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Harvard University-- #2 National University (US News & World Report)

Harvard University is the oldest university in the US, established in the US in 1636 before America got its independence from England. The name Harvard comes from the college’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown. Upon his death in 1638, he left his library and half his estate to Harvard.

Harvard’s reputation precedes itself as it is highly regarded for is scholastic pedigree and utmost selectivity. A study found Harvard accepted 36% of legacy students for the incoming freshman of 2018. Being a child of an alum, with good academics and extracurriculars, goes a long way in Harvard admissions. That is not to say that students without legacy are not admitted. Harvard-bound students must exemplify excellence.

One of America’s most respected academic and sought-after (by students and faculty) institution, Harvard offers groundbreaking research opportunities to committed and curious scholars. With the university receiving the largest endowment in the world, students have all the resources they need to fulfill their academic and personal potential.

Harvard is made up of 13 schools and institutes, including the top-ranked Business School and Medical School and the highly ranked Graduate Education School, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Law School, & John F. Kennedy School of Government.

HARVARD COLLEGE, the college of undergraduate studies, follows a 375-year tradition of educating leaders in every field, offering a personalized liberal arts education, based on individual achievement, collaboration with peers and scholars, and an environment that fosters intellectual risk-taking. Studies at Harvard aims to pique the student’s curiosity, supports their career goals, or prepare them for graduate study.

Admissions Requirements

Application Fee$75
Standardized TestsSAT or ACT (with or without writing)
SAT Subject Tests
2 SAT Subject Tests Recommended,
except in the case of financial hardship
AP and IB examsOptional
Recommendations2 Teacher Recommendations
From Your High School
School Report, Transcript, Mid-Year Report,
Final Report
Harvard Supplements ( Writing Supp
section in My Colleges tab on the
Common App- Questions updated
every August.)
2 optional questions, 1 optional essay
Optional Supplementary InfoPortfolio of Art, Music, Dance, Theater.
Scholarly articles, research, creative writing
or other documents of which you are the
primary author may be submitted.
International StudentsTOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic scores
Restrictive Early ActionNovember 1, decision by mid-December
Regular DecisionJanuary 1, decision by mid to late March

Academic Parameters

When applying to an institution, it is important to look at the academic information of previous applicants. This includes the SAT/ACT test scores, SAT Subject test scores (if available), GPA ranges, or class ranking. By looking at these data points, you may assess where you fall and how likely is your admission into this college. Please note, there are students who do fall below the middle range and are still admitted, but then their application has one or more factors that boosts their application, such as a special talent, a recruitable athlete, legacy, racial or socioeconomic minority. Use the chart below to see where you fall and if you may raise your test scores and grades to keep your application in the running.

Testing/GPA Guidelines

SAT Range (25th and 75th percentiles)Composite Score: 1460 (25th%) to 1590 (75th%)
Math: 730 to 800
Evidenced-based Reading and Writing: 730 to 790
ACT Range (25th and 75th percentiles)Composite Score: 34 (25th%) to 36 (75th%)
ACT Math: 31 to 35
ACT English: 34 to 36
GPA Range (unweighted)98.2% of students had GPA of 3.50+:
92.7% of students had GPA 3.75 or higher
5.52% of students had GPA 3.50 to 3.74

IvyBound Consulting featured Harvard University on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter from March 11-16, 2019

Day 1 • Harvard University

According to US News & World Report, Harvard University is ranked #2 in National Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Please check their website to read up on these indicators. We are using US News for its popularity, but by no means should they be the only source in determining your “best fit” college. Your best fit colleges should be determined by your academic goals, your personality fit, and financial considerations.

Harvard University:

Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Harvard was founded in 1636 colonial America by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The school was initially created to educate members of the clergy, according to the university’s archives. Harvard is named after a Puritan minister – John Harvard – who, in 1638, left his 400-book library and half of his estate to the young school. The first commencement ceremony at Harvard, held in 1642, had nine graduates.

Number of Students (2017-2018 enrollment):
Total: 36,012 students
Harvard College: 6,699 (undergraduate)
Graduate and professional students: 13,120
Harvard Extension School: 16,193

Urban, Mid-size City: Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, outside of Boston. Campus size is 5,076 acres.

Tuition & Fees:
$46,340 for tuition (2018-19) and $67,580 for tuition, room, board, and fees combined, need-blind financial aid available.

$39.2 billion (2018), the largest of any US university.

As a first-year, you will live with your classmates in or adjacent to Harvard Yard, the University’s historic hub.

Admit Rate:
Most competitive, admit rate below 5%.

52% male/48% female, according to collegefactual.com,
Domestic ethnicity: 22.9% Asian, 15.2% African American, 12.3% Hispanic, 1.9% Native American, 0.4% Native Hawaiian.

Religious Affiliation:

Other Awards by US News:
#2 in National Universities, #34 (tie) in Best Undergraduate Teaching,
#2 in Best Value Schools

Day 2 • School Mission, Mascot, Sports

Veritas, Latin for “Truth”. The Harvard Campaign is designed to embrace the future and to ensure Harvard’s leadership as it approaches its fifth century of education and inquiry in the pursuit of enduring truth.

The name Harvard comes from the college’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown. Upon his death in 1638, he left his library and half his estate to the institution established in 1636 by a vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.



