who will be deferring their enrollment serves as a bellwether for other elite universities, well, let’s just say that it’s going to be a very tough admissions cycle for the Class of 2025 since these students will absolutely be eating up available slots from next year’s batch of applicants. Applicants to the Class of 2024 had it relatively easy. We believe it was one of the easier admissions cycles in recent memory. Applicants to the Class of 2025? It’s going to be tougher. But don’t sweat it because there’s nothing you can do about it other than submit the best applications possible. There’s no sense worrying about something out of your control.

Many First-Year Students Chose to Defer Their Enrollment

So why are so many students deferring their enrollment? Well, the obvious answer is the COVID-19 pandemic. Hello! But as we have argued on the pages of this college admissions blog, it makes little sense to take a gap year when there won’t be a whole lot to do this year without college coursework. What are students to do? Travel to Europe? Americans are currently barred from entering Europe. Finish Netflix? Many young people have already finished Netflix — along with Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max, Disney+, and Apple TV+. Let’s face it — when a remake of Unsolved Mysteries tops the Netflix charts, it means we’ve all been watching too much television.

The First-Year International Student Caveat with F-1 Visas

So why are so many students deferring their enrollment? We’d like to point you to one reason. Harvard and MIT recently claimed a major victory over the federal government, dealing a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to ban international students from American college campuses during the pandemic if the teaching was only offered online. But there was one caveat that held: the federal government’s reversal did not apply to newly admitted international students to the Class of 2024 requiring F-1 visas. So while many colleges haven’t released the breakdown of which students are choosing to defer their enrollment, we believe quite a few are international admits. Stay tuned to see if our nation’s elite colleges release more comprehensive breakdowns of the demographics of students choosing to defer their enrollment.

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