How to Get Admission in Harvard University from India? - Check Process, Eligibility & Scholarship Details


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Apr 20, 2023 04:16 PM IST

 Harvard University has an aura that bogs down students. The only thing you need to do is to trust your guts and fill out the application. Here are some tips to help you out.

How to Get Admission in Harvard University from India? - Check Process, Eligibility & Scholarship Details

Reading the words “I’m delighted to inform you…” from one of the top universities in the world, is a dream many wish to live. However, to receive such a letter, it is important to know how to get into Harvard from India. From securing an excellent academic record to well-drafted and written recommendation letters and statements of purpose, there are several different ways to ensure a higher chance of getting admission in Harvard University from India.

Harvard University is recognised, not only as an Ivy League university in the USA, but as one of the top universities in the world. Several organisations such as Quacquarelli Symmonds and Times Higher Education recognised Harvard as the university to be studying at if you wish to build a valuable CV and resume.

However, being one of the top universities in the world also brings about a higher level of competition in the form of extremely academically oriented students who have proven their mettle as Harvard alumni to be. In other words, consistent academic excellence and participation in co-curricular activities, among other elements may help you achieve your dream of studying at Harvard this year.

Do you wish to get into Harvard from India this year? Then read this article thoroughly so that you can prepare for the 2023 admission cycle at the prestigious US Ivy League.

Harvard University Rankings

The university's global rankings are glowing evidence of its academic and research excellence and thus the highly selective Harvard University acceptance rate. The ranks given by top-ranking institutions are given below:

Ranking Institution

Harvard University Ranking

QS Ranking 2023


Times Higher Education 2023


ARWU Shanghai Ranking 2022


US News and World Report 2022


Looking to study at Harvard or one of the 8 Ivy League universities in the USA? Register with us and connect with our team of experts who will guide you through the process and enhance your chances of enrolment this year. 

Apply to Ivy League Universities in USA with Expert Help!

Harvard University Acceptance Rate

The university is extremely selective and the same can be seen through the high Harvard University acceptance rate displayed year after year. The US News and World Report mentioned that the acceptance rate at Harvard University is 5% and the early acceptance rate is 13.9%.

For the class of 2025, there were more than 57,000 applicants among which only 2,320 students were selected. The Harvard School of Business is equally tough for MBA aspirants.

The truth be told, as a result of the highly selective Harvard University acceptance rate,the university admits students based on their intelligence, talent and curiosity. They are expected to bring fresh perspectives to the world. Harvard not only looks for students who are well-rounded but that does not mean you will have to be the jack of all trades. They are looking forward to young people who have potential or who can develop their potential.

How to Get into Harvard University from India?

It is no secret that months of monotonous self-study and remaining persistent can help you to fulfil your Harvard dreams. The GPAs along with the standardised test scores require months of hard work. You need to be both ambitious and a risk-taker to be selected within the high Harvard University acceptance rate.

Academic Requirements at Harvard University for Indians

Harvard chooses to not admit students by numbers and therefore there are no score cut-offs. However, a student must have:

  • A High GPA: Students who apply to Harvard are all high achievers with stellar academic presence. Therefore, it is essential to keep ones shoulders to the wheels to be a part of the university. Almost all the students selected within the high Harvard University acceptance ratehave a perfect 4.0 GPA or Grade Point Average.

  • Top Standardised Test Score: SAT scores and ACT scores submissions are not mandatory as Harvard is test-optional. But to remind you SAT or ACT scores could help to level up the playing field for you. Standardised tests are nothing but yardsticks of your academic performance in school and it is a good opportunity to take the test and prove your competency.

  • A Good Language Proficiency Score: As an Indian student, you need to indicate your command of the English language. For this, you will have to take any of the language proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo or Cambridge tests. A satisfactory score on the language test promises your ability to understand and speak the English language.


In the writing section, Harvard requires you to submit a personal essay. You can also submit additional information. You are expected to write what you want to write about rather than what you want the admission committee to know about you. While you may think that to be one among the few that come under the Harvard University acceptance rate, the university actually does not want your writeups to be too exotic to be compelling. Just share what you want to. Some of the Harvard essay prompts include:

  • Some talent, interest, activity or background make the application unique.

  • A learning experience from a challenge, failure or setback.

  • A problem you have solved that includes an intellectual challenge.

  • An accomplishment or event leading to personal growth.

  • Any topic of your choice.

Teachers' Recommendations

Your previous school teachers know the best about you and Harvard expects you to submit Letters of Recommendation (LORs). Evaluation by your former teachers gives insight into your personality and proves fruitful in admission.

Supplementary Materials

The supplementary materials or the supporting documents help the Harvard admission committee enormously in taking decisions for admission. They want applicants to showcase the best elements of their persona. It can be creative materials such as an art piece, a song or a play written or enacted and it can be anything. While these may be optional, they surely affect your chances of being one of the few selected within the high Harvard University acceptance rate.

Extracurricular Activities

The extracurricular activities outside the classroom help you to be a well-rounded individual and therefore ask applicants to list up to ten activities they have been involved in. The quality of students is more important to Harvard, especially those who have made meaningful contributions to their family, school and society. Commitment to activities shows your underlying personality.

What Does Harvard University Look for in Applicants from India?

To answer the question “How to get into Harvard from India?”, it is important to understand the ideal candidate for Harvard. Conducting a thorough scrutinisation of the application it receives, Harvard seeks out candidates who stand out academically, providing a commitment to promote and develop their community and field of study, while, displaying some sense of leadership skills as well. Some of these traits that Harvard looks for in prospective students.

