Harvard University is the United State’s oldest institute of higher education. This prestigious school was established in 1636, over a century before the United States achieved its independent statehood, by the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The school began with one teacher and nine students. The school remains small today and hosts around 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Although small, Harvard has become recognized as one of the greatest and most selective educational experiences available today.
Harvard University Accreditation Details
Harvard University has earned both general and field-specific accreditations. Harvard University has been awarded accreditation by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The Harvard Business School has been awarded accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The Harvard Divinity School has been awarded accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools. The Harvard Law School has been awarded accreditation by the American bar Association. Harvard Medical School has been awarded accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. The School of Public Health has been awarded accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health.
Harvard University Application Requirements
To apply to Harvard University, students must submit the following materials:
- Application (through the Common Application or the Universal Common Application)
- $75 non-refundable application fee
- Fee waiver request, when applicable
- Official SAT or ACT testing scores
- Transcripts or reports from the secondary school(s) attended
- A minimum of two supporting evaluations from teachers
While admission to Harvard University seems elusive. While the school does not demand specific requirements for students who wish to attend, it has provided insight into their admissions process. Harvard looks for students who not only strive towards their potential but reach and exceed it when possible. The school seeks students who not only capitalize on opportunities but continue to look for ways to push the limits. They also look for students who are focused upon excellence in their intellectual and extracurricular pursuits. Harvard prefers applicants who have a genuine commitment to their activities rather than those who take part due to obligation. Harvard recognizes that greatness comes in all forms including child prodigies and late bloomers. They look for greatness and potential as well as those who are high of character. Finally, Harvard looks for applicants will not only succeed within the distinct pressures of the university environment but will thrive in it. Ultimately, Harvard looks for those select few applicants who not only have the genuine motivation to change the world but will motivate and inspire those around them to greatness as well.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The total cost for each year of undergraduate education at Harvard University is $60,659 and includes tuition, fees and room and board.
Harvard has recently tried to move away from being portrayed as a financially unobtainable school and has started showcasing the financing and scholarship opportunities available to potential students. By doing this, they attract students not only from privileged backgrounds but also those future world leaders who had fewer opportunities in their early life. Harvard says that parents that make less than $65,000 are expected to contribute $0 to their student’s education. About 60 percent of the undergraduates enrolled at Harvard receive scholarships from the school. Much of the other financial cost is covered by part-time work, outside awards and parental contribution. Harvard insists that many of its students pay no more to attend Harvard than they would to attend another state university.
Harvard benefits from significant donations from alumni and corporate donors which significantly contribute to their ability to fund their students’ educations based on financial and situational need. Harvard also accepts the following forms of payment and financial aid:
- Federal Loans
- State Loans
- Outside Scholarships
- Private Payment
Harvard University is located in Cambridge, MA, a suburb in the Greater Boston area. The location of the campus provides a college town feel while still providing all of the amenities available in a metropolitan city. Students can take advantage of the cultural scene as well as the business and networking opportunities available in a global business hub like Boston. Boston is also home to some of the world’s other leading universities, such as MIT and Boston University, making the city home to 200,000 of the world’s best and brightest students.
The academic experience at Harvard is paralleled only by a few select schools around the world. The college attracts top teaching and research talent which translates into some of the most in depth and diverse undergraduate programs in the world. Students can participate in broad majors across the spectrum of studies from arts to sciences. Students are provided with traditional offerings like psychology, business, medicine and biology. They are also given the opportunity to study less common majors such as Byzantine Studies, Folklore and Mythology, Inner Asian and Altaic Studies and as well as other regional linguistic and cultural programs. The campus is home to the largest academic library in the world and includes 18.9 million books.
Harvard offers a diverse athletics program that is unlike many other universities. The diversity and funding provided by Harvard have resulted in 42 Division I intercollegiate sports teams and over 80 percent of Harvard’s student body participate in some type of athletics. Students can choose from traditional college sports like baseball, football and volleyball as well as polo, rugby, ultimate Frisbee and figure skating.
Harvard attracts students from all over the world, and they offer cultural support in the form of over 50 organizations dedicated to groups of all religions and many political beliefs. There is also an all campus organization called the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. The group hosts activities throughout the academic year that are highly anticipated by the entire student body.
For many applicants, studying at Harvard University is the goal of years of hard work and dedication. Harvard University aims to include not only the best and brightest potential candidates but also the candidates who will change the world and inspire their peers. In return, Harvard University offers a dynamic campus setting filled with educational and networking opportunities that prepare students for successful academic and professional careers.