Harvard University
Cambridge, MA, USA


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Key Admission Stats

Institution Type
  • Coed

Need Blind

This school does not consider an applicant’s financial situation when deciding admission

Level of Institution
4 Year
Campus Setting
Small city
Acceptance Rate
Students Applied
Transfer Acceptance Rate
Transfer Students Admitted

Admissions Requirements

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SAT Subject Tests
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AP Course Credit
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Dual Enrollment
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Important Deadlines

Application TypeApplication DeadlineReply Deadline
Early Action Acceptance is not binding, but student will receive admissions decision earlier.November 1
Fall Regular DecisionJanuary 1May 1
Test Optional
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Application Fee
Fee waivers available
Rolling Admissions
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Admitted Student Stats

In-State Students
Out-Of-State Students
US States Represented
Countries Represented
Submitting ACT
Submitting SAT
Average ACT Composite: 35
Average SAT Composite: 1529
SAT Percentiles

Average GPA
Students Enrolled By GPA

3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
Students Enrolled By Class Rank

Top 10%
Top 25%
Top 50%

Admissions Resources

Admissions: visit page
Admissions Email: [email protected]
Admissions Telephone: 617-495-1551
For International Student Services: visit page
For Students with Disabilities: visit page
For Veteran Services: visit page

What Students Are Saying

Join clubs early on so that you will have a chance of securing a leadership position by the time you're an upperclassman, but only be a leader of something you are passionate about. Ensure excellent academic performance and test scores, which do NOT need to be perfect but must still be high. Show that you can contribute to the community, whether through community service or a job. Make sure to establish good relationships with people who will likely end up writing recommendation letters for you. If you can, visit Harvard's campus to get a feel of whether you'd be happy/comfortable there -- does it feel right? If it does and you're ready to apply, then start the application (early). Make sure to follow up with the admissions office to ensure that ALL parts of your application have been received. Be well-prepared for the interview.
Visit the campus, talk to a few current students or grads and you'll be able to get all the info you need. Try do something unique and creative during your high school years. Take risks, go on adventures. These kinds of things look great on apps and they make for great essays.
Besides requiring the highest standards of academic achievement, admissions tends to look for students who are either very well-rounded (which means doing wide variety of activities and doing them well) or for students who are dedicated to a specific interest. Students who better fit the specific interest category should be doing this at a very high level. I have met people who, for example, were very competitive in national high school science fairs or athletics.
Once you get here, take full advantage of shopping week. This is the first week of classes in which you can go to any class before officially registering to see if you like the syllabus and professor. Shopping ensures that you will get classes and professors that work for you, and it also allows you to judge class sizes. Some popular classes, such as those in the economics department, are gigantic, but there are also lots of small classes in other departments, like the language classes.
Harvard looks for individuals that are well-rounded (ah, how many times have you heard this before?), confident, and motivated students. Show Harvard that you dream big and put in as much effort as needed to reach those dreams. Show them that you really will take advantage of the school and not waste a single drop of your potential. Just show them what you've got!
When you get in, visit the school. Harvard really isn't for everyone, so come and check out the atmosphere. Don't judge a school by its name, judge by the vibe you get.
When at Harvard, explore! There's so much to see and so much to do! Don't get caught up in one single concentration or one single extracurricular group; there are so many things I'm sure you've never seen before. Don't limit yourself because you'll never have the ability to be at this place again. Take random courses and meet random people, you'll be better for it.
As a Harvard student, everyone passes through the “oh my gosh what am I doing here” stage at some point in their college career. If you go to Harvard, you will feel overwhelmed. You’ll ask yourself, “what have I done in my life that could ever be as great as what some of my peers have done?” You’ll wonder whether or not you made the right choice in coming to such a prestigious school, and you will feel as if you have under-accomplished. Do not fret—this is absolutely normal, and the stage will pass. So if you’re a prospective student who’s been accepted, but you’re afraid of going because Harvard seems like an intimidating place to be, keep in mind that most everyone here has doubted at some point as well. A person becomes wiser by surrounding him or herself with the best, so if you have the choice, choose Harvard. As long as you’re willing to put in the effort to work hard and meet people, you can’t go wrong here.
Linda from West Chester, OH
Don't let anyone tell you that the hardest part is getting in. While the acceptance rate is pretty low (lower every year, naturally), that's only the first hurdle. Harvard wouldn't be the most prestigious university in the world if it didn't hold excellence at the highest of standards. Classes are difficult, and sometimes the workload can be isolating. All of that said, I guarantee that you will never learn as much in one year as you do your freshman year at Harvard. It is nothing less than transformational to spend every minute of every day surrounded by the people of our generation who will be making the difference in the coming decades. Don't take this for granted, and don't accept an offer until you are sure that you want to be challenged on a personal level.
I work closely with a few undergraduate admission officers and the application reviewing process is extremely personal. These admission officers basically “master” each applicant and present them to the admissions council, fighting like a lawyer for votes. A prospective student can make the job of an admissions officer easier by skillfully using the application to paint a detailed picture of himself/herself. Everything from writing style to activities is taken into account and the interview solidifies the perceived personality. Harvard is looking for genuinely intelligent AND kind people. I’ve heard of acceptances being rescinded because the students were rude to the office receptionist or student-host during a visit!
Jeanie from San Diego, CA
Find a group where you want to belong. Harvard is a big school with thousands of adventures waiting to be explored- don't try to tackle it alone.
Cat from Cambridge, MA
Do something nontraditional, and be confident. If you are considering Harvard, you find it easy to get an A in your high school classes. It is the time outside of those classes that determines who is accepted and who is not. A résumé a mile long typically speaks of loose involvement in many clubs for the sake of appearing well-rounded. More impressive are the students who have devoted themselves wholeheartedly to a true passion and have exceeded expectations in that field.
Sarah from Manchester, NH