How to Get Into Harvard: Admissions and Acceptance rate

Mar 1, 2022 | Turito Team USA

harvard acceptance rate

Harvard is an Ivy League institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Harvard University acceptance rate is about 4.6 percent. It is home to the nation’s oldest historic structures and various research centers. The Cambridge location puts students close to thousands of college students and downtown Boston.

Out of 57,435 applications received in 2021, only 1,968 students got admitted to Harvard University. This makes the 2021 Harvard acceptance rate 3.43 percent — the lowest admissions percentage in College history.

What do you need to get into Harvard?

Harvard has a reputation for being one of the most difficult institutions to get into in the country, and it’s just getting harder. Only 1,968 students were accepted out of 57,435 applicants, making the 2021 Harvard acceptance rate a record-low 3.43 percent.

Of the 57,000+ candidates for Harvard’s class of 2025, 10,086 applied for early action. Of those, 747 were admitted, resulting in a 7.4 percent 2021 Harvard acceptance rate. These figures represent both a record-high number of applications and a record-low percentage of acceptance.

MBA aspirants didn’t have an easier time either. Of the 9,304 applications for its full-time MBA program in 2020, Harvard accepted only 859 individuals. This means that the Harvard Business School acceptance rate was 9 percent.

While the 2021 Harvard acceptance rate is extremely low, your chances of admittance are determined by the quality of your profile.

What qualities does Harvard seek in a candidate?

Great grades and standardized test scores aren’t enough to impress admissions authorities at top-tier colleges like Harvard. Here every candidate has an impressive academic background.

Harvard, for example, admires students who are involved in their communities and have shown leadership. They prefer to admit individuals who have made a difference in their communities via volunteer and charity work or leadership. Students can show these traits in their additional essays and their extracurricular activities. 

Harvard University Requirements

How to get into Harvard? The key elements you should focus on are:

  • Minimum GPA requirements
  • Requirements for SAT and ACT testing, and
  • Application requirements

The acceptance rate indicates how competitive the school is and how serious they are about its criteria. The Harvard university acceptance rate is 4.7 percent. Only 5 out of every 100 applications are accepted. The 2021 Harvard acceptance rate was only 3.43 percent, indicating a steep decline.

Do you want an MBA from Harvard Business School? Then, it is essential to know the Harvard Business School acceptance rate as the program is consistently ranked top in the country. Harvard received 9,304 applications for its full-time MBA program in 2020, and Harvard accepted only 859 individuals. This means that the Harvard Business School acceptance rate was 9 percent. Looking at the numbers of the Harvard Business School acceptance rates can be daunting. Still, you should understand the data and focus on preparing your application to the best of your ability.

Harvard Requirements: GPA

So, what do you need to get into Harvard? Many schools mention a minimum GPA requirement. This is usually a basic prerequisite to avoid getting your application rejected right away.

You can estimate the Harvard requirements by looking at the school’s current students’ average GPA. Most students admitted to Harvard have an unweighted GPA of 4.18 or above, so you’ll need to have at least a 4.2 to be seriously evaluated.

To meet the Harvard requirements, you’ll have to score primarily A’s on your high school courses. It would help if you also enrolled in challenging subjects, such as AP or IB courses, to demonstrate that college-level academics are simple.

If you’re a junior or senior, changing your GPA in time for college applications is difficult. You’ll need a better SAT or ACT score to compensate if your GPA is below Harvard university’s requirements. Harvard aspires to use a balanced selection method that analyses you. Yes, it is important to meet Harvard’s requirements. Still, your extracurriculars, portfolio, future objectives, and previous learning all work in your favor to help you craft a successful application to Harvard.

Harvard Requirements: SAT & ACT

How to get into Harvard based on SAT and ACT scores? To apply to Harvard, you must take either the SAT or the ACT. Many colleges claim that they do not have an SAT score cutoff, but the fact is that they do. The Harvard University requirement for SAT is based on the average score. Harvard’s average SAT composite score is 1520 on a 1600-point scale. With this score, Harvard is highly competitive in SAT results.

Harvard super scores the SAT. This means that your top section scores across all of your SAT dates will be considered. Instead of limiting your results to a single day, Harvard combines your best section scores to get the highest possible composite score.

Similar to the Harvard University requirements for SAT, the average ACT score at Harvard is also increasing. The average ACT score of Harvard-accepted students is 33. Although Harvard claims there is no minimum ACT score, if you apply with a 29 or lower, you’ll have difficulty getting in.

So, to get into Harvard, it is important to note the different Harvard University requirements for test scores. This can increase your probability of getting into Harvard despite the low Harvard university acceptance rate.

What do you need to get into Harvard: Tips and Tricks

  • Maintain a 4.22 GPA despite taking the most difficult classes offered

The average Harvard GPA for the class of 2025 was 4.22, with most applicants scoring at least a 4.0. Simply defined, strong grades are required for admittance to Harvard, and the institution considers them “extremely essential” when making admissions choices. Candidates for a top-ten institution like Harvard often have completed 12 or more AP courses.

The Academic Index is a metric employed by highly selective colleges with many applications. Academic Index combines an applicant’s whole academic record into a single figure. This makes it simple for admissions officers to select applicants who do not fulfill a college’s educational requirements.

But, simply knowing the answer to the question “What do you need to get into Harvard?” isn’t sufficient. Harvard has a notoriously low university acceptance rate. Good grades aren’t always enough to impress a top institution like Harvard; you’ll also need to have achieved them in the most challenging courses possible.

  • Aim for an SAT score of 1580 and an ACT score of 35

The middle half of Harvard’s 2025 class had SAT scores of 1460-1580 and ACT scores of 33-35. Any score in the central 50% is acceptable; however, the higher you score in the range, the greater your chances of admission. Harvard does not superscore standardized test scores. Harvard was test-optional for the 2020-2021 admissions season due to the obstacles posed by COVID-19 and has extended this policy for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

  • Create interesting essays

Harvard has a variety of candidates with exceptional skills. This explains why the Harvard university acceptance rate is 4.6 percent, and the Harvard business school’s acceptance rate is 9 percent. You can use your essay to show that you have a distinct voice and personality. Harvard’s application includes one required essay and two optional essays; but, if you want to stand out from the crowd, you should consider all three essays mandatory.

  •  Achieve Success in Your Interview

Although interviews play a small role in the overall admissions process, Harvard considers them when determining admissions decisions. Please don’t get caught off guard by the Harvard interview; educate yourself about the procedure and prepare for it.

In conclusion, it can be said that the question “What do you need to get into Harvard?” has no straight answer. There is a lot of effort involved to get into one of the most selective universities in the world. So make sure you stay motivated and realistic about your chances of getting admitted to Harvard.


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