How To Secure Your Seat In The Harvard University (2021-22 Guide) – Filo Blog
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How to Secure Your Seat in the Harvard University (2021-22 Guide)

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Harvard University is arguably one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The school has an acceptance rate of below six per cent, meaning only five out of every ninety-nine students are admitted to Harvard University. Despite this extreme level of exclusivity, it is possible for anyone who is willing to put in time and effort into their studies to make it into Harvard University.

Red Building With Clock Tower

Let’s talk about why it is difficult to get into Harvard first. The Class of 2025 had the following admission statistics: 

Applicants57,786
Admitted2,320
Class of 2025 Harvard Admission Stats

The first and most important thing that you need to understand is that there is no “magic bullet” to get into Harvard. Achieving a high SAT score, for example, will help but it won’t be enough. If you want to get into Harvard, the only way to do so is through hard work and dedication over a long period of time as well as maintaining an excellent academic record throughout all of your years in school.

In addition, getting into Harvard requires more than just being smart or scoring really high on some standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT. Rather, getting into Harvard University also requires a student’s involvement both inside and outside of the classroom setting. There are six main touchpoints that make a good application to Harvard and we will list them below. 

Tips for Getting Into Harvard University

Man in Gray Shirt Sitting Beside Woman in Blue Shirt

1. Good GPA is Not Mandatory But is Regarded – Getting good grades is important no matter where you want to apply, and Harvard University is definitely not an exception. You must maintain a minimum of a 3.8 GPA throughout your high school career if you hope to gain admission into the school. It may sound difficult but it’s actually pretty easy as long as you put in the effort throughout every year of high school; especially during freshman and senior years since most schools usually offer more advanced courses then which cause grades to plummet downwards if one doesn’t try hard enough. Taking AP classes will also help your chances, so be sure to take those harder classes all four years of high school!

2 . Standardized Testing(SAT/ACT/AP) Score Boosts Your Application– As with any application process for college or university, standardized testing scores play a large role in determining who gets accepted and who doesn’t. For Harvard however, grades aren’t the only thing that matter: SAT or ACT scores must be impressive as well. You must get at least a 750 on the math section and an overall score of over 1400 if you want to impress admissions officials. Keep in mind though that getting these kinds of scores takes time, so make sure to start preparing early before it’s too late!

3 . Extracurriculars are where you shine! – Getting involved is probably one of the most important things any student can do throughout their high school years because universities are not just looking for scholastic students but rather students with various interests both inside and outside of the classroom environment. Extracurricular activities such as sports, community service, music and a wide variety of others will make you a much more competitive candidate for Harvard University compared to other students. Not only that but finding something that’s both interesting and challenging will help motivate you to work even harder towards your goals to get into Harvard.

4 . Letters of recommendation do Wonders! – Letters of recommendation are crucial when applying for colleges or universities because it gives the university an idea about who you really are beyond just your grades and test scores. If you have worked at a job for a considerable amount of time, be sure to ask your supervisor for a letter of recommendation so they can tell admissions officers what kind of person you are at work! Volunteering is also another great opportunity if you want letters of recommendation; most universities require two or three of them.

5 . Essay(Optional, but do try!)– Writing an essay isn’t mandatory when applying to Harvard University, but it is crucial if you want to maximize your chances of getting in. Be sure to spend some time working on this because admissions officers may be initially swayed by the excellent writing skills shown in the essay! Also, avoid using clichés and common phrases because these essays are read by people who have seen thousands of essays before yours so it is important not to bore them with cliched content!

6 . Interviews(Prepare well in advance!) – Finally, there’s also the interview that serves as another chance for applicants to prove that they’re worth admission into one of the best colleges in America. Be ready at all times just in case admissions officers want to speak with you, and try to do some interview practice beforehand. Don’t forget that the only thing separating you from Harvard is just a few simple steps to work your way there!

Harvard University has a detailed guide on What They Look for in a Student. Be sure to check it out. For more tips, check out the Harvard Application Tips Section!

Common Mistakes Students Make While Apply to Harvard University:

Person Behind Books

1. Choosing the Wrong Program – Not all students who apply to Harvard University get in so it’s important to think about what you want to major in before applying because if you do get accepted, be ready for those extremely hard college-level courses!

2. Bad Grades – This may sound obvious but some people mess up and choose the wrong classes during high school which hurt their GPA a lot. Try your best not to make any big mistakes during your last years of high school that could lower your GPA or even worse – ruin your chance at getting into Harvard.

3. Cliches – Avoid writing cliches such as “I love learning” or “I’ve always wanted to attend this college!” These essays are boring to read and make you seem unremarkable.

4. Not Getting Enough Letters of Recommendation – Unless you’re some sort of super genius, one letter of recommendation isn’t going to convince admissions officers at Harvard University that you should be accepted so get as many letters as possible! Also, don’t ask teachers who are easy graders or ones that clearly hate you to write your recommendations because it will show on their writing.

5. Focusing Too Much on Your Essay – Don’t spend too much time perfecting your essay because if the rest of your application is weak then admissions counsellors won’t even care about your essay anyway so focus more on everything else first before worrying about this final part which can often take up an insane amount of time.

6. Bad Interview – An interview with admissions counsellors and alumni at Harvard University is a great way to get insight into the school and to also express your interest in their college, but make sure you don’t come across as uninterested or unenthusiastic because this will show on your interviewer’s face! Also, try not to say anything stupid or really dumb because it could be the reason why you didn’t get accepted so just relax and answer any questions calmly and respectfully.

Harvard University Application Requirements 2021-22

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Image: Poets&Quants

Step 1: Visit the Common Application or the Coalition Application website and create an account there(either one). Use anyone of the above as Harvard has no preference!

You can also choose to mail your applications at:

Harvard College Admissions

86 Brattle Street

Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

Step 2: Make sure you have met the necessary requirements for Admission into Harvard:

  • $75 fee (or request a fee waiver)
  • SAT or ACT (with or without writing)* optional for 2021-2022 applicants
  • Optional: AP or other examination results
  • School Report (which includes a counsellor letter) and high school transcript
  • Teacher Report (2)
  • Midyear School Report (after your first semester grades)
  • Final School Report (for admitted students only)

For a detailed requirements list, check out the Harvard Admissions Requirements now!

Step 3: Answer the questions on the Common App/Coalition App and Submit your essay. The essay should be unique to you and express your perspectives of the topic. 

Step 4: Submit your application via mail/using the app and wait for the results. Use only one of the mediums to send your application. 

That’s it, folks! 

Considering the application process may take a few weeks, feel free to check out the college life and student vlogs to get a better idea of Harvard. Hope you enjoyed reading this article, please let me know what you think in the comments section below. Also, feel free to ask your doubts and don’t forget to share this with your friends. Till next time!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Content Strategist at Filo | I talk about exam updates, prep guides, important dates and much more on the Filo blog :)

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