Harvard University

Harvard University


Harvard Yard.

Harvard University: A Comprehensive Insight


Founded in 1636, Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Known as one of the most prestigious universities worldwide, it is characterized by its rigorous academic programs, distinguished faculty, and highly competitive admissions process. This essay aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Harvard, including its admission standards, costs, prestige, history, and key statistics.

However, one huge negative on Harvard we must get out of the way revolved on the teaching! The famous teachers often do not give the lectures, rather their TA’s. In fact, we heard from one student that his TA could barely speak english. And there lies the reason many students prefer Williams or Yale to Harvard!

Of course, if you are an engineer, MIT or Stanford is likely your prefence.

Admissions Standards

Admission to Harvard University is highly competitive and seeks students with exceptional academic and personal achievements. The typical GPA of admitted students was 4.18 on a 4.0 scale, reflecting a high proportion of students with Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) coursework. Please note that these statistics might have slightly changed in the years following my last update.

In terms of standardized testing, Harvard considers both SAT and ACT scores. The middle 50% range of SAT scores was 1460-1580, and for the ACT, it was 33-35. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard, like many other universities, has adopted a test-optional policy, which might still be in place. Please verify this from the official university website.

Cost of Tuition and Local Living

The tuition cost at Harvard is around $51,925, not including room, board, and other fees, which brought the total estimated cost to approximately $74,528 per year. Harvard’s financial aid program is one of the most generous, with families earning under $65,000 expected to contribute nothing to their child’s education.

However, with inflation, prices are rising every day!

The cost of living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is significantly higher than the national average. Housing, both on and off-campus, is relatively expensive, and students should also consider costs for food, personal expenses, and transportation.

Prestige and History

Harvard is consistently ranked among the top universities globally due to its academic rigor, faculty, and extensive research facilities. The university is renowned for its programs in law, business, medicine, and the social sciences. It is also notable for its extensive library system, which is one of the largest academic libraries worldwide.

Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It was named after its first benefactor, John Harvard, who bequeathed his library and half of his estate to the institution. Over its nearly 400-year history, Harvard has grown from a small college into a vibrant, comprehensive university, shaping and influencing the world in numerous ways.

Acceptance Rate, Retention, and Graduation Rate

Harvard’s acceptance rate is notably low due to its high level of applications and selective admissions process. The acceptance rate was around 5%. However, once admitted, students are highly likely to stay: the first-year student retention rate often exceeds 97%.

The graduation rate at Harvard is also exceptional. Approximately 96% of students graduated within six years. This high graduation rate is indicative of the supportive academic environment, quality of education, and ample resources provided to students.


Harvard University is an institution that embodies excellence, both in terms of its rigorous academic programs and its student body. Admission is highly competitive, reflecting the high caliber of students who study there. Despite the high costs associated with studying and living in Cambridge, Harvard’s generous financial aid programs ensure that talented students from all financial backgrounds can attend. Its rich history and continued dedication to academic rigor and research have established Harvard as a cornerstone of higher education, not just in the U.S, but across the globe.


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Quick Facts

Average Tution Cost
Student Population
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
7 : 1

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Graduation Rate
Acceptance Rate
Retention Rate

Average SAT/ACT Score

SAT Score
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