Harvard Enrolls a Record Number of Black and Latino Freshmen

Harvard University’s undergraduate college enrolled record numbers of African-American and Latino students for its freshman class, at a time when more states are banning race-based affirmative action in college admissions.

Harvard, the world’s wealthiest college, also had the second highest percentage of students accepting offers to attend -- 82 percent -- the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based school said today in a statement. The highest was 83 percent in 1969.

The matriculation rate is partly a result of the school’s financial-aid program and advances in its digital communications with admitted students, William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, said in the statement. Harvard requires no financial contribution from families with annual income below $65,000. Those with incomes of as much as $150,000 and with typical assets pay zero to 10 percent of their annual earnings.

The freshman class will number about 1,665 students, according to Harvard spokesman Jeff Neal. The school enrolled 177 African Americans and 185 Latinos, Harvard said.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved ban in Michigan on using racial preference in admissions at state-run universities. Michigan is one of eight states where race-based admissions are barred at public institutions, by ballot initiative or other government action. Massachusetts is not among them.

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