Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the world. The Harvard University acceptance rate is very low because of the university’s highly competitive environment and strict standards of education.
Harvard University admissions allow only the best of the best students into the school, with the vast majority of applicants rejected. This article provides a review of the stringent, unique Harvard University admission requirements to help those who want to attend this Ivy League school plan ahead for a successful application.
Is Harvard University Easy to Get Into?
No, Harvard University is not easy to get into, as it’s considered one of the most selective schools in the world. If you want to go to Harvard, you’ll need to have excellent grades, test scores, and credentials. You also need to have a well-rounded extracurricular profile and strong letters of recommendation from teachers and professionals in your field.
What Is Harvard University’s Acceptance Rate?
Harvard has an acceptance rate of just 5 percent, according to both US News & World Report and the US Department of Education. In addition to having this very competitive acceptance rate, Harvard University also ranks among the top two universities in the US, with only Princeton University ranking higher, according to US News. Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges list ranks Harvard at number seven in the US.
What Is Harvard University’s Transfer Acceptance Rate?
Harvard University has a low transfer acceptance rate of just 1 percent, making it even more difficult for transfer students to be accepted than standard applicants. Each year, Harvard receives about 1,500 transfer applications, and it highly advises these students to explore a variety of college options due to its strict transfer admissions process.
What Is Harvard University’s Early Decision Acceptance Rate?
Harvard University has an early decision acceptance rate of 13.9 percent, according to US News. This means that you have a better chance of gaining admission to Harvard if you submit a carefully crafted application early.
Harvard University Admissions: An Overview
- Number of Applicants at Harvard University per Year: 57,786
- Harvard University Acceptance Rate: 5%
Harvard accepts thousands of applications from all over the world every year. Admissions at Harvard University are based on a holistic approach that considers each applicant’s talents, interests, and accomplishments. The school looks at test scores, GPA, extracurricular activities and leadership roles, work experience, essays, letters of recommendation, and more.
Who Gets Into Harvard University?
The admissions office also focuses on whether or not you’ll be able to contribute something unique to the Harvard community. Harvard wants its students to be well-rounded individuals who will make meaningful contributions to society after graduation. If this sounds like you, then consider applying.
Harvard University Enrollment by Ethnicity
- Black – 11%
- Asian – 21%
- Hispanic – 12%
Harvard University Acceptance Rate by Major
Harvard has 60 undergraduate fields of study available, and the acceptance rate varies by major. For example, Harvard College, the university’s undergraduate school, accepts 5 percent, but Harvard Law School accepts 7 percent. The most popular majors among incoming students include the social sciences, biological sciences, mathematics, computer and information sciences, and history.
Acceptance Rate by Major at Harvard University
- Social Sciences: 27%
- Biological Sciences: 12%
- Mathematics: 12%
Harvard University Application Deadline: When Is Harvard University’s Application Due?
Harvard University follows two application timelines: the Restrictive Early Action, which releases its decisions in December, and the Regular Decision program, which releases its decisions by March. These two admissions deadlines give you time to compare schools and financial aid offers before making your final decision to enroll.
Harvard University Application Deadlines
- Early Decision Deadline: November 1
- Early Action Deadline: N/A
- Application Fee: $85
- Common App: Yes
What Are the Major Reasons to Go to Harvard University?
Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It’s a member of the Ivy League, and several of its alumni are among the most recognized names in the world, including former President John F. Kennedy and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
It’s also one of the most expensive colleges in America, with tuition at around $55,587 per year for undergraduates. But if you’re looking for an elite education, there are many reasons to consider Harvard.
An Ivy League School
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university. It consistently ranks as one of the top universities in America and in the world by US News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and other top university ranking sources. These rankings are based on factors like research performance, citations per faculty member, and student selectivity, all of which are factors that indicate how well-respected a school is among its peers and rivals alike.
Plenty of Internship Opportunities
Harvard offers plenty of opportunities for its students to be involved in research and internships, both while enrolled as undergraduates and after graduation. These are usually paid internships with prestigious organizations and companies. The programs are intensive, highly focused, and challenging, ensuring a very strong learning foundation for all participants.
A Strong Alumni Network
The Harvard Alumni Association is one of the strongest alumni networks in the world. With hundreds of clubs geared toward alumni who attended Harvard, including cultural groups across six continents, there are endless opportunities to connect with alumni to pursue shared personal and professional interests.
Tips for Applying to Harvard University
The application process for Harvard University is notoriously rigorous, and it’s important to know what you’re up against. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process.
Make Sure Your Application Is Error-Free
Many applicants lose out on admission offers because they didn’t proofread their applications thoroughly. Use spell-checker software and have someone else proofread it for you. Make sure everything looks good before sending off your application so that people don’t think you rushed through it.
Maintain a Good Academic Standing
Getting good grades will help show how well-prepared you are for college-level work, which is critical when applying to Harvard University. Make time to take the SAT or ACT at least twice, once during your junior year of high school and again during your senior year, so that your scores are as high as possible when it comes time to apply.
Do Volunteer Work
If there aren’t any volunteering opportunities at your high school, try looking for one at a local hospital or nursing home. Volunteering shows schools that you are invested in making a positive impact on society. Get involved in extracurricular activities that demonstrate your leadership skills and interest in helping others.
Harvard University Admissions Requirements: First-Year Applicant Checklist
Here are the first-year admission requirements for Harvard University. Note that this information is subject to change, and we recommend checking with the school directly for the most up-to-date requirements. International students will have an additional set of application requirements, which is best discussed with the school’s admissions officers.
- Common Application or Coalition Application
- $85 application fee
- SAT or ACT scores
- AP exam results
- Teacher report
- Midyear school report
- Final school report
Harvard University SAT Requirements
Below we show you the SAT scores required to get accepted into Harvard College. A 25th percentile figure shows that 25 percent of students scored at or below that number, while a 75th percentile figure tells us that 25 percent scored above that number.
