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Application Process

Studying in Lamont Library

Required Forms, Test Scores, and Evaluations

We look forward to learning about you through your application.

You start by submitting a complete application with the following materials:

  • Application and supplements
  • $75 application fee or a fee waiver request
  • ACT with writing or old SAT or new SAT with writing
  • Normally, two SAT Subject Tests
  • Secondary School Report (including transcripts) and Mid-Year School Report
  • Two teacher evaluations

*You may submit either the Common Application (with the Harvard questions and Harvard Writing Supplement) or the Universal College Application (with the Harvard Supplement).


We accept the Common Application, the Universal College Application, and the Coalition Application. Each is treated equally by the Admissions Committee. Complete and submit your materials as soon as possible to ensure full and timely consideration of your application. If you use the Common Application, you must submit your application before your supporting materials (Secondary School Report, Teacher Reports, etc.) can be released to a college. Until you submit your own application sections, no part of your application will be transmitted to the Harvard Admissions Office. The Universal College Application does not require this same process.

When we receive your application

We will send an acknowledgment of receipt within two weeks of receiving your application. If you have not received an acknowledgment after two weeks, please contact us. Choose the category “Your Submitted Application,” then the subject “Confirm Receipt of Application” in the drop-down menu, or call 617-495-1551. 

Please note: we will not begin processing applications until late September, so the earliest acknowledgements will be sent in mid-September.

Application fee

  • You may pay your application fee online with a credit card via the Common Application or the Universal College Application websites.
  • You may also send a check or money order to Harvard College Admissions, 86 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Please include the applicant’s name with the payment.
  • Fee waivers: If paying the application fee would cause a hardship for your family, please request a fee waiver. You or your guidance counselor may use one of the official forms, or your counselor—or  you yourself—may simply write a short letter asking us to waive your fee. Each applicant applying with a fee waiver should select an option for a need-based fee waiver. Do not let this fee prevent you from applying!

Harvard supplements

Complete the Harvard Questions with the Common Application. If you are using the Universal College Application, complete the Harvard supplement and submit it online or mail it to the Admissions Office.

School Report and Mid-Year School Report (including transcripts)

These forms must be completed by your school counselor or other school adviser. Ask that the School Report form be completed and returned to our office as soon as possible.  Your school also must submit an official high school transcript, preferably submitted online through Parchment/Docufide or Scrip-safe International. The Mid-Year Report should be returned in February with your latest grades.

If you have attended more than one high school in the past two years, we request that your previous guidance counselor(s) or school official(s) submit a statement on your behalf about your time at that school. Please ask them to send their statement to Harvard College Admissions at 86 Brattle St. Cambridge, MA 02138 or fax it to (617) 495-8821.

Teacher evaluations

Ask two teachers in different academic subjects who know you well to complete the Teacher Evaluation forms.

SAT or ACT scores

We require all applicants to complete the ACT with the writing component, the old SAT, or the new SAT with writing and we normally require two SAT Subject Tests. In choosing which Subject Tests to submit, it is more useful to choose only one mathematics test rather than two. Similarly, if your first language is not English, a Subject Test in your first language may be less helpful. You should submit scores from tests taken in the past three years.

While we normally require two SAT Subject Tests, you may apply without them if the cost of taking the tests represents a financial hardship or if you prefer to have your application considered without them. Standardized testing is only one component of our admissions process and your application will be evaluated on the basis of all of the other information that you submit. Read more about Subject Tests here.

You are free to use the College Board Score Choice option or the similar option offered by the ACT. Our official codes are 3434 for the College Board SAT Reasoning and Subject Tests and 1840 for the ACT

When registering for tests, use your name as it will appear on your Harvard application. Using a nickname may prevent your scores from matching the rest of your application in our database.

In order for your application to be considered complete, we must have official test scores submitted directly to Harvard by the testing agency on your behalf. If we do not receive your official scores from the testing agency, we will be unable to make an admission decision. Please allow up to two weeks for your scores to appear on the applicant status site.

There are no score cutoffs, and we do not admit “by the numbers.” For the SAT, we will review your highest test scores in each section across test dates and any other scores you choose to share with us. For the ACT, we will evaluate your highest composite score and any other scores you choose to share with us.  We take into account your educational background when reviewing your scores. You are free to use the College Board’s Score Choice option and/or the similar option offered by ACT when applying to Harvard, but you do not need to.

Misrepresentation of credentials

Be completely accurate in your application materials. If we discover a misrepresentation during the admissions process, you will be denied admission. If you have already been admitted, your offer will typically be withdrawn. If you have already registered, your admission will normally be revoked, and we will require you to leave the College. Harvard rescinds degrees if misrepresentations in application materials are discovered.

The determination that an application is inaccurate or contains misrepresentations rests solely with the Admissions Office and will be resolved outside the student disciplinary process.


Do not resend your application in order to make updates. If you need to update your identification or contact information, or send updates, additional information, or corrections, please do so via the Applicant Status Portal.

Facts About Financial Aid


Amount that parents making less than $65,000 are expected to contribute.

Ninety percent of American families would pay the same or less to send their children to Harvard as they would a state school.


John Harvard Statue in front of University Hall

Stroll through Harvard Yard, ask Admissions staff all your questions, and feel the warmth of the Harvard community. See tour dates and times.


Get step-by-step tips for completing your application.