Getting into elite universities like Harvard or Yale is one of the most desired life goals of many students. You know Harvard has a reputation of producing great graduates. Yes, we often talk about the famous dropouts, but we forget about their powerful alumni like Helen Keller who was the first deaf and blind person who earned a Bachelor’s degree. Harvard never fails to impress us. Getting into the university is repeatedly considered like a puzzle to students and their parents who are experiencing the admission process. We know how important your time is and the internet is full of ambiguous advice around; that’s why we have gathered accurate data so that you can save your precious time!
Well, there are tons of elite schools and programs out there, but why Harvard? Firstly, it has a long name and fame in ranking, academics and faculty profile. The university is made up of a total number of 13 institutes and schools. Quiz time! Can you tell me the name of its most prestigious school? Actually, there are two particular schools that have grabbed the attention of applicants and they are Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School. Not only that, Harvard is quite famous for its Graduate Education School, Law School, and Engineering School as well. The rank of Harvard University is #3 according to QS Top Universities. But if we measure subject ranks, Harvard maintained #1 position is most of their subjects. QS has ranked the universities with six major ranking indicators to assess their education system and Harvard scored highly in case of academics which made them one of the best universities in the whole world.
As Harvard University is all about maintaining its constant quality, they are highly selective about their applicants. They only have an acceptance rate of 5% [2015-16].
Required Documents & Necessary Skills
The primary contents of one’s application include:
- Standardized Test Scores
- Statement of Purpose
- Extracurricular activities and awards
- Recommendation Letters
It might sound surprising to you, but an applicant can stand out only when it comes to extracurricular activities because all of the other components are quite similar and don’t differ much from other applications. It’s kind of necessary to have good grades (straight or consistent As – but it doesn’t have to be a perfect score), a decent test score (ACT/SAT), amazing extracurriculars and recommendation letters from someone who know your academic capabilities to a personal level. Most of the time, the admissions committee expect the incoming students to be toppers from their previous institutes i.e. top 10%. One of the statistics showed us that 95% of Harvard University freshers were in the top 10% of their previous institute. A SAT score of 1590 and above and an ACT score of 35 and above may be quite good enough for being selected. Also, research skills are certainly welcomed. A student’s topics could vary according to his/her passion, but they have to make sure that they are applying for the correct department. Writing papers and formatting them is regarded as a tiresome task. So while writing papers, you can advice your child to use Harvard style which is one of the most popular formatting styles used in academic articles.
How to Apply?
Now comes the most essential part of today’s topic, how to get into Harvard – one the most preferred study destinations worldwide. There are different requirements for applicants but for first-year applicants (both international and American) it is a must to complete Common Application, Universal College Application and Coalition Application with all other documents.
- Common Application: http://www.commonapp.org/
- University College Application: https://www.universalcollegeapp.com/
- Coalition Application: http://coalitionapp.org/
An application must pay a fee of $75 (it is also possible to request a waiver). ACT/SAT scores must be submitted (with/without writing). 2 SAT Subject Tests scores are recommended. International students should learn more here: https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/apply/application-process/sat-subject-tests
Other examinations or AP results are optional. High school transcript and school reports must be submitted. Two recommendation letters are required to apply. They can be from your past teachers or someone who know your academic or professional competence. Midyear and final year school reports will also be required to apply. Usually, there are two intakes – April 1 is the application deadline for Fall and October 1 for Spring.
As per the university website, Harvard is ready to assist their students with generous financial offers. In fact, 55% of full-time undergrad pupils receive various need-based financial aids. Their financial aid officers are really cooperative and they make sure that youngsters don’t miss out Harvard just for financial reasons. That means, yay! You don’t have to cross out Harvard College from your bucket list. On the plus side, you can actually graduate debt-free! To learn more about their plentiful schemes, do pay a visit here: https://college.harvard.edu/financial-aid
So, you see, it’s obviously difficult to get into Harvard – but I guess there’s no trouble in applying! Better to have no regrets!