Mission, Vision, & History
The Transformative Power of a Liberal Arts and Sciences Education
Our mission to educate future leaders is woven throughout the Harvard College experience, inspiring every member of our community to strive toward a more just, fair, and promising world.
The mission of Harvard College is to educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society. We do this through our commitment to the transformative power of a liberal arts and sciences education.
Beginning in the classroom with exposure to new ideas, new ways of understanding, and new ways of knowing, students embark on a journey of intellectual transformation. Through a diverse living environment, where students live with people who are studying different topics, who come from different walks of life and have evolving identities, intellectual transformation is deepened and conditions for social transformation are created. From this we hope that students will begin to fashion their lives by gaining a sense of what they want to do with their gifts and talents, assessing their values and interests, and learning how they can best serve the world.
Harvard College sets the standard for residential liberal arts and sciences education. We have committed to creating and sustaining the conditions that enable all Harvard College students to experience an unparalleled educational journey that is intellectually, socially, and personally transformative.
History of Financial Aid
For almost as long as the College has existed, Harvard has provided financial aid to students. This tradition began with Anne Radcliffe, Lady Mowlson of London, who in 1643 left a bequest to aid students with need admitted to Harvard College.