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Applying to Harvard

Who reads applications?

Applications are read by members of the forty-person Admissions Committee, and are considered very carefully in a series of committee
meetings where a majority vote is required for admission. The entire process requires several months. Continue reading about Who reads applications?

Is it possible to get a receipt for my application fee?

If you paid the fee online, your e-mail confirmation is your receipt. If you paid by check, your cancelled check (or image sent by your bank) is your receipt. We do not send any other acknowledgment of payment. If payment is missing, we will contact you. Important note: Payments are tracked only by Harvard’s database. Please disregard any notification of payment status posted on the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Universal College Application website. Continue reading about Is it possible to get a receipt for my application fee?

How do I pay my admissions application fee?

The $75 admissions application processing fee can be paid online through the online application system (either the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or the Universal College Application). Please note that the Common Application, Coalition Application, and Universal Application websites are operated independently, and their respective offices are better able to assist you with specific logistical issues you may encounter while submitting the application forms or your fee through their sites. Continue reading about How do I pay my admissions application fee?

Is there an interview?

When possible, we try to arrange for you to meet with alumni/ae in or near your school communities. You will not be at a disadvantage if an interview cannot be arranged. In the U.S., Canada and the U.K., an alumnus/a will contact an applicant directly by phone, e-mail, or letter if such an interview is possible. If you live outside these areas, we aim to hold an admission interview when and where possible. Our interviewers abroad are graduates of Harvard who offer their assistance on a volunteer basis. Continue reading about Is there an interview?

Who should write my recommendations?

Teachers who know you well and who have taught you in academic subjects (preferably in the final two years of secondary school) typically will provide us with the most valuable testimony. Whenever possible, teachers should tell us about your non-academic interests and personal qualities as well as academic potential. Continue reading about Who should write my recommendations?

What if I cannot take the SAT or ACT in my country?

These standardized tests are now given in almost all countries. We realize you may have to travel some distance or plan for testing long in advance, but these test results are required tools in our analysis of applications. In our competitive applicant pool, students lacking these test results are usually denied admission. Foreign students in one of the very few countries where the SAT is not available (for example, China) may submit alternative testing such as the Graduate Record Examination. Continue reading about What if I cannot take the SAT or ACT in my country?

What if English is not my first language?

A strong knowledge of English is essential for successful study at Harvard, including the ability to understand and express thoughts quickly and clearly. We require the results of the SAT or ACT (with or without writing) and two SAT Subject Tests for all candidates. The SAT English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) is not acceptable. Continue reading about What if English is not my first language?

Do I need a minimum required SAT, ACT or Subject Test score?

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. Continue reading about Do I need a minimum required SAT, ACT or Subject Test score?

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