IvyWise KnowledgeBase

Harvard University Admissions Statistics

Harvard University, located in Cambridge, MA, is one of the most competitive and hyper-selective universities in the US. Tens of thousands of students apply to Harvard each year and only a small fraction of Harvard applicants are accepted.

Harvard Undergraduate Acceptance Rate

The Harvard University acceptance rate is one of the lowest in the country, with 4.5% of students gaining admission to the class of 2024. Harvard admissions statistics have been notoriously low for years, making it one of the most hyper-selective universities in the US. Students applying to Harvard need to understand the competitive nature of the admissions process at this Ivy League institution and educate themselves on the Harvard class profile and how many students are admitted to Harvard each year. Here’s a look at the Harvard admission rate over the years:


  2019 2018 2017 2007
Harvard Admit Rate 4.5% 4.6% 5.2% 9.8%
harvard college admission trends

Harvard Applications Per Year

Tens of thousands of students apply to Harvard University each year, making for a very saturated and competitive applicant pool. The applicant pool at Harvard is very self-selecting, meaning that often the students applying to Harvard each year are extremely qualified. This drives down the overall admissions rate, as the pool is large and competitive, and Harvard rarely increases the number of accepted students each year.


  2019 2018 2017 2016
Harvard Applications 43,330 42,749 39,506 39,000

SAT & ACT Scores Needed for Harvard

Gaining admission to Harvard University is very competitive and requires that students have compelling grades and test scores. Harvard requires that students submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their college application, and it’s important that applicant’s scores fall well within the range of previously admitted students in order to have the best chance of admission. Students can learn about previously admitted students by examining the Harvard accepted student profile on their website. Here’s a look at the SAT and ACT scores needed in order to be a competitive applicant at Harvard:


  Middle 50% SAT Admitted Middle 50% ACT Admitted
Harvard SAT & ACT Scores N/A 33 – 35

GPA Needed for Harvard

Grades are the most important factor that colleges consider when evaluating applicants, so it’s no surprise that students need a high GPA in order to gain admission to Harvard. The average GPA of admitted students at Harvard is 3.9 unweighted and 4.15 weighted.

  Average GPA Unweighted Average GPA Weighted
Harvard GPA 3.9 4.15


If applicants apply to Harvard and their test scores and GPA fall below the average or middle 50%, students will likely be rejected, waitlisted, or deferred if they applied in the early round. Often the waitlist is used to help schools manage their yield, in the case that they don’t meet their enrollment goal for the upcoming class year. Students who are waitlisted are encouraged to first decide if they want to remain on the waitlist, then send any requested materials or updates in order to increase their chances of being admitted.

Admission to top US universities is competitive. At IvyWise, we work with students to help them understand the competitive nature of the college admissions process, including examining admissions statics, admitted student profiles, and more in order to build a balanced list of best-fit schools. IvyWise counselors can provide expert insight into what it takes to stand out and how to bets prepare for the college admissions process.

Want to learn more about IvyWise’s comprehensive college admissions counseling and test prep services? Get Started below!