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Colleges / Harvard University

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate3%

Harvard Admissions

It is extremely difficult to get into Harvard University. In 2022, Harvard University accepted just 3% of all applicants. Out of 61,221 applications received in 2023, 1,984 students were offered admission.

If you are considering submitting an application to Harvard University, the deadline for Fall 2024 admissions is 1/1 and the application fee costs $85.

Students who apply to Harvard University for the fall semester should anticipate a decision by April 1.

Harvard University Admissions Stats at a Glance

The following is an overiew of some of Harvard University's admissions stats.

Harvard University 2023 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 4.0
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 92.2%
Admissions Test Policy Test Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 55%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 28%
Waitlist Yes

Harvard University Application Deadlines

These are the application deadlines for Harvard University.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I No
Early Decision II
Early Action Yes November 1 December 16
Regular Decision Yes 1 1 April 1

Want to Apply Early to Harvard University?

Harvard University does not offer early decision but does offer early action.

🗓️ The Early Action deadline is November 1. Harvard University will release EA admissions decisions no later than December 16.

Harvard University accepts about 8% of early action applicants and 3% all applicants for all deadlines. Last year, Harvard University admitted 736 of the 9,398 who applied early action.

Some students apply to college early to help their chances of acceptance. When you apply early, your application is considered before all the regular decision applicants apply. Applying early may increase your chance of admission, since it demonstrates that you are very interested in a school.

➡️ Explore a list of some top colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

More on Harvard University Admissions

Transferring to Harvard University

For more information on transferring to Harvard University, contact the school directly.

For Students Waitlisted to Harvard University

Harvard University has not reported data for waitlisted and admitted students.

What Does Harvard University Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college has a different way of determining which factors are they consider most important when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that prioritize the areas where you stand out.

Admissions Factors at Harvard University

Curious about the factors that are considered by Harvard University during the admissions process? Take a look at the list below to see which factors are most important during the admissions process.

Admissions Factor Level
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Considered
Application Essay Considered
Extracurricular Activities Considered
Geographical Residence Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
Talent/Ability Considered
Volunteer Work Considered
Work Experience Considered
Academic GPA Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Considered
First Generation Considered

Make sure to check with Harvard University for more information on admission factors.

Harvard University Application Requirements

To apply to Harvard University, all applicants must submit the following items. Make sure to check in with Harvard University's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Letter(s) of Recommendation 2
Transcript(S) of College Record
Standardized Test Scores
Statement of Good Standing From Prior Institution(S)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Transcript of High School Record

GPA and Testing

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Harvard University?

Students admitted to Harvard University have an average unweighted GPA of 4.0.

Out of all students that were admitted, 30% submitted a class rank. At Harvard University 92.2% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 97.6% were in the top 25% and 99.8% were in the top 50%.

GPAs of Admitted Students

At Harvard University, student GPAs fall in the following ranges.

GPA Percent of Students
4.0 GPA 74.3%
3.75 and 3.99 20.47%
3.50 and 3.74 4.04%
3.25 and 3.49 0.51%
3.00 and 3.24 0.34%
2.50 and 2.9 0.34%
2.00 and 2.49

This chart depicts the percentage of all enrolled, degree-seeking, first-time, first year (freshmen) students who had high school grade point average within the given ranges.

Note: Some schools choose not release this information. If you have any questions regarding missing numbers, be sure to reach out to Harvard University directly.

About GPAs

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that highlights your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Standardized Test Scores

Harvard University has a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2022, 55% of Harvard University's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 28% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Harvard University students scored 800 or higher and 75% of students scored 730 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Harvard University students scored 780 or higher, and 75% scored a 730 or higher.

To be most competitive at Harvard University, you should strive to earn between 34 and 36 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 36 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Harvard University's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 36, and three out of four students scored lower than 36 on the ACT.

A 34 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Harvard University students. Only one out of every four students scored below 34.

More Information on Transferring to Harvard University

For transfer students wishing to start in the fall, the deadline to apply is March 1. Applicants should hear back by June 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Harvard University during the following terms:

• Fall Term

• Winter Term

• Spring Term

• Winter Term

• Summer Term

Harvard University Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Harvard University?

✅ Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Harvard University.

Does Harvard University accept transfer credits?

✅ Harvard University accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does Harvard University accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

✅ Harvard University accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Harvard University?

❌ No, Harvard University is test optional, so you can choose if you want to to include your ACT or SAT scores. If you have higher than average scores, you probably want to include them. If you scored lower than a school's average, you may want not want to include them in your application.

What is Harvard University's acceptance rate?

✅ Harvard University has an acceptance rate of 3%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Harvard University?

❌ Harvard University does not offer early decision.

What is the early action acceptance rate at Harvard University?

✅ The early action acceptance rate at Harvard University was 8% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Harvard University?

Click below to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Join the conversation about about Harvard University in the College Confidential forums

Explore other colleges in Massachusetts or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Harvard Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty



How hard is it to get into Harvard? Harvard is a selective institution. The Harvard acceptance rate is 3%. This means that the institution accepts 3 out of every 100 applicants.


Harvard Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 1

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Harvard is Jan 1.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Harvard is Mar 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Harvard SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

Not available


Math SAT Range

760 - 800


Reading SAT Range

730 - 780

Harvard GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)


GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At Harvard, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 4.0. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

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Tuition and Fees

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Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 1
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