Harvard University Acceptance Rate 2022 | How to get Admitted into Harvard University

Harvard University Acceptance Rate: If you’re looking for how to get into Harvard, first you need to know the admissions rate and average GPA to get in.

So many students like me desire to get into Harvard University. Harvard consistently ranks as one of the top colleges in the world. 

One of the peculiar reasons is the excellence in academics as well as a track record in building students who are pillars of society. Besides that, Harvard is one of the Ivy League Schools that is reputable and ranks high for almost all courses. 


However, getting into Harvard is quite a herculean task due to its very low acceptance rate. And without mincing words, admission into Harvard is notoriously difficult. 

And although not so encouraging, the Harvard acceptance rates continue to decrease even more. Harvard is one of the most selective schools in the world accepting only a meager number out of the 57,435 of its applicants. 

While these numbers may seem discouraging, don’t give up if you have your heart set on Harvard. Competition is fierce at Harvard but it’s not impossible to get accepted. 

Therefore in this article, we have come up with a comprehensive guide on how to stand out from the competition and what it takes to get into Harvard.

Also, we have categorically stated what Harvard University Acceptance and Admissions Rate as well as the required GPA is in 2022. 

If you will allow me, I’ll guide you through this piece in a few minutes and set you up to get into Harvard effortlessly regardless of the admission requirements.

Shall we???


Also Read: How to Get Into Harvard Medical School |Complete Student Guide 2022

About Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since its inception in 1636, Harvard has grown to be an elite university recognized locally and internationally. The university was named after the college’s first benefactors, John Harvard. 

Talking about Ivy League Schools in the world, Harvard is one in the list of the elite Ivy League. It’s a private, liberal arts university that is one of the most highly ranked academic institutions in the world. 

Currently, Harvard has 13 schools and institutes which includes;

  • Law school
  • Business School
  • Medical School
  • Graduate Education School
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

Besides the official academic degree programs offered by Harvard, the school also offers non-degree opportunities. This is open for professionals, including executive, continuing, and online education.

In addition to that, Harvard offers lucrative financial aid packages to students who cannot afford the cost of tuition. As of 2020, Harvard granted $645 million in financial aid and scholarships.

All these benefits and unique peculiarity makes Harvard University great attention regardless of their acceptance rate, GPA, and admissions rate.

Is Harvard Right For Me?

Unless you do not love Harvard, Harvard is the most preferred academic institution for both local and international students 

Harvard is one of the best schools in the world, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the best school for you.

Before you consider Harvard as the School for you, find answers to these questions;

  • Why do you want to attend Harvard?
  • Do your goals align with Harvard’s mission?
  • Are you only applying because Harvard invokes name recognition and prestige? 
  • Is the campus lifestyle and culture for you?
  • Does Harvard offer the course you want to offer?
  • Is the location and financial support suitable for you?

Evaluating these criteria and your academics, goals, and expectations will help you find out if Harvard matches your academic needs. 

Harvard University Rankings.

As an elite university, it would not be surprising to see Harvard in the list of top-rated schools in the world. 

According to the records made by the U.S. News & World Report, Harvard University ranks #2 in their Best Colleges 2021 edition. 

Also, the university ranks #5 in the 2021-2022 QS World University Rankings.

Besides these two, Harvard’s other notable rankings include;

  • #1 Best Value Schools
  • #5 Writing in the Disciplines
  • #6 Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects
  • #9 Senior Capstone (tie)
  • #9 Theory
  • #12 Best Undergraduate Teaching (tie)
  • #20 Most Innovative Schools (tie)
  • #22 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tie) – At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate
  • #31 Study Abroad (tie)

Also Read: Columbia University Acceptance Rate 2022|All You Need To know

What Kind of Degrees Does Harvard Offer?

For a university that has been for over 300 years, there is absolutely no degree that would not be offered at Harvard. However, for clarity, these are the degrees offered at Harvard University;

  • Bachelor’s
  • Post-bachelor’s certificate
  • Master’s, Post-master’s certificate
  • Doctorate – professional practice
  • Doctorate – research/scholarship

On the other hand, some of the most popular majors at Harvard University includes courses such as;

  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Biology/Biological Sciences

Is it Hard to Get Into Harvard University?

In one word, YES.

