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To apply for admission as a first-year or transfer student at Harvard, you will start with the Application. Fill out the Common Application, the Universal College Application, or the Coalition Application (choose one, we have no preference), followed by the supplement to help us get a better sense of who you are. Not sure where to start? We've gathered some helpful tips on how to fill out each section of the main application, as well as the Harvard supplement.
The Profile section is a place where you'll share detailed information about yourself, including contact information, demographics, and fee waiver request. It's always a good idea to review the information here and update any details, if necessary. Please note that none of the demographic questions in this section are required.
In the family section, you'll share information about your household, your parents, and any siblings. Most colleges collect this information for demographic purposes. Even if you're an adult or an emancipated minor, you'll need to fill out this section.
In the Education section is where you will share information about your current school or coursework, academic honors, and future education plans. Here are some tips on commonly asked questions.
The Testing section is where you'll enter your self-reported scores for any standardized tests that you've taken and wish to report to colleges. However, remember, if you are admitted and choose to enroll at Harvard, you'll be required to submit your official score reports. View more information on our standardized testing requirements on our Application Requirements page.
The activities section gives you the opportunity to tell schools more about who you are and activities you're involved with outside the classroom. You'll have the opportunity to list up to ten activities, but that doesn't mean you need to enter all ten.
The first section is the personal essay. Harvard requires the submission of the personal essay with your common application. We also offer an opportunity to add an additional, optional essay.
We're interested in learning more about your academic, extracurricular, and personal interests. The Harvard-specific questions of this section are also required and help us understand how you expect to make the most of your time here.
While we realize that these questions are quite similar to those asked on the Common Application, our own format allows us to fit this information into data fields that Harvard has been collecting for many years. While we know students might well change their minds once they are in college, it is helpful for us to get a sense of their current interests and those academic areas in which they have already spent time and effort.
We do not admit students into specific academic programs and we have no quotas or targets for academic fields.
Applicants use this space in a variety of ways: some students send us an essay that they wrote for another school that they thought turned out particularly well; many students leave the space blank. There is no “extra credit” for writing this optional piece. As you are filling out the application, if there is not a topic that naturally comes to mind then you should probably skip this question.