- Students Submitting SAT Scores: 69%
- SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 720 (25th percentile); 780 (75th percentile)
- SAT Math: 740 (25th percentile); 800 (75th percentile)
Harvard University ACT Requirements
The ACT is optional for students who are applying to Harvard University. However, it is recommended that you take the ACT if you have not done so already. There are no score cutoffs. Your test results will be evaluated equally along with your other test scores and academic standing.
- Students Submitting ACT Scores: 47%
- ACT Composite: 33 (25th percentile); 35 (75th percentile)
- ACT English: 35 (25th percentile); 36 (75th percentile)
- ACT Math: 31 (25th percentile); 35 (75th percentile)
Acing Your Harvard University Application: What Is the Best Way to Prepare for the SAT and ACT?
The earlier you start preparing for ACT and SAT subject tests, the more time you’ll have to practice and learn new strategies for tackling them. If you wait until the last minute, it will be harder for you to get the score you want.
Take Practice Tests
The best way to prepare is by taking practice tests under test-like conditions (i.e., sitting at a desk with pencils and paper). This will help you figure out which areas you need to focus on, versus the ones you are already strong in so that when it comes time for the real thing there will be fewer surprises.
Get a Tutor
Once you have determined which areas you need to focus on through your practice test results, it can be a good idea to get a tutor to help you strengthen any weak areas. Look for a tutor who specializes in the SAT or ACT. Even a single tutoring session can have a big impact on your test performance.
Harvard University GPA Requirements: What GPA Do I Need to Get In?
The Harvard University GPA requirement depends on your intended major. Most students will need at least a 3.6 GPA in order to be considered for admission. The average GPA for accepted applicants is 3.97, and many applicants have GPAs over 4.0.
Generally, however, Harvard doesn’t have a minimum GPA requirement for admission. However, if your GPA is too low, your application will be automatically rejected by the admissions office at Harvard. The good news is that applicants with lower GPAs can still get accepted into Harvard if they have other strengths in their application, like essays and extracurricular activities.
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If you want to maximize your chances of getting accepted to Harvard, then make sure that you submit an impressive application that shows off your academic and other strengths. Take note of the application deadlines and plan early.
Harvard University Tuition: How Much Does it Cost to Attend Harvard University?
The exact tuition is not indicated on the Harvard website. Instead, the school offers a net price calculator to help prospective students estimate the annual cost of tuition and fees, including the possible financial aid you can receive.
Harvard University’s graduate school, however, does offer more specific tuition information. The Harvard Graduate School of Education website, for example, indicates that tuition charges for full-time students are $54,768 per year. A residential student might spend $92,004 a year if rent, utilities, health insurance, student activity fees, and other expenses are included.
Common Majors at Harvard University
Harvard University offers more than 60 undergraduate fields of study and numerous graduate degrees across 13 schools. You can browse these programs and learn more about each of them on the school’s website. Below are some of the most common and popular majors that current students are pursuing at Harvard.
The programs and concentrations in the social sciences include sociology, social studies, anthropology, East Asian studies, history, and psychology. These programs investigate the phenomena of communities, governments, organizations, and international trade.
Best Jobs for Social Sciences Graduates
- Public service
The programs associated with a mathematics major include applied mathematics, computer science, and statistics. These programs cover general concepts of mathematical analysis, algebra, and geometry.
Best Jobs for Mathematics Graduates
- Information research scientist
- Financial manager
Computer science programs teach students to design and code solutions to problems. They connect computers to law, economics, statistics, and physics, because information technology has an impact on every aspect of society.
Best Jobs for Computer Science Graduates
- Management role
Harvard University Attendance Outcomes
Harvard University’s attendance outcomes are some of the best in the country. With a 98 percent graduation rate and an average class size of 25, students have a great chance of seeing their education through to the end.
Attendance is a key indicator of student success, and Harvard University has a zero-tolerance policy for students who miss classes. The university maintains a high standard of academic rigor, and it is crucial to its mission that students are in attendance each day.
Most Common Jobs for People Who Attended Harvard University
|Position||Median Salary||Job Outlook|
|Information Security Analysts||$102,600||33%|
Harvard University Alumni Highest-Paying Jobs
|Position||Median Salary||Job Outlook|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$131,490||22%|
|Judges and Hearing Officers||$128,710||3%|
Should I Apply to Harvard University?
You should apply to Harvard University if you are interested in attending a competitive, top-ranked school that offers a wide variety of classes, including science and technology, business, and arts and humanities.
Harvard University has very rigorous academic programs that require students to take many courses each semester and maintain high grades throughout their college careers in order to graduate on time with their class.
If you are fully committed to your studies and have solid academic and personal achievements, proving that you will thrive in the strict academic environment that Harvard provides, then you will be a good fit for this school.
Harvard University Acceptance Rate FAQ
Harvard provides full scholarships for students whose families earn $75,000 or less a year through their expanded financial aid program. The application for financial aid will have no effect whatsoever on your admission.
Normally, only four-year degrees are accepted by Harvard’s graduate programs and three-year degrees are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. You can take additional courses through the Harvard Extension School, or if you have taken courses at another school, include this credential in your admission evaluation.
The average salary of a Harvard graduate is $81,500, according to The New York Times. Men tend to earn a bit more, with an average salary of $96,000, while women earn $70,200. This range is considered above average, and the income depends on the type of work and employer.
Harvard is one of the most famous and prestigious universities in the world. It’s known for a number of things, including its research facilities, its alumni network, and its reputation for excellence. It’s also known for its extensive library as well as its athletic programs.
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