Harvard University Acceptance Rate

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Harvard Acceptance Rate

Getting admitted to Harvard University is regarded as a dream come true for many. For a student desirous of becoming a part of this institution, an effort has to be made to acquaint oneself with the college, its way of life, and its application procedure. This blog has been carefully crafted to present every piece of information related to the Harvard University acceptance rate and present a vivid picture of the journey to the path of becoming a part of this esteemed institution.

Name Harvard University
Location Cambridge, MA
Acceptance Rate 4.9% (2024)
Enrollment 6,710 undergraduates, 20,324 students in total (Approximately)
Average Tuition Fee$48,949 
Average Financial Aid Award$50,562
Approximate SAT Score Accepted2235 (class of 2020), roughly equivalent to 1530 on the new SAT

Harvard University: Quick Overview

Founded in 1636, Harvard is where dreams transcend into reality and the impossible becomes possible. Harvard University is an excellent and world-renowned institution of advanced education in the United States. Harvard is legendary for providing an environment of endless learning, and it boasts some of the most famous personalities from every field as its alumni. One of the renowned universities in the US, Harvard secured 4th position in the  QS World University Rankings 2024 and has consistently ranked among the top universities of the world ever since its inception due to the world-class teaching facilities, expert faculties, and wonderful opportunities it provides.

Must Read: Harvard University Admission

Harvard University Acceptance Rate

The current acceptance rate at Harvard for the academic session 2024 is 4.9%. It is one of the toughest universities in the USA and has a notoriously rigorous application process, requirements, and extracurriculars. The Harvard University admission office vets the best and the most deserving candidates and considers each candidate through different categories like academics, volunteer work, extracurriculars, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. To get into the University, students must work on their application and ensure it stands out.

Harvard Acceptance Rate: UG Level

Every year, Harvard gets nearly 40,000 applications for its limited undergraduate positions. In 2017, the college accepted 5.2% of the candidates. Since then its acceptance rate has seen a slight decrease every year due to an increase in the number of applicants.  Being one of the most venerated universities in the world, the acceptance rate is competitive with individuals from all over the world contending for limited seats. 

Harvard University Acceptance Rate: PG Level

More than 22,000 students are enrolled at Harvard University out of which 15,250 are enrolled in graduate and professional studies programs. With an acceptance rate of 3.1%, Harvard is in tough competition for PhD and other professional courses. Nearly 5% of international students are enrolled in post-graduation programs every year.

Harvard University Rankings

The rankings of Harvard University by certain ranking authorities are given below:

ARWU (Shanghai) Rankings 20221
QS 20244
THE Rankings 20232

Must Read: Harvard University Ranking

Eligibility Criteria 

Before moving on to the Harvard acceptance rate, having an idea about the eligibility criteria is invaluable. There are certain prerequisites that a student looking to enrol in any course at Harvard has to meet. The qualifications that a prospective candidate has to meet to be offered a position at the university are mentioned below-

  • Meeting their GPA prerequisites and SAT/ACT is mandatory. These scores demonstrate the academic potential of the prospective student. 
  • For undergraduate courses, a minimum percentage of 80% marks in the 12th board exam is essential for a candidate to have a competitive edge.
  •  A letter of Recommendation (LOR) and a Statement of Purpose (SOP) also play an important role in the evaluation of the application.
  • International students, it has been mandated to undertake an English proficiency test like the standardised IELTS, TOEFL etc. to show their command over the language. 
  • With a GPA of 4.18, Harvard expects you to be at the head of your group. Moreover, you ought to be taking online classes – AP or IB courses – to show that school-level scholastics are a breeze.
  • If your GPA is at or below the school of 4.18, then you need a higher SAT or ACT score to redress. It will assist you with contending successfully against different candidates who have higher GPAs than you.

Here are the recommended scores per field-

SAT Requirements

SectionsAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Reading + Writing750720780

GPA Requirements

A strong overall academic profile is one of the most important factors in keeping you in the running for Harvard. Remember that the level of competition at Harvard is extremely high, so being among the top students in your class will definitely improve your chances.

Many Harvard schools have a minimum GPA requirement. Although it is not very high, it is the minimum requirement without which your application will be rejected.

The average GPA for Harvard is 4.18.