Sports Goal for Harvard athletes:
Principled Leadership, Academic Integration and Competitive Excellence. Athletics at Harvard builds community through the engagement of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and creates a portal through which neighboring communities can enjoy the Harvard experience. Rivalry Against Yale: Harvard is infamous for having an annual football matchup against rival Yale.

Sports Division:
NCAA Division I. Ivy League schools share a tradition of academic excellence and broad-based, successful NCAA Division I athletics. Harvard has one of the largest and most successful athletic programs in the NCAA Division I and the Ivy League. About 18 percent of undergraduates participate in varsity sports, spanning 37 varsity men’s and women’s teams. Varsity teams include baseball, basketball, crew, cross-country, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, sailing, skiing, soccer, softball, squash, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling. -Won 144 national or NCAA championships -Won a combined 435 Ivy League Championships -Been represented in every modern Olympic Games

Day 3 • Academic at Harvard/Top Undergraduate Majors/Student Life

The mission of Harvard College (Undergraduate school) is to educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society. Harvard does this through our commitment to the transformative power of a liberal arts and sciences education. The majors or concentrations called at Harvard are divided into 4 major departments: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences & School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Academic Calendar:
Semester system

Top Undergraduate Majors at Harvard College:
The top concentrations are Economics, Computer Science, History, Political Science & Government, Biological Sciences, and General Social Sciences. Over 50 concentrations with option of study in interdisciplinary fields.

Highly-ranked Graduate programs:
Top-ranked Business School and Medical School and the highly ranked Graduate Education School, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Harvard X:
is a University-wide strategic initiative, enabling faculty to create open, online courses for on campus and global learners and advancing research in the learning sciences. To date, HarvardX has engaged more than 170 faculty across 10 schools, producing more than 100 open online courses with more than three million unique course participants. A leader in advancing the science of learning, HarvardX and VPAL Research have produced more than 70 research publications and two major benchmark reports on MOOC learner demographics and behavior.

Harvard Library:
Widener Library is the largest University library in the world, with holdings of 17 million volumes. The library is in honor of Harry Elkins Widener, class of 1907. Harry was an avid collector of rare books. Harry was returning from his trip to purchase more volumes on the Titanic with his parents. Unfortunately Harry and his father did not survive. Mrs. Widener survived and dedicated this library in honor of her son Harry. The library also houses 3300 of Harry’s priceless books, including the Gutenberg Bible (1 of 14 in existence).

Student Life:
Extracurricular activities can form a vital part of your experience here at Harvard, creating unique opportunities for friendship and learning. Students have ample opportunities to enjoy the arts, culture, and entertainment of Cambridge and greater Boston (minutes away). At the heart of the student experience are the Harvard Houses—communities where faculty, students, and graduate students live, learn, and work together. These multigenerational communities provide personal and enriching interactions that shape students both intellectually and socially. First year students live in and around scenic Harvard Yard.

Student Organizations:
More than 450 student organizations, including: Music, Visual arts, Media and journalism, Public service, Drama and dance, Professional and service, Faith, identity, and culture. Harvard sponsors more than 50 cultural, ethnic, and international organizations, & groups representing nearly every religion & political belief.

Day 4 • Notable Alumni

Notable Alumni:
Eight U.S. presidents graduated from Harvard, including John F. Kennedy.

John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George W. Bush and Barack Obama are also

Harvard graduates.
Also, 5 of the 9 supreme court justices graduated from Harvard. Other notable alumni include Henry David Thoreau and Helen Keller. Hellen Keller was the first blind and deaf person to earn a bachelor’s degree, she graduated from Harvard’s Radcliffe College in 1904.

Recent alumni includes
Padmé Amidala of Star Wars, actress Natalie Portman (2003) , and Jeremy Lin, the pro basketball player graduated from Harvard in 2010 with a degree in economics. He now plays for Toronto Raptors. Harvard DropOuts include Bill Gates (the world’s wealthiest man and founder of Microsoft). Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook). Other dropouts include actor Matt Damon, famous poet Robert Frost, and publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst.

Day 5 • Applying to Harvard? Be Collegebound with IvyBound

Looking at first-time, Freshman Applicants, For class of 2022:
Admission Rate:
4.7%, including early applicants

Total Applicants:



Yield Rate:
87%- Number of students who actually attended

63 students were admitted from the waitlist

Early Option:
Single-Choice Early Action (November 1 is deadline)

Regular Deadline:
January 1

Admission Requirements:
See Table above

Admissions into this prestigious University, Harvard University, is most competitive with the acceptance rate being less than 5%, and continues to decrease each year. With the increase of sheer number of applicants, how do you stand out and get admitted? If Harvard is one of the colleges on your list, use this invaluable worksheet to plan and prepare to apply to Harvard.

IvyBound Consulting offers personalized college admissions services to help you create winning college applications that surely gets you admitted. Choose from one-on-one counseling services, college admissions online course- Applications That Get You Admitted!, private Facebook group membership, and essay review and editing services.

Next week, I will cover, US News Week’s #3 Nationally Ranked University, Columbia. Stay Tuned.

Be Collegebound with IvyBound!

* Sources used: the Harvard website, common data set, college factual, US World News, other websites.

Hey guys, welcome to the episodes Be Collegebound with IvyBound! I’m your host, Ruchi S. Kothari. I’m super excited that you’ve joined me.

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