Harvard, Dartmouth See Number of Applications Plunge

by College Fix Staff on April 25, 2014

Applications to two of the nation’s most coveted Ivy League schools dropped this year.

The number of applications Harvard received fell by 2%.

Things were even worse at Dartmouth.

Education Post reports that Dartmouth saw the number of students applying drop by a staggering 14%. The decline comes after a year full of scandal, including reports of fraternity hazing and sexual harassment.

We at The College Fix have our own theory about this decline. This was one of the most brutally cold winters in recent memory in the U.S. Who in their right mind wants to spend four years in rural New Hampshire after such a winter?

Blame global cooling.




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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 monster221 April 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Actually its because younger americans are seeing their older siblings struggle with debt, only able to find jobs that pay what they could make installing cable or stripping, and realizing that they are better off spending 4 years starting a business or being pretty and getting married. College has become a sham, a pyramid scheme educating educators. The sexual haassment scandals only scare off the young men. Everyone sees it except the people with a vested interest in college. Cheers.


2 Michael April 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Actually, it has nothing to do with debt. You would know this if you were familiar with the fact that both of these schools give extremely generous financial aid to admitted students, many families pay nothing at all. Familiarize yourself with the income/employment gap between degree holders and people who never attended college.

The REAL reason the numbers plunged for Dartmouth is because the college stopped accepting AP credits, which previously allowed students to skp certain intro classes.


3 dump April 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Not allowing AP was dumb, but this idea that Colleges are generous with financial aid is a crotch of garbage. I go to a university right now and they only give me 4 grand a semester that includes the pell grant. I make great grades and take difficult classes, but that does not seem to matter. The cost of going to the school is about 12 K a year. If I were living in dorms it would be about 16 K. Many people are seeing college for what it is, and it is a scam. Unless someone is going into the hard maths and sciences, stay away from college and go to a trade school or a 2 year school. Most degrees should be about 2 years anyway. It is the GEC garbage that causes most students to have to stay for 4 years.


4 Michael April 27, 2014 at 11:24 pm

You missed the point entirely, which wasn’t that all universities meet 100% of need. The point was that many top schools, including Dartmouth and other Ivies, guarantee to meet 100% of financial need. Just because your school doesn’t does not mean college is a “scam” (also, $12k/yr is nothing). All the Ivies are need-based, not merit-based, so good grades DOESN’T matter. Try explaining to the unemployed who don’t have a college degree why those with degrees (even liberal arts) have a 50% lower unemployment rate. Most jobs require a college degree, and not a math/science one.


5 Morgan April 30, 2014 at 6:41 pm

As an Ivy League Student, I can say this “guarantee to meet 100% of financial need” is quite misleading. The ‘guarantee’ is to meet 100% of their perceived financial need. They take the value of things like parental holding and other long term assets into account that don’t and can’t help support the actual costs of attending these schools. Also, tuition literally goes up every single year and my ‘aid’ has not. Lastly, a lot of the aid is given through various federal and school loans anyway which supports the initial argument.

6 MichaelKennedy May 1, 2014 at 10:23 pm

They meet the “needs” of the idiots who are protesting. Try explaining to the Starbucks workers with Dartmouth gender studies degrees how lucky they are.

7 Jaye May 1, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I have a degree I have never used. I started my business in college and paid my loans off with my income from my business. Never looked back. College is a scam and part of the liberal indoctrination.

Where are the “many families paying nothing”?


8 Jane May 2, 2014 at 7:21 am

Lots of elite colleges already do this, albeit with a lot less fanfare than Dartmouth. Besides, the kind of students going to Dartmouth generally stay four years anyway – they’re not looking to use AP credits to graduate early.


9 1389AD April 27, 2014 at 10:33 pm

And if you want to live in a cold climate, Russia offers a hell of a lot more freedom and opportunity than does nanny state New England.


10 Brendon Carr May 2, 2014 at 6:35 am

Stripping and porn no longer make money. Sadly, hooking is where the money is now.


11 JTDeth April 28, 2014 at 8:13 am

Hopefully the smarter students are figuring out that taking on massive debt to attend an institution drowning in political correctness, Newspeak, and an atmosphere where suppression of free speech is part of suppression of free thought for the purpose of crippling the students so they are incapable of thinking a full range of thoughts for themselves. The time will come, indeed in large part the time is now, when having Dartmouth or Harvard by your name means that you are a neutered, ideological robot incapable of useful contributions in the real world because you choose purposefully to allow yourself to be lobotomized.


12 del2124 April 28, 2014 at 11:28 pm

These schools don’t really make people go into debt. They’re financial packages are really very good. They meet 100 percent need.


