How Much Does it Cost to Go to Harvard University for 4 Years

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Team College Learners

Harvard University is expensive. Well, that’s the public perception of Harvard. The real reality is that there are excellent financial aid options available to many students who would qualify. Each Harvard University financial aid applicant will be evaluated individually, so it is important not to assume that every student receives the same amount of financial aid. Get more information on How Much Does It Cost To Go To Harvard University For 4 Years, harvard university tuition fees for international students, harvard university tuition fee in pesos & harvard tuition and living expenses 2021.

Do you want to learn about the latest findings on Harvard tuition room and board? Get ready! Find out all the information you need right here on Collegelearners so you don’t have to go looking again. Find all the specifics you need, such as Harvard University tuition fees for international students, Harvard room and board cost, Harvard tuition per semester, and so much more.

Would you love to study at Harvard University? So, many students from different parts of the world aspire to be scholars at Harvard University but have little or no information about this great citadel of learning. Hence, this article is to arm aspiring scholars with vital information on Harvard University: its Tuition fees and Admission Requirements.

A Huge Disruption': Students Testing Positive for COVID-19 Report Confusing  HUHS Communication | News | The Harvard Crimson

The study process at Harvard

Harvard university academic calendar

Undergraduate studies: types and structure of courses, and exams

The main feature of Harvard bachelor’s studies is that students choose their future specialization only in the second year of study. For the first two and a half semesters, the college gives young people the opportunity to adapt to the new environment by attending any of the 3,700 possible courses. Then students are invited to choose one of 50 concentrations or to build their own unique special concentration.
Within the specialization, Harvard students also define a learning path: non-honors or honours. The latter involves taking more courses and compulsory writing of the thesis to obtain a degree (AB — Bachelor of Arts or SB — Bachelor of Science).
Thus, in addition to specialized disciplines, the Harvard training program includes several general compulsory elements known as Harvard College requirements:

  • General Education (one course from four subject groups: Aesthetics & CultureEthics & CivicsHistories, Societies, Individuals and Science & Technology in Society);
  • Distribution (one course for each of the three areas of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS): Arts and HumanitiesSocial Sciences and Engineering, and Applied Sciences);
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Data (familiarization course with mathematical, statistical and computer methods of data processing);
  • Expository Writing (semester course in academic writing in the first year of study);
  • Language (one year foreign language course).

In addition, students can choose electives as a part of their secondary field (in American Universities more commonly known as minor), study additional foreign languages, conduct research or projects on their own, and take courses at Harvard schools and other Boston universities.
During the academic year, students traditionally attend lectures, seminars and workshops, undergo Hour and Midterm Examinations and have a Final Examination Period at the end of each semester.

Starting from the 1st year and throughout the entire period of study, students are accompanied by mentors and advisors that can be teachers, doctoral students, senior students and activists who can help with the choice of specialization, curriculum adjustment and immersion in the social life of the university.
In some areas, students have the opportunity to get a master’s degree already in the fourth year of bachelor’s studies. The program is implemented as part of the Higher School of Arts and Sciences and is called the Fourth Year Master’s Degree.

Graduate schools: features and structure of courses, and exams

Graduate programs at Harvard have a different structure, depending on the school and the specialization of training. The master’s programs last 1-2 (less often 3) years and involve the acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge in a particular profession. Doctoral studies are mainly based on research (5-6 years), but there are also practice-oriented doctoral programs (3-4 years), including internships in partner organizations (for example, EdLD). Before entering, students can familiarize themselves with the curricula of all programs that are publicly available on the school websites — sections AcademicsProgram OverviewCurriculum.

MBA programs at Harvard

Harvard Business School is consistently ranked among the top 10 best business schools in the world. A distinctive feature of the institution is the orientation towards practice and interaction between students. Enrolling at Harvard Business School is not easy, as excellent grades are not critical to enrollment. The admission committee draws extra attention to the achievements of the applicant, experience in the business sector, participation in charity events and other activities.
Harvard Business School offers a two-year MBA program (50% of students receive financial assistance), several doctoral programs (100% funding over 5 years), and also provides the opportunity to receive two degrees at the same time as a part of cooperation with other schools (Joint Degree Programs), for example, an MBA and Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the Harvard Kennedy School. Joint programs are also being implemented with law, medical and dental schools.
Harvard Business School also conducts courses in marketing, leadership, finance and entrepreneurship.
International exchange programs at Harvard University Double degree programs at Harvard University Online courses at Harvard University

Scholarships and grants at Harvard University

It is believed that only a select few can afford studying at Harvard University, but this is not entirely true: 20% of families pay absolutely nothing, and 55% of students receive material support. The university takes into account the financial capabilities of each student, regardless of citizenship, and, if necessary, is ready to partially or fully cover the costs of studying and living. The scheme is simple: if a student successfully passed the competition for admission, but cannot afford to cover all the costs of studying, then the university gives a 100% guarantee of material assistance.

