Universities

Harvard University Requirements

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Are you interested in knowing Harvard University requirements? If so, then this article is yours. Feel relaxed and make sure you read it to the end.

What are Harvard’s admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

GPA requirements
Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
Application requirements
School location: Cambridge, MA

This school is also known as: Harvard University, Harvard College, Harvard University

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Harvard is 4.7%. For every 100 applicants, only 5 are admitted.

This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements is very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation. If you don’t meet their expectations, your chance of getting in is nearly zero.

After crossing this hurdle, you’ll need to impress Harvard application readers through their other application requirements, including extracurriculars, essays, and letters of recommendation. We’ll cover more below.

Harvard University Requirements
What GPA Do You Need To Get Into Harvard University?

Harvard University’s average GPA is 4.18. Harvard University does require GPA. This average GPA means Harvard University is brutally selective – the most competitive applicants in the world are already applying to the school, in hopes of taking up residence in Cambridge, and, somehow, you need to be better. Generally speaking, if your GPA is not at least equal to 4.18 then Harvard University may be a reach. However, Harvard University considers the ENTIRE application – we can make up for a weak GPA with more factors that we’ll discuss below. If your GPA is equal to or greater than 4.18, you’re sitting right in the sweetspot.
*BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. Harvard University may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it… That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year – they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on Harvard University’s campus. These Harvard University admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

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What Is Harvard University’s Acceptance Rate?

Last year Harvard University’s acceptance rate was 5.58. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.
As you can see, Harvard University is a little easier to get into than last year.
Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into Harvard University – it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

Does Harvard University Require Test Scores?

Harvard University requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how Harvard University’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.

Harvard University Requirements

Harvard University SAT Requirements

Harvard University’s average SAT score is 1515 – this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed – it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether Harvard University is getting more or less competitive.

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. If you’re closer to the 1430, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Harvard University a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1600.

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Harvard SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1460, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1580. In other words, a 1460 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1580 will move you up to above average.

Those who live near Harvard may want to look into tutors in Acton and elsewhere in the Boston area to strengthen their test performance.

Harvard University Requirements

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

Harvard has the Score Choice policy of “Highest Section.”

This is also known as “superscoring.” This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit.

Harvard University ACT Requirements

Harvard University’s average ACT score is 100. To be a competitive applicant for Harvard University your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 96, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Harvard University a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 105.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 33, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 35.

Even though Harvard likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 33 or below, you’ll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 34 and above that a 33 will look academically weak.

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ACT Score Sending Policy

If you’re taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

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This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school’s ACT requirement of 35 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you’re happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren’t able to find the school’s exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Harvard, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 35.

SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have an optional essay section.

Harvard requires you to take the SAT Essay/ACT Writing section. They’ll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.

SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

Harvard has indicated that SAT subject tests are required for admission. Read further to see how many and which ones they require.

Typically, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, definitely choose to improve your SAT/ACT score.

How Hard Is It To Get Into Harvard University?

As you can see from the data above, Harvard University is exceptionally difficult to get into. Not only should you be aiming for a 4.18 but also SAT scores around 1515. Getting into Harvard University is no easy feat and you will need to set yourself apart with more than just numbers and data.

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