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Diversity Profile

“I cannot stress enough that what makes the Harvard experience special are the people. To take advantage of the astonishing diversity has been an invaluable part of my college experience.”
— August Dao ’15

An education at Harvard has limitless possibilities. Our thousands of diverse courses, taught by esteemed faculty members and augmented by Harvard’s unparalleled libraries and resources, will take you as far as your imagination allows. Equipped with more than 3,500 courses and more than 49 different fields of academic concentration, Harvard offers you the opportunity to think broadly as well as to specialize in one area.

You can extend your learning with courses at Harvard’s graduate schools. Conduct research as early as your freshman year. Collaborate with your peers at the Innovation Lab. And explore the full range of Harvard’s curriculum while enjoying a rich social and extracurricular life.

Multicultural diversity
At Harvard you’ll be part of a diverse undergraduate community that comes together to enrich shared experiences in the classroom and beyond. Student groups, events on campus, and courses across a wide range of disciplines provide you with opportunities to share in the cultural and socioeconomic diversity of the student body.

Harvard sponsors more than 50 cultural, ethnic, and international organizations, as well as groups representing nearly every religion and political belief.

The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations hosts many activities throughout the year that celebrate campus ethnic and cultural diversity. One of the most anticipated celebrations is Cultural Rhythms, a festival showcasing student performances and ethnic cuisine from more than 30 clubs and organizations. Acting as emcee for the occasion is the Foundation’s annual Artist of the Year. Recent honorees have included Shakira, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Matt Damon, Jackie Chan, and John Legend.

African American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American students comprise about 47% of the Harvard student body. The Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program (UMRP) student coordinators can answer your questions about academic, extracurricular, and residential life at Harvard. They can even help you arrange a tailored campus visit, whether overnight or just for the day. Contact them at umrp@fas.harvard.edu.

At Harvard College we hope to enroll students who will educate each other within a variety of campus settings—academic, extracurricular, and social. Some admission candidates will demonstrate extraordinary promise in academic or research endeavors. Some will show uncommon talent in other areas such as leadership, performing arts, or athletics. Most of our students combine the best of both scholastic and extracurricular achievement. Personal qualities—integrity, maturity, strength of character, and concern for others—will also play an important part in our evaluations. In general, successful candidates have chosen the most demanding courses available and rank within the top 10%–15% of their graduating class.

You should apply using either the Common Application or the Universal College Application. If paying the application fee of $75 would cause a hardship for your family, please request a fee waiver—do not let this fee prevent you from applying! You must submit either the SAT or the ACT with Writing, and we normally require two SAT Subject Tests. The Admissions Committee will consider your test results in light of your educational opportunities. You may apply under our Restrictive Early Action program (materials due November 1) or during Regular Decision (materials due January 1).



Financial Aid: Removing Economic Barriers
• Applying for financial aid does not jeopardize any student’s chance for admission, including international applicants.
• Financial aid at Harvard is entirely need-based, and we are committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of all students.
• No contribution is expected from parents with incomes under $65,000.  Those parents with annual incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 are asked to contribute from 0%–10% of their income.

Did you know . . .  
More than 60% of Harvard families pay an average of only $12,000 per year.  About 20% pay nothing!

“Harvard’s financial aid package truly exceeded my expectations. Harvard was so generous that they even gave me money for a winter coat, something I definitely needed coming from the South!”
— Jasmine Burnett ’16