The amount of assistance at the bachelor’s level is determined as follows: the student’s parents (or himself) must contribute a certain amount of tuition (depending on the total income of the family), the student’s personal investments (for example, from part-time work), as well as help from third-party funds (if any). After calculating the total amount, the university decides on the appointment of financial assistance to the student. To receive full funding, it is enough to provide documents confirming that the annual income of parents is less than 65,000 USD per year.

Annual family incomeThe amount paid by parentsPart-time workScholarship
<65,000 USD0 USD3,500 USD73,891 USD
150,000 USD15,000 USD3,500 USD58,891 USD
200,000 USD38,000 USD3,500 USD35,891 USD

Calculator Scholarship size for master’s and doctoral programs, in turn, is also calculated based on student income over the past three years. An additional factor is the school itself and the sources of its financing. The proposed scholarship does not always fully cover all expenses. Details should be specified on the websites of schools in the section Financial Aid.

Prospects after graduating from Harvard University

Like any other top university, Harvard University helps its students in finding suitable employment. On the campus of the university, there is the Office of Career Services, which organizes various events for students and announces them on its website. University employees are engaged in the selection of paid internships, the search for interesting vacancies, the organization of courses and workshops, as well as events where students from the first year can get acquainted with potential employers. As a rule, Harvard graduates do not have problems finding a job. According to statistics, more than 60% of students find work during the training period (mainly on internships). In the international QS 2020 ranking, Harvard takes 5th place, while having 100% reputation indicators among employers and graduate performance.

Scientific achievements of Harvard University

Today Harvard University is one of the most elite and renowned universities in the world. The university is famous for its business school and developments in various fields of science, most of which are funded by the government.

  • In 2017, a group of Harvard scientists was able to turn hydrogen into metal for the first time in history — its use in rocket science will open new frontiers in space exploration.
  • In 2017, Harvard bioengineers invented a plastic robot that can prevent heart attacks and automatically support heart function.
  • In 2014, Harvard researchers found confirmation of the cosmic inflation theory that describes the Big Bang.
  • The university is working on the creation of the “elixir of youth”, the first test results were successful.
  • In 2014, Harvard scientists created an inexpensive detector for monitoring diabetes and other diseases. The detector costs about 25 USD and weighs 2oz, it will be used in the poorest regions of the planet.
  • Harvard scientists, in collaboration with researchers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, invented a method for storing solar energy in molecules, which would later allow the use of clean energy for domestic purposes (cooking, heating water, heating private houses and apartments).
  • A team of researchers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is working together to reprogram the cells of living organisms to create effective cell therapy that will allow tissues to regenerate faster after serious damage, which could be the solution to the problem of thyroid disease or diabetes.

Famous graduates of Harvard University

Interesting facts about Harvard University

  • Annually, a prize is awarded at Harvard University for the most dubious or witty scientific achievements of the last year — Ig Nobel Prize. The word “dubious” refers to studies such as “why do drunkards consider themselves attractive” or “how mice with a heart transplant listen to opera”, etc.
  • The territory of Harvard University was a set for films and TV shows dozens of times. The movies like The Social NetworkSpartanAngels & DemonsGood Will Hunting were shot here.
  • The university is also the main scene of many literary works. For example it is described in William Faulkner’s novel, The Sound and the Fury.
  • At the entrance to Harvard Yardthere is a monument that reads “John Harvard. Founder. 1638.” Students call it a “statue of three deceptions.” John Harvard was a philanthropist and the sponsor of the university, but not its founder. It is generally accepted that the history of an educational institution dates back to 1636, and not 1638. In addition, the statue does not depict John Harvard, but an ordinary student. History has not preserved portraits or references of how the famous philanthropist looked like.
Sustainability celebration marks Harvard's accomplishments – Harvard Gazette

Harvard University Overview

Rising the rankings chart for 2021, Harvard University has yet again resumed its spot as #1 ivy-league institute in the United States (THE 2021). The school is a renowned name in the US Education Systemand across the globe thathas two main academic facets that are Harvard College (liberal arts and sciences college for undergraduates) and Harvard University for graduate students. Currently, it houses over 36,000 students are enrolled in its 12 different schools, which includes an international population of nearly 11.8%.

