Disclosure of Harvard College Admissions Information

Letter that my sister received on Thursday, October 13, 2016. She applied to college in the time window that the court has ordered records to be released.

Notice to Applicants for Admission to Harvard College

Harvard University is currently defending against a federal lawsuit challenging its undergraduate admissions practices:  Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (Harvard Corporation), No. 14-cv-14176 (D. Mass.).

As part of that lawsuit, the court has ordered Harvard to provide the plaintiff, Students for Fair Admissions (“SFFA”), with admissions information maintained by Harvard about all applicants who applied for first-year undergraduate admission or transfer admission to Harvard College between the fall of 2009 and the spring of 2015.  Because you applied to Harvard for admission during this period, the court’s orders require and may in the future require Harvard to provide to SFFA certain information from your application.

The information that the court has ordered produced to date includes academic, extracurricular, demographic, and other information from your application.  We care deeply about protecting the privacy of our applicants.  Harvard will not provide your name or Social Security Number to SFFA in connection with this production.  In addition, the court has ordered that all information provided be subject to strict confidentiality rules that will prevent SFFA from sharing the information with anyone other than its attorneys without first obtaining approval from the court.  The court also has ordered that SFFA may not use the information to try to learn the identity of any applicant or to contact any applicant without first obtaining approval from the court.

If you have questions, including questions about your ability to object to the disclosure of your information, or if you would like to know more about the lawsuit in general, please visit our FAQs page.  To comply with the court’s order, Harvard will begin producing the required information on October 28th.

While Harvard is legally obligated to produce information in this lawsuit, we remain committed to protecting your privacy and will continue to take actions, including any required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)), if applicable, to protect the confidentiality of your information over the course of this litigation and afterwards.