Harvard has seen a surge in applicants who want to concentrate in a particular field

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For the second year in a row, Harvard College had a record-breaking number of applications — with a particularly big surge in students seeking to major in computer science.

The Harvard Crimson reports 39,044 students applied for around 2,000 spots in the class of 2020, narrowly beating last year's total of 37,305 applicants.

Moreover, the number of applicants interested in pursuing computer science increased by 22.1% over last year.

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Harvard has seen a surge in applicants who want to concentrate in a particular field

Median starting pay: $56,900

Median mid-career pay: $99,100

% change from starting to mid-career: +74%

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Median mid-career pay: $90,400

% change from starting to mid-career: +59%

Median starting pay: $57,200

Median mid-career pay: $105,100

% change from starting to mid-career: +85%

Median starting pay: $58,900

Median mid-career pay: $88,200

% change from starting to mid-career: +50%

Median starting pay: $59,600

Median mid-career pay: $92,200

% change from starting to mid-career: +55%

Median starting pay: $59,800

Median mid-career pay: $85,100

% change from starting to mid-career: +42%

Median starting pay: $60,800

Median mid-career pay: $119,600

% change from starting to mid-career: +97%

Median starting pay: $61,600

Median mid-career pay: $103,600

% change from starting to mid-career: +68%

Median starting pay: $61,700

Median mid-career pay: $99,800

% change from starting to mid-career: +62%

Median starting pay: $61,900

Median mid-career pay: $97,200

% change from starting to mid-career: +57%

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Median mid-career pay: $101,400

% change from starting to mid-career: 60%

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Median mid-career pay: $105,100

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% change from starting to mid-career: +67%

Median starting pay: $65,900

Median mid-career pay: $107,900

% change from starting to mid-career: +64%

Median starting pay: $66,500

Median mid-career pay: $113,000

% change from starting to mid-career: +70%

Median starting pay: $66,700

Median mid-career pay: $112,600

% change from starting to mid-career: +69%

Median starting pay: $67,000

Median mid-career pay: $118,800

% change from starting to mid-career: +77%

Median starting pay: $67,300

Median mid-career pay: $108,600

% change from starting to mid-career: +61%

Median starting pay: $69,600

Median mid-career pay: $116,700

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Median mid-career pay: $176,300

% change from starting to mid-career: +72%

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Admissions director Marlyn E. McGrath told The Crimson this huge increase may have been due to the wildly popular onlineComputer Science 50: "Introduction to Computer Science 1" class. That class enrolled 12% of Harvard students when it was offered last fall, and counts Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki among its alumni.

The dean of admissions and financial aid, William R. Fitzsimmons, told The Harvard Crimson that he also thinks more applicants were drawn to the program because of major donations from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and hedge-fund power player John Paulson.

Though Harvard's computer science program has grown immeasurably in size, and prestige, the Silicon Valley-based Stanford is still slightly more competitive. In 2015, Stanford had a 5.05% acceptance rate, narrowly edging out Harvard's 5.3%, reports Business Insider's Peter Jacobs.

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