It is pretty difficult to get admission into Harvard University. The requirements and eligibility criteria to apply to Harvard scares confidence out of many prospective students.

Categorically, Harvard University receives applications for admissions from more qualified applicants than their rate is willing to accept. In fact, most applicants have a GPA of at least 4.18. 

Besides the GPA requirement at Harvard University, the SAT/ACT requirements are also a point of a scare. But it’s encouraging to know that these are now optional.

What this means is that, if you don’t meet the minimum Harvard expectations, your chances of getting past the first selection round is nearly impossible. 

To make it into Harvard, you must 

  • Have high test scores
  • Be at the top of your class 
  • Have good extracurricular activities that align with Harvard’s values. 
  • Also, your essay answers help Harvard admissions get to know you better.

If you can surpass these, the university of Harvard’s GPA, acceptance, and admissions rate wouldn’t be much of a bother. 

What is Harvard University Acceptance Rate?

From records, Harvard’s acceptance rate has gradually decreased throughout its history.

Following through from 1997, the acceptance rate for the Class of 2001 was 12.3%. And in 2007, the acceptance rate for the Class of 2011 had fallen to 9%. In 2017, the acceptance rate for the Class of 2021 had shrunk to 5.2%.

What a graceful decline!!!

Just in 2021, the acceptance rate at Harvard University was 3.4%. The Harvard University admissions rate Statistics 2021 shows the following record:

  • Total Applications                           57,435
  • Overall Acceptance Rate                   3.4%
  • Regular Decision Applications        47,349
  • Regular Decision Acceptance Rate    2.6%
  • Accepted International Students       12.2%

Looking at this review, it’s clear to say that gaining admission to Harvard is increasingly more difficult.

What Are The Harvard Application Requirements?

Getting into Harvard is a rollercoaster ride. It’s highly competitive and all applicants are expected to meet the average Harvard University GPA requirements.

Besides that Harvard is interested in your personality, extracurricular activities, personal interests, and future plans.

What Harvard Admission Committee Look Out For.

When Harvard admissions officers review applications, they look for the following qualities and characteristics:

  • Integrity
  • Visionary
  • Passionate
  • Leadership
  • Self-awareness
  • Solution-oriented
  • Community service involvement

You will stand out because of your authenticity and honesty. So be THE REAL YOU!!!

Harvard Application Extracurriculars Requirements.

Harvard Extracurricular Activities make you stand out in your application. Basically, Harvard looks out for outgoing leaders who will positively impact the campus community and the world at large. 

In that regard, the admissions committee at Harvard will request a history of your extracurricular activities in school and out of school. 

Although you can show anything you deem fit, you will be more in the spotlight if you show activities that Havard loves.  

  • Such extracurricular activities include;
  • Lead a sports team
  • Organize a fundraiser
  • Start a new company
  • Wrote and published a book.
  • Volunteer with a local organization/give back to the community.
  • Spend a summer helping underprivileged children or volunteer at a summer camp.

Choose extracurricular activities you care about and ones that help make your community a better place.

Also Read: How to write an acceptance letter for college | Complete Guide 2021

How Do I Apply to Harvard University?

Now that you know what the acceptance rate is at Harvard University, how do you get past the admissions officers?  First, you need to apply.

How do you apply to Harvard?

Though the chances of getting into Harvard are low, the admission process is not that hard. This is so because Harvard Admissions has put together helpful “Application Tips” on their website.

This guide walks applicants through the entire application process, answers common questions, and offers direction and guidance. 

Here’s what the Harvard application asks for:

  • Profile 
  • Education
  • Personal Essay.
  • Family Information.
  • Supplemental Writing
  • Test Scores (optional).
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Harvard-specific Questions.

What is the Harvard Average GPA Requirement?

As we established earlier, your GPA is an important factor that gets you into Harvard University. 

The average Harvard University GPA requirement for acceptance into the college is between 4.0 – 4.18. 

What Standardized Tests Are Accepted by Harvard University?

The Harvard Standardized Test Requirements are SAT and ACT. 

However, from the 2021-2022 admission cycle, Harvard applicants did not submit standardized test scores due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Harvard SAT Requirements.

