Financial Literacy

Helping you Prepare for Life.

We want financial literacy to be a part of your life. To that end, we have focused our resources on providing support and education on financial understanding for all students. The more you know, and the more tools you have at your disposal, the better prepared you will be for life at and beyond Harvard.

In this guide, you'll find information on budgeting, credit, saving and investing, and taxes.


A budget is, simply put, a plan for your money. By tracking income and expenses you can create a plan for your spending and saving. 

student and advisor talking to each other


Credit is a major factor in today's economy and is your reputation as a borrower. In order to have the best reputation, credit wise, you should take the time to learn about managing your credit. This is especially important when it comes time to rent an apartment, finance a car, buy a house, or even find a job. The sooner you start building your credit profile, the better off you'll be in the future.

Saving and Investing

Figuring out how to secure your financial well being is one of the most important things you can do. 

For many people, the path to financial security is with saving and investing. As a student, these topics may not yet be on your radar, but saving is a key concept for financial well-being. If you make saving a regular habit, even a small amount, you are building a foundation for financial success.

Student biking across bridge


Do you need to file taxes? Are you aware of the tax benefits for Education? Find out the answers to these important tax related questions.

U.S. Federal Taxes: Overview

If you are planning to work in the US, then navigating the tax code is going to be a large part of your financial well being. Gathered here are aspects of the tax code that deal with education and college related expenses. While the information here is a good start, it is only a broad overview and not a complete guide to filing taxes. For specific questions or additional information, you may wish to visit the IRS website or consult a tax professional. International students should consult the Taxes & Social Security page of the Harvard International Office website.

A student athlete watches his teammates on the sidelines during the final moments of the 2021 Harvard-Yale game.


Throughout the year, we offer events on a wide range of financial literacy topics. Some events are in person and some are virtual, but all are geared toward helping you understand, manage, and move forward with your financial life. 

  • First-Year Finance - A session delivered in the fall of your first year which provides an overview of all things Financial Aid. We also cover credit, budgeting, and the various financial literacy programs that we have available. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to ask questions and learn more about Harvard’s generous financial aid offerings.(This session has been cancelled for fall 2020).
  • Money Management 201 – You’re getting ready to graduate and you have borrowed to help cover the cost of education. Is your financial health in order? Join us at one of our Spring semester sessions where we explain debt, loan repayment, and a host of other financial literacy topics. Regardless of whether you’re joining the work force, taking time off to travel, or prepping for grad school, these sessions are invaluable as you start your life post-Harvard.
  • University Efforts - In June 2011 the Directors of Financial Aid at each Harvard School as well as the University Financial Aid Liason’s Office decided to work on Financial Literacy as a University wide endeavor. One result of this collaboration was a university resource on financial wellness.