For the class of 2024, the institute received some 40,248 applications and admitted hardly 2,015 of them. It is one of the most selective institutes when looking to study in the USA with an acceptance rate of merely 4.7%. Irrespective of the extreme competition, Harvard receives huge number of applications each year. This is majorly as the university highly regarded for its reputation, influence, and academic pedigree around the world.  

  • Admissions at Harvard University are offered on a rolling basis and observe deadlines from December 15 to January 5 (based on the choice of course). Applications for 2021 are currently closed.
  • International students planning to study at Harvard must be prepared to spend around 39.54 lakhs INR on tuition fees. Financial aids for international students at Harvard are though offered are very limited in nature. 
  • Community involvement, extra-curricular activities, leadership qualities, and aremarkable personal character are secondary factors that influence the admission process apart from spectacular academic grades.

harvard university tuition fees for international students

Type of studiesAgeDurationAverage cost/year
Bachelor’s17+4 years49,653 USD
Master’s20+1-2 years47,600 USD
Doctoral21+3-year44,420 USD

Studying at Harvard bachelor’s programs has a fixed cost of 49,653 USD per year. As for graduate schools, the amount can be from 29728 to 73,440 USD per year, while some schools set a lower cost starting from 2nd-3rd year of study. Despite the extremely high prices, it should be noted that Harvard offers a large number of scholarships and grants, and 70% of students receive financial assistance. The reason for this is the policy of the university, which does everything in its power to give talented students the opportunity to get the desired education.

Harvard University through the years

How Much Does it Cost to Go to Harvard University for 4 Years

How much does it cost to go to Harvard University for 4 years?

The answer is, it depends. The most accurate answer is probably “a lot,” but we’ll get into that in a bit.

Harvard is one of the most prestigious colleges in the world, and its price tag reflects that. It’s also one of the most expensive private universities in the United States. In fact, Harvard had the highest endowment per student in 2018 at $515,000—which means if you went there, you’d be one of the few students who had access to this kind of wealth.

But before we get into how much it costs to attend Harvard University for four years, let’s talk about what makes this school so special.

Harvard’s history dates back to 1636 when it was founded by Puritan settlers who wanted to create an institution dedicated to higher learning in America. The school was originally named “New College” and was located in Newtowne (now Cambridge). It wasn’t until 1638 that it was renamed after John Harvard—who left his entire estate to the school upon his death—and moved across town to its current location next door to Boston Common Park.

It's harder than you think to estimate the cost of a Harvard MBA

Faculties of Harvard University

Harvard University is the strongest educational and research center, which has equally excelled in teaching the humanities, natural and technical sciences.

In total, there are 11 academic departments at Harvard — 10 faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

The largest division is Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). This is the only faculty that offers training at two levels of training — undergraduate and graduate. Within the framework of the FAS, the following departments are present:

  • Harvard College for Bachelor’s;
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) for master’s and doctoral students;
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (awarding degrees on behalf of the college and GSAS);
  • Continuing Education Department (includes Harvard Summer School and Continuing Education School).

The remaining faculties and the corresponding schools that teach design, education, medicine, dentistry, theology, law have only master’s and doctoral programs. Harvard Business School, in which students can earn an MBA or a Ph.D. in business, is also highly renowned. A place of honor is occupied by the School of Management named after John F. Kennedy and Harvard School of Public Health of T. H. Chan.
The most popular areas of Harvard University include medicine, economics, business, law and political science.
Harvard Schools and Colleges by the year of foundation

The infrastructure of Harvard University

The main campus of Harvard University is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at Harvard Yard. There are administrative offices, some libraries and academic buildings and the majority of freshman dormitoriesStudents of the second and subsequent years of study live in the residential houses nearby, each of which represents more than a place of residence. Separate master classes and seminars, various cultural and recreational events are held there, students have the opportunity to communicate with teachers in an informal setting, for example, at lunch in the common dining room.

You can find unique educational resources at Harvard. The Harvard Library, the largest academic library in the world, has over 20 million volumes, 180,000 periodicals, 400 million manuscripts, 10 million photographs, and more than 5 terabytes of digital archives. All this is within the framework of almost 80 library branches, which are available to every university student.
Harvard University has also opened many world-famous museums, covering more than 28 million works of art, artifacts, unique samples and materials. Here are the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, Harvard Museum of Natural History, Harvard Museum of Art. Many collections are of key importance in the research activities of the university.
In 2008, Harvard also launched the Common Spaces Program, which aims to strengthen the academic community. As part of this initiative, new spaces are being created and existing spaces for the interaction of students and teachers are being improved.
Harvard UniversityHarvard University Cost and living conditions for students at Harvard University

The process of admission to Harvard University

Harvard Universityonly accepts applicants that are 17 years or older. The admission committee puts extra attention on the average mark of the graduate (as a matter of fact, the minimum requirement has not been established, but most applicants have a GPA of more than 3.8/4.0). Additional advantages can be leadership qualities, social activity and participation in volunteer projects.