  • Harvard SAT required score is between 1460-1580. 
  • Taking SAT means to submit two SAT Subject Tests, with only one being the math test.
  • No SAT essay is required at Harvard. It’s optional.

Harvard ACT Requirements.

  • Harvard ACT required score is between 33-35.

A view into the SAT and ACT Score Ranges of Admitted Harvard Students.

TestScore Range (25th & 75th Percentile)
SAT Math[740, 800]
SAT ERW[720, 780]
ACT Math[31, 35]
ACT English[34, 36]
ACT Composite[33, 35]

Harvard University Transfer Acceptance Rate 2022

In 2019, Harvard University received 1548 transfer applicants.The school accepted 15 students. Therefore, the transfer acceptance rate for Harvard University is 0.97%.

Each fall, harvard university recieves relatively modest number of transfer students (12 on average) to Harvard College.  As a transfer student, Harvard is  searching for the following characteristics in candidates for transfer admission:

  • A well-defined academic requirement for transfer
  • A track record of success at your current institution
  • Strong Faculty endorsements.
What Is Harvard University’s Transfer Acceptance Rate?
What Is Harvard University’s Transfer Acceptance Rate?

Harvard College is one of two undergraduate institutions within Harvard University. It is now the only one accepting a limited number of transfer students. Harvard has long been known for its pursuit of greatness. Since its inception in 1636, the College has gathered promising students and eminent instructors and provided them with an environment and resources in which to fully develop their skills.

Harvard’s reputation of brilliance has placed generations of students at the forefront of the quest for new ways of thinking. Students come from all 50 states and more than 80 countries; they come from cities, suburbs, small towns, and farms; they come from public, private, and parochial schools; and they come from every ethnic and religious background.

Harvard University Transfer GPA Requirements?

Harvard University requires a minimum college GPA of 4.18 – this is on a 4.33 point scale.

In addition, Harvard University requires a minimum high school GPA of 4.18.

How To Transfer To Harvard University

To have a shot at transferring into Harvard University, you should have a current GPA of at least 4.18 – ideally you’re GPA will be around 4.35. In addition, you will need to submit standardized test scores.

The below tables show the SAT and ACT breakdown of Harvard University students.

25th Percentile75th PercentileAverage
SAT Math720800760
SAT Reading710800755
2018 Total SAT Score143016001515
25th Percentile75th PercentileAverage
ACT Math313533
ACT Reading333534
2018 Total ACT Score647067

Harvard University’s average SAT score is 1515. To be a competitive applicant for Harvard University your SAT score should come close to the average – for the ACT you should be aiming for the equivalent.

Harvard University Transfer Requirements

  • You must have completed at least one continuous academic year in a full-time degree program at one college and not more than two academic years to be eligible to transfer.
  • At least two years of full-time study at Harvard are required. A student is no longer eligible for transfer admission if he or she has finished more than two years of college at another institution, regardless of courses taken.
  • Only students who have completed a liberal arts curriculum identical to that of Harvard are eligible to transfer. Candidates who have completed a vocational, professional, technical, online, extended, or performance program are unlikely to be admitted to a university.
  • Students who have completed one full-time year of college in a conventional degree program in lieu of their senior year of high school (also known as dual enrollment) should apply for first-year admission if these courses are taken for credit toward a high school diploma.
  • Part-time students are ineligible unless they have previously completed one full-time, consecutive academic year.

How Do I Write Harvard Application Essays?

Besides the Harvard University acceptance rate, another factor that makes or mar your admission into Harvard is your essay.

Via your essay, you can show the Harvard admissions that you belong on their campus. Here is what do expect of Harvard’s essays;

#1. Common/Coalition Application Essay Questions or Topics (Personal Essay).

  • Focuses on students’ background, identity, interest, or talent.  
  • You can recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  • Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

#2. Harvard Supplemental Essays

This essay shows the Harvard admission committee how you plan to utilize your time as a student. They want to learn more about your academic interests and how you spend your time.

You can complete the Harvard Questions directly on the Common Application or Coalition Application.

Some of the topics include;

  • Unusual circumstances in your life
  • Travel, living, or working experiences in your own or other communities
  • What you would want your future college roommate to know about you
  • An intellectual experience (course, project, book, discussion, paper, poetry, or research topic in engineering, mathematics, science or other modes of inquiry) that has meant the most to you
  • How you hope to use your college education
  • A list of books you have read during the past twelve months.
Harvard University Acceptance Rate
Harvard University Acceptance Rate

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Frequently Asked Questions About Harvard University Acceptance Rate?

