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Our Program at a Glance

Our long tradition of providing access to a Harvard education began with some of our earliest scholarship funds which were established in 1643. Today, alumni and other donors continue the tradition with generous contributions to the endowment and current use funds which allow us to maintain our long-standing and generous financial aid program. Visit the Harvard Gazette to read more about the historic gift from Ken Griffin ‘89.

Guiding principles

  • A lack of financial resources or need for financial aid are not impediments to your admission.
  • Our aid is entirely need-based, and grant eligibility is determined in the same manner for all admitted students.
  • Foreign students have the same access to financial aid funding as U.S. citizens.
  • We meet your demonstrated financial need for all four years, based on information that we receive from your family each year. In awarding aid, we take into consideration your individual circumstances, the effectiveness of our aid program, the demand for aid from all students, and university resources.

The Basics

  • 55% of our undergraduates receive need-based Harvard scholarships.
  • 20% of our parents have total incomes less than $65,000 and are not expected to contribute.
  • Families with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 will contribute from 0-10% of their income, and those with incomes above $150,000 will be asked to pay proportionately more than 10%, based on their individual circumstances.
  • Families at all income levels who have significant assets are asked to pay more than those in less fortunate circumstances.
  • Two-thirds of students work during the academic year.
  • 16% of the roughly 6,600 current undergraduate students are Pell Grant recipients. 

Harvard Scholarship recipients’ income levels



** There are several hundred families earning more than $200,000 who are receiving scholarship aid based on extenuating financial circumstances.

Typical financial aid package


Typical Financial Aid package
Above: Typical Financial Aid package


Meeting the term-time work expectation

  • You may meet the entire expectation by working 10 to 12 hours per week.
  • You may choose to borrow up to the entire expectation through a student loan that is credited directly to your term-bill account.

Outside Awards

  • Outside awards are used first to reduce or replace the term-time work portion of your award.
  • Outside awards may also be used to replace your student summer earnings contribution, but not your parent contribution.

Other features

Apply for financial aid

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.