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Application Timeline

Timelines for Early Action or Regular Decision Applicants

You may apply to Harvard under either our Early Action or our Regular Decision program, both of which allow you to compare admission and financial aid offers from other institutions and to wait until May 1 to make a final college choice.

  • Early Action candidates apply by November 1 and receive notification by mid December. Learn more about applying Early Action.
  • Regular Decision candidates apply by January 1 and receive notification by late March. 

Testing information

You must take the ACT with Writing, the old SAT, or the new SAT with writing, and normally two SAT Subject Tests, as part of our application requirements. In order for your application to be considered complete and for us to make an admissions decision, required test scores must be submitted directly to Harvard by the testing agency on your behalf.

While we honor the College Board’s Score Choice program and allow you to submit tests taken as late as January, we advise you to complete and submit at least one component of the required tests (SAT or ACT with Writing or two College Board Subject Tests) by the end of November. This will allow us to begin our evaluation process for those submitting applications by December 15.

If you are applying Early Action, we would like your testing results by the end of October; however, you may submit the November series if needed. Those results are expected to arrive in time for consideration without the need and expense of “rush reporting.”


Deadlines and decision dates

Spring (prior to the year you apply)

Begin taking the following tests:

  • Required: ACT with Writing Component, old SAT, or new SAT with Writing
  • Normally required: Two SAT Subject Tests
Fall (of the year you apply)

As early in the fall as possible, please submit: 

You may send the application supplements at a later date.

October 15

Early Action applicants: We recommend that you send your application by this date so that we may create and begin processing your file, and schedule an alumni/ae interview if possible. 

October 31

Early Action applicants: We request that you submit your standardized tests by the end of October. However, you are still eligible to apply using the November series as they should reach us in time for consideration.

Early November

Early Action applicants: Last acceptable testing date.

If you are applying Regular Decision, we recommend that you submit standardized test scores from the November series or earlier.

November 1

Early Action applicants: Deadline for all application materials. Early Action applicants are also permitted to apply at the same time to any public college/university or to foreign universities but are restricted from applying to other private universities’ Early Action programs.

Also submit your financial aid application so that if you are admitted, we will be able to send you financial aid information in mid-December when decisions are released.

Mid December

Early Action applicants: Decisions released.

December 15

If possible, send your Regular Decision application by this date. If you and your teachers have commitments that preclude submission of your application materials by December 15, please be assured that you will not be penalized in any way.

January 1

Final deadline for all Regular Decision application materials. You must send all application materials by this deadline for Regular Decision consideration.

Late January Last acceptable SAT testing date for Regular Decision consideration.
February 1

Notify the Admissions Office if you have not received an email acknowledging your application.

Submit your financial aid application (if you have not already done so), so that if you are admitted, we will be able to send you financial aid information in late March when decisions are released.

Mid February

Last ACT testing date for Regular Decision consideration.


Submit your Mid-Year School Report forms with your most recent grades.

March 1

Final deadline for all transfer application materials.

Submit your financial aid application, so that if you are admitted as a transfer student, we will be able to send you financial aid information at that time.

Late March Freshman decisions released.
May 1 Reply deadline for admitted students. No deposit required.
June 1 Transfer decisions will be released by this date.



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