More African-American students were accepted to Harvard during its early admission process, the Massachusetts Ivy League is reporting.

School officials said applying for early action is becoming the “new normal” for many aspiring students. Early applications rose 5 percent this year to 6,473. Of that number, 14.5 percent, or 938 students, were admitted.

Among the almost 1,000 early action applicants who were accepted, 12.6 percent were African-American—an increase from 9.5 percent last year. Black students make up 11.3 percent of the current freshman class at Harvard.

Officials said course offerings and its financial aid programs may have played a role in increasing applications to the institution.

The Harvard Financial Aid Initiative has awarded nearly $1.6 billion in financial aid to undergraduates since its creation in 2005. Among this year’s early action group, more students have high financial need and are first-generation college-goers, Harvard staff has estimated.

“Financial aid remained critically important to prospective Harvard students,” said Sarah C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid. “It is still too early to know exactly how many of the admitted students will need financial aid, as many students’ financial information is incomplete. Ultimately, we expect that the majority of students will be awarded need-based aid.”

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