Harvard University is a private Ivy League university. It was established in 1636, thus making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, and its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world’s most prestigious universities. The university offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
Many students wish to study at this prestigious university, so if you are interested in applying, this article will provide you with the admissions requirements, application requirements and the application process at Harvard University.
Harvard University Acceptance Rate
If you want to get enrolled at Harvard University, the first thing you need to consider is the acceptance rate. It tells you how competitive the school is and how serious they are about their requirements.
The acceptance rate at Harvard is 5.2%. This means that for every 100 applicants, only 5.2 are admitted.
This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements are very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation. If you don’t meet their expectations, your chance of getting is virtually zero.
After crossing this hurdle, you’ll need to impress Harvard application readers through their other application requirements, including extracurricular, essays, and letters of recommendation.
Harvard University Admission Requirements
Harvard GPA Requirements
Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.
The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school’s average GPA for its current students.
The average GPA at Harvard is 4.1, which is extremely competitive. With a GPA of 4.1, Harvard requires you to be at the top of your class. You’ll need nearly straight A’s in all your classes to compete with other applicants.
If you’re currently junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 4.1, you’ll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.
Harvard SAT and ACT Requirements
Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests. You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Harvard. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.
Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school’s average score. The average SAT score at Harvard is 1520 on the 1600 SAT scale.
Just like for the SAT, Harvard likely doesn’t have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash. The average ACT score at Harvard is 34. This score makes Harvard Extremely Competitive for ACT scores.
SAT and ACT Writing Section Requirements
Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Usually, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not. Harvard has indicated that SAT subject tests are required for admission.
Usually, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, certainly choose to improve your SAT/ACT score.
Harvard University Application Requirements
You start by submitting a complete application with the following materials:
1. Application and supplements
2. $75 application fee or a simple fee waiver
3. Secondary School Report (including transcripts) and Midyear School Report
4. Two teacher evaluations
5. ACT or SAT (with or without writing)
6. Two SAT Subject Tests (recommended, except in the case of financial hardship)
7. Optional: AP, IB, or other examination results
Harvard University Application Process
They accept the Common Application, the Universal College Application, and the Coalition Application. Each is treated equally by the Admissions Committee. Complete and submit your materials as soon as possible to ensure full and timely consideration of your application.
If you use the Common Application, you must submit your application before your supporting materials (Secondary School Report, Teacher Reports, etc.) can be released to a college.
Until you submit your own application sections, no part of your application will be transmitted to the Harvard Admissions Office. The Universal College Application does not require this same process.
After you have sent your application, they will send you an acknowledgement of receipt within two weeks of receiving your application.
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