Stages of admission to Harvard — Bachelor’s

At the bachelor’s level, Harvard University organizes a single admission to Harvard College, without distinguishing between academic programs and setting quotas for certain academic areas. The choice of a specialty takes place later during the studies at the university.
The admission process includes the following steps:

  1. Passing the SAT/ACT exams (required) and TOEFL (optional);
  2. Preparation of documents, including a letter of motivation;
  3. Payment of a registration fee (75 USD) or a fee waiver request;
  4. Submission of Common Application, Coalition Application or Universal College Application;
  5. Tracking the application and uploading the missing documents on the Applicant Portal before one of the two deadlines (Early Action, or Regular Decision);
  6. Passing an interview (the presence of this stage depends on the location of the candidate: often a representative of Harvard may not be in the country/region, but this should not affect the final decision);
  7. Obtaining an admissions decision along with information on financial assistance;
  8. Confirmation of intention to study at Harvard;
  9. Sending a final report with a transcript of ratings;
  10. Applying for student visa.

Harvard undergraduate admission calendar

Applications are submitted in 2 calls, but only once a year. Deadlines do not change over time.

StageEarly ActionRegular Decision
Examinations (one year before the studies start)March — SeptemberMarch — November
DeadlineNovember 1January 1
Admissions decisionmid-DecemberEnd of March
Student’s decisionuntil May 1until May 1
Final report from schooluntil July 1until July 1
The start of the programSeptemberSeptember

Current dates must be checked on the university website Documents for admission to Harvard University — Bachelor’s

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Harvard College admission statistics

Total number of applicants43330
Admitted (received an invitation)2009 (4.6%)
Enrolled (accepted the invitation)1650 (3.8%)
Foreigners13%
Accepted from the waiting list65
Receive financial assistance55%
Approximate area of ​​specializationProportion of enrolled students
Social Sciences24.5%
Biological Sciences18.4%
Humanities15.7%
Engineering12.3%
Computer Science8.3%
Physical Sciences7.4%
Mathematics7.1%
Undecided5.4%

SAT / ACT statistics for Harvard students

Graduate programs

Unlike bachelor’s studies, the process of entering Harvard master’s and doctoral programs is quite fragmented. The key steps include:

  1. Choose the right program on the university website;
  2. Pass standardized tests and a language exam;
  3. Prepare documents: collect letters of recommendation, write a statement of purpose, etc.;
  4. Submit an online application (the form is individual for each school and posted on the corresponding website);
  5. Pay a registration fee (80-105 USD depending on the school);
  6. Pass an interview, sometimes it is required to send a written reflection report on its results within the 24 hours;
  7. Obtain an admissions decision along with information on financial assistance;
  8. Confirm your intention to study at Harvard;
  9. Apply for a student visa.

Harvard Master’s/Doctoral calendar

Each school independently determines application deadlines for its programs. As a rule, applications are accepted from September to December. Most deadlines are in early December — mid-January. However, some schools additionally set earlier or later deadlines. For example, Harvard Business School also accepts applications until September (one year before the start of training) and until April (several months before the start of training). Exact dates can be found on school websites.
Application documents for Master’s/Doctoral study programs

Minimum English proficiency for admission to Harvard graduate programs

School at Harvard UniversityTOEFL iBTIELTSOthers
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences806.5
Harvard Business School1097.5PTE 75
School of Dental Medicine95
Graduate School of Design92
John Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences806.5
School of Divinity100-1057.5-8
Graduate School of Education1047.5TWE 5.0, TOEFL PBT 613
Law School100
Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study1007.0PTEA 70
Kennedy School100-1037.0TOEFL PBT 600
T.H. Chan School of Public Health1007.0TOEFL PBT 600

Specifics of admission to Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School (HMS) has a number of admission requirements that leave little chance for foreign applicants. First of all, it is necessary to master a number of compulsory prerequisite courses and already have a bachelor’s degree in science, as well as spend a minimum a year studying in English in Canada or the USA. Then a prerequisite is passing the international medical exam — MCAT. However, even this does not guarantee a successful admission, since Harvard does not recognize all foreign qualifications. Students with a degree in accredited higher education institutions of the USA and Canada have the priority right to enrollment, because high-quality medical education is impossible without a high level of English proficiency.