13 JTDeth April 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Not my experience.


14 del2124 April 29, 2014 at 12:53 pm

On average, 2010 Dartmouth grads had $12,000 less debt at graduation than their New Hampshire peers.
http://now.dartmouth.edu/2011/11/qa-explaining-dartmouths-relatively-low-student-debt-load-nprs-stateimpact/ Most top schools offer very good financial aid. It’s second-tier privates that result in high debt.


15 JTDeth April 30, 2014 at 11:55 am

My experience was with other elite institutions. Not uncommon for students to leave with $100K or more of debt.

16 Daisy Marsh April 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

FINALLY! Some reason and common sense. Perhaps we, as American citizens, might have a chance to grow up and out of needing a “NANNY STATE” to navigate this HARSH & BEAUTIFUL world.


17 Joe April 28, 2014 at 5:15 pm

If I had to do it all over again, I would have opted for a technical or trade school. Much quicker into a paying job, which often pays for your continuing education.

Or, opted for a technical / skilled position in the military, not necessarily as an officer. Same reason. Training, low or no cost, start earning $$$ right away (or soon) and little or no college debt.

Maybe in the next life.


18 Dave Reesor April 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm

When I hear about the superior education you get at Ivy League universities, I remind people that it was Ivy Leaguers who were in charge of Wall Street and Washington in 2008 when the economy went into the tank.


19 del2124 April 28, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Actually it’s probably a decline in the birth rate. The applicant pool is shrinking everywhere: http://www.nj.com/education/2014/01/is_it_easier_to_get_into_college_this_year_schools_scramble_as_applicant_pool_shrinks.html


20 wm13 May 1, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Umm, mightn’t it be the left-wing students taking over buildings that puts people off Dartmouth? Why does the dopey liberal author of this piece assume that it’s the behavior of fraternities that is offputting? How stupid does he think we are?


21 ddh May 1, 2014 at 10:33 pm

You can’t have a fiesta with tacos and burritos because a Mexican-born, first-generation American woman of color says you shouldn’t. What happens when the Abenaki Indians say no blueberry pancakes for you? Dartmouth sounds dreadful and dreary.


22 FrancisChalk May 1, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Am I doing a jig about this?


23 gridlock2 May 2, 2014 at 7:31 am

Any young man who considers, for a minute, going to one of these grievance factories should have his head examined.


24 Danny K May 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

Can’t have a fiesta at Dartmouth, Harvard worshiping Satan.


25 del2124 April 30, 2014 at 12:22 pm

It’s incredibly uncommon for the average person to leave any institutions with bachelor’s degree and that level of debt. The average at the most selective schools is under 20K, because the schools have endowments such that they can pledge to meet 100 percent need. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/10/ivy-league-student-debt_n_3897459.html


26 JTDeth April 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Even in 2010 college debt totaled June 2010, – total student loan debt passed total credit card debt for the first time.According to the Federal Reserve’s statistical release, G.19 Consumer Credit, the seasonally adjusted revolving credit totaled $826.5 billion as of June 2010. As much as 98% of revolving credit is credit card debt. Student loan debt outstanding totaled at least $830 billion as of June 2010.

I might note that the numbers have not gone down since 2010.


27 del2124 April 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm

That’s total debt. That’s not about schools like Dartmouth. Students at the top schools are not taking on more debt.


28 JTDeth April 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Only $23,521 at Brown, >$20,000 at Cornell and Penn, $17,500 at Dartmouth – just chump change to you, nothing to worry about. *



29 del2124 April 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm

The average in the U.S. is $29,400, so yes, it’s cheaper. People aren’t taking on “massive debt” to go to schools like Dartmouth; they’re taking on less debt than average.


30 JTDeth April 30, 2014 at 1:47 pm

It must be nice to have $29,400 not seem like much.


31 del2124 April 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

No one said that. The point is that $17,500 isn’t that much when $29,400 is the average. The applications to Dartmouth aren’t going down due to “students are figuring out that taking on massive debt to attend an institution drowning…” Students aren’t taking on massive debt to attend schools like these.


32 jambi19 May 1, 2014 at 12:21 am

Is that just the debt from tuition? I find it hard to believe that a student can attend UPENN and Columbia and not spend close to 50k on rent alone.


33 JTDeth May 1, 2014 at 8:26 am

It must be nice to have $17,500 not seem like much. There are other people to whom that would seem a massive debt.


34 del2124 May 1, 2014 at 10:55 am

Education debt. Sure, the total cost is higher, but the debt is low. Financial aid packages include the total cost of attendance.


35 del2124 May 1, 2014 at 10:57 am

The point is you’d take on more debt to go to other, less selective colleges. It’s not debt worries keeping kids away from schools like Dartmouth.


36 Michael May 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Dartmouth and some other Ivies don’t even require loans for students with household income under $100k, it’s all grant aid from the endowment. Federal funds are extremely small by comparison, so it’s inaccurate to say that “a lot of the aid” is given through loans and Fed programs.


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