Harvard University is world-famous. The Ivy League school was established in 1636, and chartered in 1650, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which makes it the oldest university in the United States, and one of the most prestigious.
Along with notable alumni and famed educational credentials, Harvard is known for its tough acceptance criteria. According to data from Top Tier Admissions, Harvard had a record-low of 895 of 6,424 early applicants for the class of 2024. This is a 13.9 percent early acceptance rate, which is just a 0.5 percent increase from the previous year. In fact, Harvard's acceptance rate hasn't increased year-on-year since 2013.
When it comes to the cause of this decline Harvard's long-serving Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons looks to everything from the California wildfires (the number of early applicants from California declined by almost 17%) to school shootings and economic uncertainty to declining numbers of high school seniors.
With figures like these, your chances of being accepted into Harvard are in your favor. Here's what you need to become a part of this lauded institution of higher learning.
Surprisingly, Harvard doesn't rely on any strict formula for gaining admission.
There are three portals in which to apply to Harvard: the common application, the universal college application, or the coalition application. You'll need to apply via one of these whether you are the U.S. or international applicant.
Most applicants will find the common application the best for them. Make sure you complete your early action admission by the Nov. 1 deadline. The application deadline for the first-year regular decision is Jan. 1.
With the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, Harvard announced they would allow prospective students to continue to apply for the Class of 2025 without the usual requirement of standardized test scores. Harvard has fully committed to enabling students to overcome the effects of COVID-19 by not penalizing those who do not submit standardized testing this coming year.
The below is a list of the first-year application requirements
- The common application, coalition application or universal college application.
- Harvard College questions for the common application, coalition application or the universal college application Harvard supplement.
- Optional: AP or other examination results.
- School Report and high school transcript.
- Two teacher reports.
- Midyear school report after first semester grades.
- Final school report, for admitted students only.
- $75 fee, or request a fee waiver.
- ACT or SAT, two SAT subject tests, but standardized tests (ACT, SAT and subject tests) are optional for students applying for the Class of 2025
For more details on the requirements of Harvard admissions, please visit the Harvard College website.