Harvard University: How Does One Get Accepted Into The Highly-Acclaimed Institution?

This year, six Malaysian students (pictured above) did us proud and flaunted acceptance letters into the deeply-esteemed Harvard University – products of their intelligence, hard work and individual strengths.

As of 2020, Harvard’s acceptance rate dropped to a staggering 4%, so it’s common knowledge that being welcomed into the Harvard student body is not an easy feat. This left us wondering- what exactly does it take for one to meet the requirements?

Well, according to their website, it all boils down to four main categories.

1. Growth and Potential

source: U.S. News

The core of one’s qualifications lies in their academic status, of course.

For reference, the average high school GPA of Harvard’s class of 2025 is 4.22. As for SAT/ACT students, the middle 50% SAT and ACT scores of Harvard’s class of 2025 are 1460-1580 and 33-35.

Prepscholar advises students to retake their tests if their scores dive below 1580. The site also features a handy Admissions Calculator to weigh your chances at acceptance based on your grades.

The college also probes students to take up AP or IB courses in order to showcase their academic capabilities; the more, the better.

The admissions committee also considers your likelihood to fare well at their institution in the long run, therefore consistency is valued when it comes to your academic performance as well as other activities. A soaring pattern of achievements is best to ensure the committee that you are well-suited for their world of first class education.

2. Interests and Activities

source: The Catalyst

Your hobbies, external skills and long-term plans also matter when you are representing one of the most prestigious schools in history.

These additional details do not need a specific nature. Generally, you are advised to devote yourself to activities and societies that are in your absolute interest, which you voluntarily immerse yourself into, rather than half-heartedly take on projects that look good on paper, but do not possess a special place in your heart.

Any type of beneficial activity is encouraged, as this furnishes your identity on your application form while portraying your likes and initiatives.

3. Personal Character

source: NBC News

If you think being smart is enough to secure a spot at Harvard College, you’ll have to re-evaluate that belief.

Your individual quirks play a major role in this case. A charismatic and well-rounded personality could boost your chances.

As seen in movies, applicants are usually invited to submit write-ups about themselves- many choose to display the hardships of their past, explain family dynamics, or simply a few fun facts.

The college wants to comprehend the essence of your being, and the experiences that have shaped you into that person. You could also include the specifics, namely your characteristics that will come into play during your student-hood. For example, your basic attitude- enthusiasm, patience, respectfulness, discipline and more. Which brings us to…

4. Contribution to the Harvard Community

source: 123RF

The committee will regard your compatibility with the college in several ways, as you will be working and sharing resources with fellow scholars.

Besides nurturing the Harvard image, the institution will ponder your ability to keep up with and flourish in their high-pressure lifestyle. A pleasureful environment and healthy mindset work hand-in-hand with one’s intellect to produce a great student.

Will you be able to enrich the lives of the society with your achievements?

Before granting you access into their renowned scholastic world, they have to make sure you’re worthy of it.

All things considered, Harvard College notes that they strive against discrimination and do not filter applicants based on class rank, state residency, religious affiliations and the like.

For FAQs, such as misrepresentation of credentials, fee waiver requests, differing academic years due to geographical locations, documental requirements and more, solutions are available in detail for public view on the Harvard website.