“At first, I never thought going to a college like Harvard would be possible because of the high cost of attendance. When I learned that Harvard meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all students, I realized that my seemingly impossible dream was a very achievable reality.”
— Laura Doherty ’19, New York
Harvard College is more than the sum of its many celebrated parts. It is, most of all, a home—a place where you can belong. Each college experience may be different, but at Harvard, there are certain experiences everyone will share. And a strong personal sense of community is one of them.
Our students represent all regions of the United States and more than 100 foreign countries. You and your classmates will embody a panorama of interests and aspirations. You’ll have goals and you’ll work hard, but you’ll also have time to relax and enjoy the company of friends.
Learning at Harvard
Incredible range, depth, and variety will characterize your Harvard academic experience. World renowned for the quality of our teaching and research, the College will supply you with the tools to build a highly individualized and rewarding undergraduate course of study.
If you are looking for a college with resources, here you will find 70 individual libraries, a 3,000-acre forest research station, 12 teaching museums, a 265-acre arboretum, 24 campus buildings devoted to science and research, multiple theaters and performance spaces, 42 varsity athletic teams, and 450 student organizations, for starters. You’ll also be able to cross-register at most of Harvard’s graduate and professional schools as well as MIT, which is just down the street. And we boast all the resources that Cambridge and Boston have to offer, cities that combine colonial charm with the energy and accessibility of a modern urban setting.
Home at Harvard
During your freshman year, historic Harvard Yard will be your home. You’ll be surrounded by other first-year students, living in the very heart of campus. As a sophomore, you’ll move into a House. These are residential colleges where students live, dine, study, plan events, play intramural sports, and become part of a close, supportive community that includes faculty and advisors. For many Harvard students, the Houses represent the most rewarding elements of both social and academic life.
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 evaluation.
We bring the best people to Harvard, regardless of their ability to pay. About 70% of our students receive some form of aid, with over 50% receiving need-based scholarships. Applying for financial aid does not jeopardize any student’s chance for admission, including international students. Indeed, the Admissions Committee may respond favorably to evidence that a candidate has overcome significant obstacles, financial or otherwise.
All of Harvard’s financial aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need—there are no academic, athletic, or merit-based awards. We do not require students to take out loans, and families of financial aid recipients are asked to contribute, on average, from 0%–10% of their annual income.