Follow Us

Harvard applications plummet in potential harbinger for other schools dealing with antisemitism

Not all schools subject to federal investigations over antisemitic incidents have seen a decline in applications, however.

Published: March 31, 2024 11:09pm

Harvard University has seen a decline in applications following months of scandals involving antisemitism, plagiarism and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs in what critics are calling a warning to other schools facing such challenges. 

"Let all of US higher education be warned: If you don’t kick the radicals off campus and off the school’s board, shut down the DEI offices and focus on offering an education worth the cost of tuition, you could be next," the New York Post wrote in an editorial Saturday. 

While Harvard had nearly 57,000 applicants for the class of 2027, applications declined more than 5% to about 54,000 for the incoming class of 2028

The day of the Oct. 7, 2023, terrorist attack on Israel, which was the bloodiest day for Jews since the Holocaust, was met with displays of antisemitism at the Ivy League school.

Harvard student groups signed a letter blaming Israel for the Oct. 7, 2023, terrorist attack hours after the assault began, while Hamas was still on its murderous rampage that killed about 1,200 people.

Then-Harvard President Claudine Gay came under fire for her handling of antisemitism on campus, and scrutiny increased after she told a U.S. House committee that it depended "on the context" whether calling for the genocide of Jews violated school policies. Gay resigned in January following dozens of plagiarism allegations.

Harvard is not the only elite school to suffer a decline in applications following antisemitism allegations.

Brown University applications fell by nearly 5% from last year, according to The Brown Daily Herald.

University of California Berkeley applications also declined by more than 1% from last year, per school data.

Harvard, Brown and Berkeley are facing U.S. Department of Education investigations for alleged discrimination against Jewish students. Many of those schools are also facing questions from the House Education and the Workforce Committee about antisemitism as well.

Not all schools subject to federal investigations over antisemitic incidents have seen a decline in applications, however.

For example, Yale University saw a nearly 10% increase in applications for this fall compared to the previous year, although the Education Department opened a probe into the school in January, after the admissions cycle had closed.

Although the Education Department began an investigation of Columbia University in November, the school still saw a more than 5% increase in the number of applications it received, per the Columbia Daily Spectator.

Meanwhile, some schools, such as Cornell and Princeton, said they are not going to release the number of applicants, according to The New York Times.

Despite the decline in applications, Harvard's anti-Israel stance appears to still be strong. The Harvard Law School Student Government passed a resolution last week calling for the school to divest from Israel and accusing the world's only Jewish-majority country of committing "genocide."

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

Just the News Spotlight

Support Just the News