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Colleges / Harvard University

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate5%
Acceptance Rate5%

Harvard Admissions

If you want to apply to Harvard, the deadline for Fall 2023 admissions is January 1 and the fee for the application is $75.

Students who apply to Harvard for fall should receive an admissions decision no later than March 31.

Harvard Admissions Stats at a Glance

Here's an overiew of some of Harvard's admissions stats.

Harvard 2022 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 4.0
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 94%
Admissions Test Policy Test Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 72%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 45%
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 15
Regular Decision Yes January 1 March 31

Applying Early to Harvard?

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

🗓️ The Early Action deadline is November 1. Harvard will release EA admissions decisions no later than December 15.

Harvard accepts about 14% of early action applicants and 5% all applicants for all deadlines. In 2021, Harvard admitted 894 of the 6,416 who applied early action.

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

More on Harvard University Admissions

How To Get Into Harvard University

It is extremely difficult to get into Harvard. Harvard evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, Harvard accepted 5% of all applicants, about 2,015 from 40,248 applicants.

Schools that are extremely difficult to get into, like Harvard, accept fewer than 30% of all applicants. At least 75% of admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1310 on the SAT or over 29 on the ACT.

Transferring to Harvard University

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

For Students Waitlisted to Harvard

Harvard has not reported data for waitlisted and admitted students.

What's Most Important for Getting Into Harvard?

Colleges consider a range of factors when determining who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college decides 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 admissions factors where you shine.

Admissions Factors at Harvard

Curious about the factors that are considered by Harvard 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
Academic GPA Considered
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Considered
Geographical Residence Considered
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Considered
Application Essay Considered
First Generation Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Considered
Talent/Ability Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
Volunteer Work Considered

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

Harvard 2022-2023 Application Requirements

To apply to Harvard, all applicants must submit the following items. Check with Harvard'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?

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

Out of all students that were admitted, 39% submitted a class rank. At Harvard 94% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 98% were in the top 25% and 99.6% 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 75.76%
3.75 and 3.99 18.02%
3.50 and 3.74 4%
3.25 and 3.49 1.79%
3.00 and 3.24 0.32%
2.50 and 2.9 0.11%
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 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 considers standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

Harvard is a test optional school. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2022, 72% of Harvard's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 45% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What is a Good SAT Score for Harvard?

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Harvard students scored 800 or higher and 75% of students scored 720 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Harvard students scored 780 or higher, and 75% scored a 720 or higher.

What is a Good ACT Score for Harvard?

To be most competitive at Harvard, you should strive to earn between 33 and 35 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 35 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Harvard's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 35, and three out of four students scored lower than 35 on the ACT.

A 33 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Harvard students. Only one out of every four students scored below 33.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

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 May 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Harvard during the following terms:

• Fall Term

Harvard Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Harvard?

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

Does Harvard accept transfer credits?

✅ Harvard accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

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

✅ Harvard accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Harvard?

❌ No, Harvard is test optional, so it's up to you if you want to submit test scores or not. If your scores are higher than the school's average, you probably want to include them. If your scores are average or below average, you it might make sense to leave them out of your application.

What is Harvard's acceptance rate?

✅ Harvard's acceptance rate is 5%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Harvard?

❌ Harvard does not offer early decision.

What is the early action acceptance rate at Harvard?

✅ The early action acceptance rate at Harvard was 14% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Harvard?

To learn more about Harvard, choose from the options below:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

See what others say about Harvard 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 5%. This means that the institution accepts 5 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

740 - 800


Reading SAT Range

720 - 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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Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 1
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