Getting accepted into Harvard University is a dream for many students; however, the process can be rigorous and competitive. The application process starts by submitting documents such as school transcripts, test scores, and essays. As most prospective students would know, Harvard looks for well-rounded students who have excelled academically, demonstrated leadership skills, and fully dedicated themselves to contributing to their local community. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the university’s admissions process, as well as valuable tips to help you stand out among thousands of applicants.

To give yourself a higher chance of getting accepted at Harvard University, it’s crucial to start preparing early, take challenging classes, actively participate in extracurricular activities, and put thought and effort into crafting your essays to showcase your unique qualities and experiences. Additionally, it is essential to research the university. Prospective students must strive to understand its culture and values so that they can align their application with the university’s philosophy.

Want to learn more about the Harvard University admission process and tips? Keep reading to learn more about potentially securing a spot at one of the world’s top universities.

Admissions Process at Harvard University

Now, to relax your nerves and avoid feeling overwhelmed, let us explore the university’s admission process in more detail by providing valuable tips and strategies. We’ll take you through the application process, including every critical aspect of the admission steps and how to make your application distinctive.

Step 1. Research about the University

The initial step in the Harvard admission process is thoroughly reviewing the university’s offerings to ensure they align with your educational goals and professional aspirations. Consider factors like its location, courses available, campus atmosphere, and tuition fees. Once you have decided that Harvard is the right fit for you, you can go ahead with the application.

Step 2. Understand the Admission Requirements

Candidates must fulfill specific requirements in order to be considered for admission to Harvard, one of the world’s most selective institutions. For Harvard University undergraduate applicants, the requirements include submitting high school transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and personal essays. Additionally, a non-refundable application fee of $75 is required.

For graduate applicants, on the other hand, the requirements may vary depending on the program. However, most graduate programs at Harvard require primary documents, including transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and personal statements or essays. There is also an application fee of $85 to be collected.

See More: Universities with No Application Fees

Step 3. Take the Necessary Tests

Harvard requires standardized test scores such as the SAT or ACT. Moreover, Harvard requires applicants to submit two (2) SAT Subject Tests, one (1) in Math (Level 1 or 2) and the other test in a subject of choice.

As for graduate applicants, test requirements vary depending on the program. However, most study programs at Harvard require standardized test scores such as the GRE or GMAT. A better option is to check with your intended program’s faculty, inquire about the specific test requirements, and prepare accordingly.

In addition, it is recommended that you take the necessary tests by October to have the results sent to Harvard before the application deadline, which usually settles in November.

Check Also: How to Study in USA without IELTS

Step 4. Prepare Your Application Materials

Preparing your application materials is an essential step in applying to Harvard University. Undergraduate and graduate applicants must submit requirements, including their respective application forms, transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc. Candidates must pay attention to application deadlines, which usually occur around November for undergraduate applicants, while the deadline for post-graduate applicants varies depending on the program.

Step 5. Apply for Financial Aid

In addition to the standard application materials, international applicants should also be aware of the financial aid process at Harvard University. Although the admissions committee conducts need-blind admissions for domestic applicants, which means that they do not consider financial needs when making admissions decisions, any applicant must submit a financial aid application so the university can consider them for financial assistance.

Moreover, it’s important to note that Harvard has separate financial aid programs for international students, including scholarships and grants, whose deadline is usually around the end of February, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Learn More: Harvard University Scholarships for International Students

Step 6. Submit a Strong Application

Your application must be expertly crafted, reflective, and compelling to increase your chances of getting into Harvard. Seek feedback from teachers and counselors to ensure you are highlighting your strengths and achievements in the best way possible. Additionally, submitting additional materials such as videos, projects, or artwork in a creative portfolio is an excellent way to showcase your interests and talents.

Tips to Get Into Harvard University

As you embark on the journey of applying to Harvard, it’s crucial to remember that the competition is intense, with thousands of applicants vying for a limited number of spots. To make your application stand out by highlighting your unique qualities and experiences, read the following tips to make your application noticeable and stand out amongst prospective candidates.

Tip 1. Demonstrate Your Passion

It’s crucial to demonstrate your genuine interest in Harvard University and what it has to offer to make a strong impression on the admissions committee. One way to do this is by thoroughly researching the university and incorporating that knowledge into your application. It will not only showcase your desire to be admitted, but it will also prove that you are a good fit for the university.

Tip 2. Highlight Your Unique Achievements

Instead of listing generic achievements, focus on one or two that are truly exceptional and would show off your personality, interests, and talents. It will help the admissions committee understand who you are as a person and how you will contribute to the Harvard community.

Tip 3. Show How You Will Make a Difference

In your application, demonstrate how you will use your education and experiences to make a positive impact on the world. It will show that you will not only thrive as a student at Harvard but also be a dedicated individual who will significantly contribute to the development of its community. The admissions committee wants to see that you have a clear sense of purpose and are passionate about making a difference.

FAQs: Studying at Harvard University

What is the Acceptance Rate of Harvard University?

As discussed earlier, getting accepted into Harvard is a dream for many students, but the admissions process alone can be arduous for most applicants. It’s important to note that the acceptance rate at Harvard is relatively low, with only around 4.9% of applicants accepted in the most recent admissions cycle.

It means the competition is tough, but don’t worry! With proper preparation, you can craft an application that will attract the admissions committee’s attention, increasing your chances of being selected.

Check Also: USA Universities with Lowest Acceptance Rates


In conclusion, planning for admissions at Harvard is a long and extensive process that can be pretty daunting. However, with preparation, diligence, and a solid application, you can drastically increase your chances of getting accepted into Harvard. With the right effort and preparation, you can be one of the fortunate candidates to be admitted to one of the world’s best Ivy League. And if you can get into Harvard, you can also apply to one of the best universities in the United States, so be sure to check these out.


We hope that this article has been informative and helpful! You may also visit our USA Scholarships Page and Available USA Courses for more information about the different university programs and scholarship opportunities in the USA!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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