Harvard University Acceptance Rate: High or Low?

May 22, 2020

Harvard University Acceptance Rate: How To Enter?

Have you ever thought about studying at Harvard? How can a person be accepted there? Harvard University’s acceptance rate is 5%, and it takes the first place in the list of the lowest rate of acceptance. One year only 2024 applicants entered this university. But 42,749 people wanted to get in and be accepted. Thanks to this situation, Harvard became a highly competitive school, and the chance of acceptance is very low. Even students with high grades can’t be accepted. According to general information, Harvard attracts average students who graduated the high school. This educational establishment is so desirable for thousands of students all over the world. A person who admires being accepted must remember that there are many factors in this process. But test scores and GPA are the most important ones. We hope that this article will help everyone to understand the process of accepting at Harvard and to estimate the chances to get in.

Statistics of the 2019 year

It doesn’t matter that you just gather information for the first time or have plans to enter Harvard; the following data will be interesting for you:

  • 1950 applicants were accepted out of 43,3 thousand
  • In previous year rate of acceptance was 4,5%
  • 34 was the average ACT score
  • 1540 was the average SAT score
  • 4.04 was the average GPA of the accepted applicants

Students, who passed the ACT, had to have 32 as the 25th percentile score. The 75th percentile ACT was equal to 35. Students, who passed the SAT, had to have 1480 as the 25th percentile score. The 75th percentile ACT was equal to 1600. The average score with the SAT was 1540. If the applicant is in the middle of the mentioned numbers, he/she has to remember that the lower GPA can be compensated by the high score of the text. If you have lower scores, but you have amazing personal achievements, or you are the child of an alum, you can have additional chances. One more aspect of the acceptance process is also available. It can be recommendations, extracurricular, or athletics. Such factors are important, but they will influence the situation if you are in the range of 75th percentile for the SAT/ACT and GPA scores. We can say once again, that the Harvard University acceptance rate is 5%, this educational establishment is too competitive. Applicants, who have ideal SAT scores, which are equal to 1600, have 10% chances to be entered. Do you think that you have to try? In this case, we will talk about the requirements which must be met during the process of application. It will help you to have everything in order.

Class of 2024 – requirements for applicants

We want you to pay attention to the list of the requirements, which must be met while applying:

  • Two teacher’s letters with recommendations are needed.
  • Pass two SAT Subject Tests
  • Submit SAT or ACT score as well as writing score
  • Give the answers to the supplementary questions of Harvard and pay $75 as an application fee.
  • Provide your final school report and high school transcript

The next aspect which can be interesting for you is the deadline. And this is also an important factor because you can waste time and lose the chance. So you have to:

  • Give an application for Early Action on the 1st November.
  • Give an application for Regular Decision on the 1st January
  • Make financial aid application for Early Action on the 1st November
  • Remember that 1st of March is a day for Regular Decision financial aid.
  • Pay attention to Early Action decisions which are released in the middle of December.
  • Receive a Regular Decision Letter at the end of March
  • Get a reply on the 1st of May if you are accepted.

Class of 2023: Profile of the accepted students

Being a student at Harvard, you will deal with the number of students who came from different parts of America and different countries. Looking at the statistics data, you will see that in 2016 the ordinary class consists of the students who came from Pacific, New England, South, US Territories, Central, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and so on. It is not the new fact that there are diverse classes at Harvard, where people of different colors study. As for the ethnic groups, in this educational establishment usually study:

  • Asian Americans – 22.9%
  • Hispanic – 12,3%
  • African American – 15,2%
  • Native Americans – 2,3%

Of course, the Harvard University acceptance rate is 5% because it doesn’t specialize in a certain field. People who study there can occupy different professions and study different sciences and spheres. Statistics data show that the most attractive spheres are:

  • Engineering – 13,9%
  • Math – 7,5%
  • Humanities – 16,9%
  • Social Sciences – 22,3%
  • Computer Science – 7%
  • Biosciences – 18,8%
  • Physical Sciences – 7,2%.

As you see, the range of the disciplines and the future spheres is so wide. People who have an aim to get at Harvard even can’t determine what field to choose. But except for the wide choice of subjects, there is one more problem. Where do people take money to pay for studying?

Tuition fee in Harvard

The figures which are connected with the tuition fee are unbelievable. It is about $66, 950. But the ordinary family is ready to pay $14 000 annually.  For example, in 2016, accepted students had to deal with the following situation:

  • $66 950 is a sum of the total budget
  • $12 000 can be paid by parents
  • $1 150 a student can earn in summer
  • $ 52 050 is a size of scholarship
  • $1 750 is a work expectation during the term

Where Harvard is located?

One of the most famous educational establishments in the world is situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just around the popular Harvard Yard. It is one of the oldest educational institutions in the USA. Some programs and schools are situated in Boston. Being in Harvard Square, you will see the 209-acre campus. It is the main one. All people who just start studying at Harvard live on campus. Most of the dorms are buildings that were built in the 18th century. Annenberg Hall serves as dining, and it is a wonderful historic building with unbelievable beauty.


Sophomores are students of the second year of study. They start to choose their direction or field of study. During the first year, all the students have general training. Harvard offers 49 concentrations; one of them can be chosen by the student for future studying. As for General Education, there are four directions:

  • Foreign languages
  • Subjects form the Faculty of Sciences and Arts.
  • Expository Writing
  • Quantitative Reasoning

Students start their studying process at the end of September. The academic year finishes in the middle of May. 

What about the life of the students?

There are more than 100 organizations that are usually open to new students. In the list of them, you can find clubs and groups dedicated to racial and cultural initiatives, academic interests, publications and media, performing and creative arts, sexuality affinity, and gender. The most common and well-known are the following three students groups:

  • The Harvard Lampoon – the organization which pays attention to comedy
  • The Harvard Crimson – the American newspaper which is run by the students and is the oldest one
  • The Advocate – the magazine which is dedicated to literature. The works of Norman Mailer, T.S. Eliot, Tom Wolfe, and Jack Kerouac are published in this magazine.

Is there a place for sport at Harvard?

Harvard sports teams compete in 40 kinds of sports. But if the student is not physically fit enough for taking part, he/she can try himself/herself in other sports. There are different teams in which students are trained in a certain kind of sport. You will not be boring at Harvard if you are interested in:

  • Fencing
  • Golf
  • Basketball
  • Crew
  • Ice hockey
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Tennis
  • Squash
  • Soccer
  • Diving and Swimming
  • Wrestling
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Sailing

Every year the well-known football stand-off takes place. It is called ‘The Game.’ Usually, it is a big and serious event for students from Yale and Harvard. One year the football is played on the Harvard campus, and in the second year, it is played on the Yale campus. Before the football game, Regatta between two teams takes place. It is also a big deal, and thousands of spectators come to see it.


In the end, we want to say that it’s too prestigious and worth to have a degree from Harvard. Lots of well-known people who become successful during life graduated from this educational institution. So, excepting the Harvard University acceptance rate, everyone has a chance to get in, if he/she has high test scores and a strong GPA. People who can’t enter have to remember one thing. If they are responsible and ready to study, they will achieve the desired results in other educational establishments. A great education can be got everywhere. And success in life depends not only on the place of studying and its popularity. It also depends on how the knowledge is used in practice.

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