What Application System Does Harvard Use?

The application system used by Harvard is both the Common Application and the Coalition Application.

Does Harvard Accept AP Credit?

Only students who activate their Advanced Standing will receive graduation credit for their Advanced Placement (AP) exams. 

Students who are eligible for Advanced Standing have 32 AP credits. They earn these credits by scoring five on at least four eligible AP exams.

How Much Does Going to Harvard Cost?

Ivy League schools are expensive and Harvard University is an Ivy League School, therefore Harvard is expensive.

The annual cost of going to Harvard University is about $73,800.

However, most Harvard students receive need-based aid and scholarships. This makes the average price for each student to be $14,898.

Also, keep in mind that 20% of Harvard families pay nothing for their student’s college education.

Is Harvard a Need-blind School?

Yes, Harvard is a need-blind school. 

Harvard is one out of the only five US colleges that offer need-blind college admissions to international students. 

What does need blind even mean?

“Need-blind” means that when Harvard reviews your application, they do not consider your financial situation when making their admissions decision. 

Basically, they offer 100% of their students’ demonstrated need-based aid. 

Does Harvard University Give Scholarships Or Financial Aid?

Although expensive, Harvard wants to make education as cheap as can be. So, yes, Harvard University offers scholarships and other forms of financial aid for local and international students.

Harvard has the largest endowment in the world and uses this money to make education affordable to all its students.

Also Read: Easiest Nursing Schools to Get Into In 2022 | Complete Guide

When is the Harvard Application Deadline?

Besides looking out for the acceptance rate at Harvard University, you should also place an eye on the application deadline.

Usually, Harvard offers two application programs: 

  • Restrictive Early Action.
  • Regular Decision.

Both programs allow you to compare admission and financial aid offers from other institutions. 

The final application deadline at Harvard University for both programs is May 1 each year.

You can start applying for the restrictive early action by November 1 and receive notification by mid-December.

However, for the regular decision, you apply by January 1 and receive notification by April 6.

How Do I  Stand Out in Harvard Application?

To stand out in your Harvard application, you need to 

  • Have high grades and test scores. 
  • Have outstanding extracurriculars.
  • Great essays.
  • Be able to explain your value to Harvard that will get you admitted.
  • Find a way to gain statewide or national recognition. Look for opportunities to compete against students beyond your school.
  • Ensure your application aligns with Harvard’s goals and mission.
  • Join 2-3 clubs or organizations and become a leader in those clubs. Harvard likes to see that under your leadership, you increased the membership or accomplished something noteworthy.
  • Find ways to excel both in school and outside of school.

What is the Average Salary For A Harvard Graduate?

According to payscale.com, the average salary for a Harvard graduate is $95,000 per year.

What is Life after Harvard Like?

Harvard offers students a foot in the door at many prominent global firms. That’s why many love Harvard!!!

Some of the companies of repute for Harvard students include; 

  • Google
  • Goldman Sachs
  • CitiGroup etc

These companies all look at Harvard for future employees. Not only are you almost guaranteed access to higher-paying jobs as a Harvard student, but you also gain access to an elite network of Harvard alumni. Some of Harvard’s most famous alumni include:

  • Soledad O’Brien: journalist
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Astrophysicist
  • Natalie Portman: Oscar-winning actress
  • Sheryl Sandberg: Facebook COO, author
  • Jeremy Lin: Professional baseball player
  • Conan O’Brien: Late night talk show host
  • Gertrude Stein: Writer, Poet, Playwright
  • T.S. Elliot: poet, Essayist, Playwright, Publisher
  • Leonard Berstein: Conductor, Composer, Pianist, Lecturer, Author
  • E.E. Cummings: Poet, Painter, Essayist, Author, and Playwright


Harvard is looking for unique and diverse students who add value to its campus community. 

The university accepts 2,000 students each year, and one of those slots could be yours. 

All you have to do is follow through with our recommendation on how to get into Harvard by getting past their average GPA, acceptance, and admissions rate.

We wish you immense luck!!!


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