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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 submit the ACT or SAT (with or without writing) and two SAT Subject Tests (except in the case of financial hardship), as part of our application requirements. Beginning with the 2018-2019 application cycle (students applying for Fall 2019 admission), applicants may provide self-reported SAT and ACT test scores (including Subject Tests, Advanced Placement, etc.). Admitted students who decide to enroll at Harvard College will be required to submit official test scores.

Although it is possible to submit scores from tests taken as late as the December SAT and the February ACT, we recommend that you submit testing as early as possible. Scores submitted before the end of November 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 or SAT (with or without writing)
  • Recommended: Two SAT Subject Tests (except in the case of financial hardship)
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.

Last acceptable SAT testing date for Regular Decision consideration.

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.

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 Midyear 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 First-year admission decisions released.
May 1 Reply deadline for admitted students. No deposit required.
June 1 Transfer decisions will be released by this date.



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.