Meet the Class of


Meet the Yalies

By Alexandra A. Chaidez and Samuel W. Zwickel

Harvard and Yale students may not always see eye-to-eye — but the demographics of freshman classes at the rival schools look remarkably similar on paper, according to surveys distributed on both campuses.

The Crimson and the Yale Daily News, the New Haven school’s student newspaper, both polled the incoming freshman classes of their respective universities in August. The YDN received responses from 851 students, marking a response rate of 54 percent. The Crimson received responses from 1,064 freshmen, representing roughly 64 percent of the class. Neither The Crimson nor the YDN adjusted for selection bias.

  • Both freshmen classes saw a significant percentage — over 27 percent— of students whose families make over $250,000 per year, representing the 97th income percentile in the United States.
  • The two schools also reported a similar racial and ethnic composition. Forty-six percent of respondents at Harvard said they identified as white, compared to 41.5 percent of Yale respondents. Of Yale respondents, 6.3 percent identified black, while 10.7 percent of Harvard respondents did so. 17.1 percent and 7.7 percent of surveyed students at Yale said they identified as Asian and Latinx/Hispanic, respectively — roughly similar to Harvard’s statistics.
  • More Harvard than Yale freshmen — 82 percent as compared to 78 percent — indicated they were straight in the survey. Five percent of both Harvard and Yale respondents said they were gay or lesbian. Close to 10 percent of surveyed Yalies identified as bisexual, whereas 8 percent of Harvardians did so.
  • More than half of respondents from each school reported receiving financial aid — 55.4 percent of Harvardians and 54.9 percent of Yalies did so.
  • 49.8 percent of Harvard freshmen and 54.1 percent of Yale freshmen said they identify as women.
  • Students from the Northeast make up the majority of the incoming classes — 42.2 percent of Harvard respondents and 37.4 percent of Yale respondents reported hailing from the region. Twelve percent of Harvard respondents said they are international students, while 17.2 percent of Yale respondents reported hailing from foreign countries.
  • Harvard appears to have admitted a larger percentage of legacy students to the Class of 2022 than did Yale, according to the survey results. More than 14 percent of surveyed Harvard freshmen said they are legacy students, while 11.6 percent of Yale students did so.