Further demonstration of the competitive disadvantage at which Yale has put itself by refusing substantive financial aid reform:

The total number of applications to Yale College for the Class of 2009 slightly decreased this year by about 1.2 percent, Yale Dean of Admissions Richard Shaw said…While Yale experienced a decrease in applicants, Harvard University received a record number of applications, and Brown University also witnessed an increase. Other universities in the Ivy League have not yet released their admissions numbers. Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said the University’s admissions numbers do not represent a dramatic shift. “I would characterize [this year’s number] as statistically the same as last year’s,” Salovey said. “If we’re around what we were last year, then we’re very good, because last year was record-setting.”

…In a Harvard press release, Harvard Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William Fitzsimmons attributed the increase in applications to recent changes in Harvard’s financial aid policy. “This unprecedented applicant pool is due in large measure to the new Harvard Financial Aid Initiative announced by President Lawrence H. Summers last February in his keynote address to the American Council on Education,” Fitzsimmons said in the press release. “The new program sends a strong message that Harvard is accessible to all students, regardless of family financial resources.” Although Yale’s number of applications declined, Shaw said he was pleased with this year’s amount, and that the decrease was too small to be relevant.

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