In this issue
- Applicants to Harvard College rise by 6.6% since last year
- Harvard to expand undergraduate financial aid this year
- ‘Welcome’ event for new admits and deferrals
- Information for students who have received offers of admission to US colleges
- Information for students applying to US colleges next year
Applicants to Harvard College rise by 6.6% since last year
Harvard to expand undergraduate financial aid this yearHarvard Gazette reported a further expansion of Harvard’s already generous financial aid budget to $235 million per year. The article explains: “Reinforcing its commitment to opportunity for all talented students regardless of their economic resources, the University is also announcing a significant expansion of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI) for low and middle income families. Beginning with the class admitted this week, the cost to attend Harvard College, which includes tuition, room, board, and all fees, will be free for families with annual incomes below $75,000 [£57,600 at current exchange rates]. This is an increase from the $65,000 [£50,000] annual income threshold in previous years. Nearly a quarter of Harvard College students come from families with incomes under $75,000.” Financial aid is available to international students on exactly the same basis as US citizens. Here is a summary of the most relevant 2022 financial aid data:The same day the incoming class was publically announced (31st March), the
- Families with annual incomes of $75,000 (£57,600) or less do not pay anything towards the cost of a Harvard College education.
- Nearly 1 in 4 undergraduates comes from a family whose annual income is $75,000 or less.
- Harvard provides a $2,000 ‘start-up’ grant to each of these students in their first year.
- Harvard also provides aid for low-income students to pay for health insurance, books, travel costs home, winter coats, event fees, and other activities to ensure every student can engage in the Harvard experience.
- Harvard has awarded nearly $2.9 billion in undergraduate financial aid since launching the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative in 2005.
- Harvard College’s annual financial aid award budget has increased over 190% from $80 million in 2005 to $235 million in 2022.
- Over 80% of the Class of 2021 graduated debt-free.
To find out how much financial aid you might get if you were admitted to Harvard, see our Net Price Calculator.
congratulations on receiving an offer of admission from one or more US colleges. You have until Monday 2nd May to accept Harvard’s offer (other US colleges may ask for a reply by 1st May), or to decline or defer any offers you have received. How do I respond to my offer from Harvard? To reply to your offer of admission, to apply for housing, and to find out about your financial aid decision, go to the online portal you have been using throughout your application and respond online. You will be able to join your classmates on campus in August, when there will plenty of social activities to help you get settled in before you start your classes. Harvard’s extensive orientation program for first years has included in past years:‘Welcome’ event for new admits and deferrals ‘Visitas’ – Harvard’s annual welcome event for admitted students – will take place both in person and online this year, and will enable admits to meet their future classmates from all over the world. The live event will take place on campus on 24th and 25th April, and a robust online program will be also offered for those who cannot attend the live event. Admitted students can find full details in their admit portal and on Crimson Connect. The Harvard Club of the UK is sponsoring its own ‘Welcome’ event for UK admits in London in June. All UK admits will receive full details in due course. Information for students in the final year of secondary school who have received offers of admission from Harvard and/or other US colleges This information is relevant to UK year groups equivalent to the Senior Year of a US High School: Year 13 (England and Wales) S6 (Scotland) Year 14 (Northern Ireland) Firstly, many
- Organised workouts at the Harvard gyms
- Regular walking tours of campus
- ‘First Chance Dance’, the opening social of the year for first-years only
- Training regarding laws, regulations, and university policies
- Intramural field day, optional day of sports events & games
- Day of Service – optional day of volunteering around Cambridge and Boston community programs
- Extracurricular fair
- Concentrations fair
- The First Year Convocation – a formal welcoming event in Harvard Yard with music and speeches, followed by a barbeque (see photo below).
What support is available at Harvard to ‘first generation’ students – those who are the first in their family ever to go to university? The First Year Retreat and Experience (FYRE) is a 4-day program of activities and events aimed at first year students from under-represented backgrounds. The aim is to help incoming students who are the first in their families to go to university to feel they belong at Harvard. The photo shows FYRE students taking part in an induction session at the Widener Library.
What pastoral support is available to first year students, many of whom will be living away from home for the first time?
Every first year student has three advisors:
- First Year Advisor – Plays the most important logistical role. Meets you a couple of times each semester to discuss broad academic objectives. Signs off your chosen combination of courses.
- Proctor – Lives in your dormitory entryway and helps to develop a sense of community in their section of the dorm through regular events and check-ins.
- Peer Advising Fellow (PAF) – An older student who has received training in advising first years. Meets with students for around three coffee meetings per semester, and is generally available for advice from a student perspective.
Information for students in the penultimate year of secondary school who will be applying to Harvard and/or other US colleges next year This information is relevant to UK year groups equivalent to the Junior Year of a US High School: Year 12 (England and Wales) S5 (Scotland) Year 13 (Northern Ireland) How does Harvard assess its candidates? During the Covid pandemic, universities made special arrangements to assess applications when exams and tests were postponed or cancelled. However, the assessment process was not significantly different at in Harvard, as the Admissions Office always carries out what it calls a ‘whole person review.’ It looks at everything about a candidate, not just grades and scores:
Admissions Overview on the Harvard College website. Here is a summary: Standardized Tests. The SAT/ACT tests will remain optional at Harvard until 2026 (Class of 2030). You will not be disadvantaged in any way if you are unable to take them. Summer Exam Grades. Although most UK exams will be back to normal this summer, should there be any future disruption and you have to rely on grades based on your coursework and online assignments, you will not be disadvantaged as a result. Whole Person Review. Accomplishments in and out of the classroom, community involvement, and personal qualities are all taken into consideration, as well as academic performance. Students who have been limited in the activities they can pursue over the last two years due to the Covid pandemic will not be disadvantaged. Financial Aid. Harvard’s generous financial aid program has been enhanced still further this year. Students from families with an income of less than £57,600 ($75,000) per year with average assets will receive a free Harvard education. Where can I find information about Harvard’s application requirements generally? You will find excellent information in this article. Do you have any application tips? Yes. This article contains many useful tips about how to fill out the main application as well as the Harvard supplement. Can I still practise for the SAT or ACT even if I decide not to take them? Yes. All the free online test coaching platforms, such as the Khan Academy and the ACT Academy are still available to you. The best way to ensure a good score is to do lots of regular practice.Exams and tests are only one part of the assessment process, and in years when exams are disrupted, extra weight is put on other elements shown in the diagram above. Where can I find further information about the assessment process? Please read the