How to Become a Student of Harvard?

John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, the current president – Barack Obama, David Rockefeller, Matt Damon, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer, Natalie Portman and others. What does unite these totally different people – presidents, businessmen, scientists, film, television, sports and music stars from around the world? As well as 49 Nobel Prize winners and 36 Pulitzer Prize winners? They all can say with pride that graduated from Harvard!

Harvard for centuries is one of the best universities of the world and provides students with not only first-class education, but also with the opportunity to establish friendly relations with the “golden youth” of America. Each year, the Admissions Committee at Harvard is sent about 28,000 applications for 2,000 places available. Each application is reviewed by two Harvard professors who independently evaluate potential candidate. Harvard diploma is not just a pledge of good knowledge and a good education, it is almost a pass in any sphere of activity and at any position.


This university diploma is valued a lot because only the best students can enter Harvard. And the point is not that education is very expensive – there are a lot of programs for gifted students, which may benefit those who really deserve it.

Aid practice for receiving the higher education at the university was introduced in 1934 by James Bryant Conant, who at the time was president of Harvard University. This great man has developed a national education program, believing that education at Harvard needs to be available not only for those with significant financial means, but for those young people who are the most talented and capable.

Criteria for selection of students to study at Harvard are quite strict. Each candidate must submit to the Admissions Committee the results of:

– SAT or ACT;

– Three core SAT II tests;

– Certificate of High School and the extract with the latest marks;

– Recommendation letters from two teachers.

If the applicant is in the country where he/she cannot pass these tests, then the Admissions Committee in exceptional cases may accept the results of GRE (usually required for admission to the USA master’s). At the same time, the presence of a bachelor’s degree or any other complete higher education degree makes it impossible for admission to undergraduate studies at Harvard.


However, excellent results in these tests do not guarantee admission to Harvard. Not formal features are more important (Advanced Certificate, having only positive marks), but the real ability of the student.

At Harvard, more attention is paid not to those who know how to grind, but to those who can focus on targets. Therefore, the winner of the national competition on any subject is more likely to enter Harvard than the winner of competitions in all subjects within the school.

The Admissions Committee also considers the importance of extracurricular activities of potential students: in public organizations, availability of research and/or practical experience, outstanding scientific achievements, etc. The Admissions Committee encourages applicants who can provide additional evidence of their academic or social activities such as international charters or certificates or test results of International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Abitur or GCE A-level.

The Admissions Committee also prefers applicants who at the time of admission have international experience, such as participation in volunteer, academic or community projects in another country. Some students, who have already entered the University, are given the delay of up to 1-2 years to participate in such projects, after which they can start to study and to share gained knowledge with their course.

A requirement of the University is to have leadership qualities for the applicant. The university is interested in a good career of its students, employment of graduates of high positions and status in society, which necessarily requires the character with traits of the leader.


A student must be comprehensively cultured and intelligent personality, creative and original, able to seek innovative solutions, relying on own intellect, intuition and knowledge, but not solely on the conventional rules and stereotypes. Precisely because Harvard requires students to be individualities, the University has so much to give. Talented young people come to study at Harvard, and confident, well-educated and ready for any difficulties leaders with expertise in their field and are able to build a successful career, receive a diploma.

To become a student of Harvard is much easier for applicants from European countries, where the training is also aimed at identifying the skills and talents of students and their development. At the same time, school graduates of post-Soviet countries rarely go to Harvard immediately after school – they cannot cope with many simple tasks, possessing the necessary knowledge, they don’t have personal characteristics. Therefore, more often the applicants of post-Soviet countries enter to Harvard at a mature age, when they have a good understanding of what they want, know how to achieve goals and can pass any test.

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