Harvard's endowment is worth $40 billion—here's how it's spent

UniPage assistance in admission to Harvard University

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Data relevance. There is much of outdated and irrelevant information on the Internet, due to which applicants make critical mistakes in the admission process. For example, the refusal of enrollment may be caused by submitting an application after a set deadline, the lack of admission of foreign citizens, an incomplete set of documents, an incorrectly completed registration form, or a weak letter of motivation. Our clients do not have such problems – with our help, they regularly enter educational institutions all over the world, because we use only up-to-date information, keep in touch with universities and know the admission process from the inside.
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harvard tuition and living expenses 2021

The 2020 undergraduate tuition & fees of Harvard University are $51,925 for their students and the 2020 graduate school tuition & fees are $49,214. 43 students (0.43% of the enrolled undergraduate students) have received grant or scholarships aid and the average amount is $47,145. After receiving the financial aid, the net price for Harvard University is $26,655 including tuition, fees, books & supplies costs, and living costs. The undergraduate tuition and fees at Harvard University are around the average amount of similar schools’ tuition ($55,541 – Private (not-for-profit) Research University (very high research activity)). You can check the college costs – COA, 4 Years Costs, and Interactive Tuition Chart for Harvard University.

Tuition Analysis Tools

2020 Tuition, Fees, and Living Costs Analysis

UndergraduateGraduatePer Credit HourEarning After GraduationFor academic year 2019-2020, undergraduate tuition & fees at Harvard University is $51,925. The undergraduate 2020-2021 estimated tuition & fees at Harvard University is $53,475. The 2020 undergraduate tuition has been risen by 2.98% from the previous year. On-campus living costs increased by 3.19% from the previous year. The undergraduate tuition and fees at Harvard University are around the average amount of similar schools’ tuition ($55,541 – Private (not-for-profit) Research University (very high research activity)).

YearTuition & FeesOn Campus Room & Board, Other Expenses
2018-2019$50,420$20,230
2019-2020$51,925$20,875
Change % 2019-20202.98%3.19%
2020-2021$53,475$21,541

***The estimated 2020-2021 costs are based on the costs change rate of last year.

Harvard University 4 Years Tuition

Tuition & FeesCOAAfter Financial AidBased on 4-years changes on tuition & fees, we estimate 4 year tuition at Harvard University for future and perspective students . For the students who admit in Fall 2020, the estimated 4 year tuition is $220,114. The estimation excludes the book, supplies, and living costs and before receiving any financial aid. See the other tabs for estimating 4 year total costs of attendance and after financial aid. Next table shows the 4 year tuition & fees estimation for next 5 admission years at Harvard University.

Admission YearFreshmenSophomoreJuniorSenior4 Years Total
Class of 2024Fall 2020$53,138$54,379$55,649$56,949$220,114
Class of 2025Fall 2021$54,379$55,649$56,949$58,279$225,255
Class of 2026Fall 2022$55,649$56,949$58,279$59,640$230,516
Class of 2027Fall 2023$56,949$58,279$59,640$61,033$235,900
Class of 2028Fall 2024$58,279$59,640$61,033$62,458$241,410

2020 Tuition, Fees, and Living Cost Tables and Charts

Next tables and charts illustrate the 2020 tuition, fees, books & supplies, and living costs in detail. We provide the previous 5 years costs so that you can check the increased amounts of each cost item and estimate future year costs. In addition, you can check the financial aid amount including grant, scholarship, and federal student loans for last five years. Use left menu to explore the tuition and college costs information at Harvard University.

Tuition & FeesBook & SuppliesLiving Costs
Undergraduate$51,925$1,000$20,875
Graduate$49,214$1,000$20,875

If you’re interested in going to Harvard University, you might be wondering how much it will cost. Well, the first thing to know is that tuition isn’t the only expense associated with your education.

The average cost of attendance at Harvard University for the 2018-2019 school year is $64,000. This includes tuition, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, travel and transportation costs, and miscellaneous expenses such as internet access.

While this may seem like a lot of money to some people—and it is!—it’s important to keep in mind that financial aid is available for those who qualify. The average grant award for freshman students at Harvard during this time period was $37,000 per year; however, grants can vary depending on need and merit.

If you want more information about financial aid options or want help applying for an award from Harvard University’s Office of Financial Aid (OFA), contact us today!

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