Photo credit: Megan M. Ross
Meet the Yalies

By Caroline S. Engelmayer and William L. Wang

Though they’ll be rooting for different teams at The Game, the freshman classes at Harvard and Yale look remarkably similar demographically, according to surveys distributed to the Ivy League rivals’ Classes of 2021.

The Crimson and the Yale Daily News, the New Haven school’s student newspaper, polled the incoming freshman classes of their respective universities in August on a variety of topics. The YDN received responses from 1,143 students, a response rate of 72 percent. The Crimson received responses from 853 freshmen, representing roughly 50 percent of the class. Neither The Crimson nor the YDN adjusted for selection bias.

  • Both freshmen classes count a similar—and disproportionately high—proportion of families making over $250,000 per year, the 97th income percentile in the United States. Over a third of the freshmen respondents at both schools reported family incomes above $250,000. 17.1 percent of surveyed students at Harvard and 14.7 percent at Yale reported family incomes over $500,000.
  • The two schools reported markedly similar racial and ethnic composition. 52.1 percent of surveyed students at Harvard identified as white, compared to 49.7 percent at Yale. Of the Yale respondents, 25 percent identified as Asian, 8.9 percent as black, and 11.3 percent as Hispanic or Latino, roughly similar to Harvard.
  • Still, over half of freshman respondents at both schools said they receive financial aid: 55.5 percent of Harvard’s class of 2021 and 52.3 percent of their New Haven counterparts.
  • Both freshman classes are majority female, with women comprising 53.1 percent of Harvard’s respondents and 53.6 percent of Yale’s. Transgender students comprise 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent of the Harvard and Yale respondents, respectively.
  • More Harvard freshmen respondents identified themselves as straight than did at Yale—82.5 percent versus 77.4 percent. Seven percent of Yale freshmen and 5.6 percent of Harvard freshman respondents identified themselves as gay, while 7.9 percent of Harvardians and 8.6 percent of Yalies said they were bisexual.
  • The majority of respondents in both classes come from the Northeast—39.4 percent from Harvard and 36.6 percent from Yale. Roughly 12 percent of Harvard respondents were from outside the United States compared to about 18 percent of Yale respondents.
  • Harvard freshmen have more previous connections to the University than their Yale counterparts: While 71 percent of Yale respondents said they did not know of any relatives who had attended their university, only 58.8 percent of Harvard respondents responded similarly.

—Staff writer Caroline S. Engelmayer can be reached at caroline.engelmayer@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @cengelmayer13.

—Staff writer William L. Wang can be reached at william.wang@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @wlwang20.