However, just because your GPA is low does not mean you will not be admitted to Harvard. If your GPA is low, make sure that the rest of your application is outstanding. A high SAT or ACT score may also help you stand out and compensate for a low GPA.

How to Get into Harvard University?

While Harvard doesn’t have a fixed GPA for its acceptance, it has high evaluative standards for its students. Students given a position in the university are well-qualified and have extremely high scores. Whilst marks are an important part of the application of a student, it is not the sole evaluative factor. Extra-curricular activities, achievements, and practical experience all form a part of the profile of the student that is assessed by the university Harvard’s application process for international students starts on January 1. You can hope to hear back about whether you’ve been selected by late March. In case you’re selected, you’ll have until May to respond about whether you accept the offer or not. 

Application Tips

Knowing about the Harvard acceptance rate can be unnerving, but nothing is impossible if one has the urge to work towards it. Here are a few tips to assist you with upgrading your application to make it into Harvard University and achieving your dream of learning from the best!

  • Prepare for the examinations needed for admission well and play to your strengths to increase your grades
  • Write an SOP that is original, to you and expresses your vision.
  • Have a clear record of all your scholarly achievements and transcripts. 
  • Discover all the opportunities and pick the one you think you are best suited for
  • Complete the application process carefully and recheck to remove any errors

Must Read: How to Get Into Harvard University?

Documents Required for Harvard University

  • A general university application
  • Complete Harvard’s supplemental essays
  • SAT or ACT test scores, with or without the writing section
  • At least two SAT Subject Tests
  • Any AP, IB, or other scores from standardized exams you have taken
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers
  • A school report and letter of recommendation from your counsellor
  • High School Transcript
  • $75 application fee or a fee waiver
  • A midyear report

Merely knowing about Harvard’s Acceptance rate isn’t enough to make your dream of studying at Harvard come true. Harvard is home to a large number of schools teaching different disciplines. For a prospective student, it is imperative to have a detailed idea of the structure and schools of the University. Enlisted below are the major schools of Harvard University.

Read also: Harvard Scholarship

Tuition Fees at Harvard University

The fee structure varies according to the programme and course. The table below shows the university’s estimate of tuition fees for international students.

Harvard tuition fee

The Three Lies of Harvard

What Does Harvard University Look For In An Application?

If you’re wondering how to get into Harvard University, you should also focus on developing an overall varied profile with a strong emphasis on extracurricular activities and volunteer work. These should emphasise four points:

  • Growth and Potential: The admissions officers want to see if you’ve been pushing yourself to reach your full potential.
  • Interests and Activities: They want to know about your passion, learning, leadership skills, and dedication.
  • Personal Character: The university is interested in your choices, openness to new ideas, and personal characteristics such as maturity, self-confidence, and care for others.
  • Community Service: Harvard seeks individuals who can manage various areas of undergraduate life, contribute to the Harvard community, and perform under pressure.

What If You Get Rejected From Harvard?

With an acceptance rate of only 4-5%, getting into Harvard is far from easy. If you are rejected by Harvard, we recommend that you apply to other US universities with a high acceptance rate. Furthermore, you can apply to Harvard while taking a gap year!

Relevant Reads:

Top Courses at Harvard University
What is the Cost of Studying at Harvard University?
ARWU Releases its 2023 Ranking List. Harvard Secures Its Reign at the Top


What GPA do I need to get into Harvard?

To be considered for admission to Harvard, you must have excellent high school grades. According to the Harvard Crimson, the average reported GPA of the class of 2022 entering freshmen was 3.90 on a 4.0 unweighted scale.

Can I get into Harvard with a 3 GPA?

In general, students with a 3.0 GPA have a chance to get into Harvard if their application demonstrates that they are exactly what the university is looking for. In some cases, having a hook, such as being an athlete, allows applicants to get into Harvard even with a low GPA.

Is Harvard the lowest acceptance rate college?

Despite having the lowest acceptance rate in Harvard’s history, the Class of 2025 is one of the most diverse classes in the university’s history.

So to wrap it up, there are many golden opportunities at Harvard looking for the right talent. Is studying at Harvard your dream but you are unsure how to proceed? Experts at Leverage Edu will help you with your admission process and evaluate your application. Register today for your session with the experts and get ready to immerse yourself in the world of academia!

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