Potential for Growth

The university wants to know if you have reached your maximum academic and personal potential. They want you to be a self-starter and motivated for growth. Among the academic geniuses at the university, the high Harvard University acceptance rate also includes those with a potential for growth through the courses taught at the university.

Perception of Future

Harvard desires its students to explore many facades of life and then choose one or few to shine in them. They prefer students who have the foresight and know what they would like to do in the future. They want to have an insight into your future self that you can present through your essay.


The Harvard University acceptance rate prefers those students who have made the most out of their time outside their school. It can be personal, intellectual or extracurricular pursuit. They wish to know what has been the outcome of your initiatives. Have you learned something from them? You need to have the best qualities of teamwork, networking and leadership to etch your place at Harvard.

Ability to Perform Under Pressure

Harvard seeks to understand how can you perform under pressure. They look for individuals who can maintain some level of calmness, confidence and leadership abilities even under tough circumstances. A proper and holistic student is given priority for admission to Harvard University.


Curiosity is a driving factor for individuals and if you can portray yourself as a person who loves learning and wish to explore different kinds of things. It is very important to have the curiosity to survive and be selected in the competitive and highly selective acceptance rate of Harvard University.

Harvard University Scholarships

Among the many reasons why Harvard should be the choice for you are the immense scholarship opportunities. The sheer range and variety of scholarships available at different levels of education provide an incredible opportunity for the academic and professional development of international students. Students interested in applying for the Harvard University scholarships can do so at the time of application itself.

Some of the popular scholarships at Harvard University are:

  • Harvard University MBA Scholarship: This MBA scholarship is provided by Boustany Organisation that covers 75% of the tuition fees along with travel and accommodation expenses related to the internship.

  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences Scholarship: This is a fund created by alumni and donors and includes more than 2,000 scholarships per year.

  • Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship: This is also a scholarship worth USD 10,000 awarded to students who are in the first year of their MBA.

  • Outside Awards: Students may receive scholarship funds from sources outside Harvard, such as secondary schools, parental employers, civic organizations, and corporations and they must inform the university of it.

Top Tips to Get Into Harvard University from India

Harvard University is among the best in the world so it is usual to get your nerves wrecked over the application process. You may consider yourself underqualified to apply to Harvard despite brimming with the qualities to excel at the university. You must have a foolproof plan of action to become one among the few that get selected within the Harvard University acceptance rate and here we spill some secrets to do so:

  • Start Your Admission Process Early: It leaves enough time in your hand to prepare the best application, to get it to proofread and edit as many times as necessary.

  • Apply for an Early Decision: Applying for an early decision rather than in the regular decision as the acceptance rate is more during that time.

  • Express Yourself: Harvard admission officers prefer diversity in the classroom. Therefore, not only do having marks or extracurricular activities will get you there but you should also mention your thought process and other activities that you genuinely want to do.

  • Be Genuine: You are a unique individual and show your personality as a genuine one. Do not lie or overdo your interests and accomplishments.

  • Choose your Recommenders Carefully: It is essential as they are the ones who will vouch for you. Choose someone who knows you well and you have spent considerable time with them. They will highlight your personal qualities and how you can make a difference.

  • Submit Supplementary Materials: Try to submit the supplementary materials that Harvard seeks. Though it is not compulsory, it can play a great role in your selection for the university. The visual, audio or written content is scrutinised by the respective department and authenticates your claim about yourself.

Last but not least, do not be afraid to knock on the door. You never know which unexpected door will open up for you.  Consistent efforts and hard work will pay off by helping you enrol in not only Harvard but other top universities in the world. Keeping your options open will also help you reduce the risk of losing a year of studying. However, with the tips and techniques that we have provided here, you should have a better chance at enrolling in your dream course at the prestigious Harvard University from India. You can be one of that 5% who finally makes it into Harvard with their persistent labour. So what are you waiting for? Shoot your best arrow for the Harvard application!

If you have queries related to admission to Harvard University from India or any other top university in the world write to us at

Get Help with Your Harvard Application Process!


How to get into Harvard from India with a scholarship?

You can get into Harvard from India with a scholarship as the university provides monetary assistance to students. There are several Harvard scholarships for Indian students to which students can apply and get financial help after checking the eligibility criteria. Some of the popular ones are Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship, Need-Based Fellowships and HGSE Financial Aid

What percentage is required to get into Harvard from India after 12th?

Harvard University does not mention any particular requirement related to high school marks. However, it is a well-known fact that students with a higher percentage have better chances. Hence, we recommend you to have a score of above 90% in your 12th for application to Harvard.

Can an average student get into Harvard from India?

Yes, an average student can definitely get into Harvard from India as Harvard accepts applications from diverse cohorts of students across the world. Also, the university’s admission and financial aid process is the same for everyone. At the same time, one should remember to make their application stand out to create an impression of being eligible to study at Harvard despite being an average student.

How many students get into Harvard from India?

Hundreds of students get into Harvard from India every year. Though it is difficult to ascertain the exact number of Indian students who get into Harvard but looking at the demographics of the classes, it is clear that Indians form a big cohort from South Asia.

How to get into Harvard from India after 12th?

To get into Harvard from India after 12th, you need to have a high percentage in the class 12th board examination. Apart from that, you have to take SAT or ACT, the scores of which are although optional, still they play a huge role in admission. Besides, you will have to work hard on your essays, letters of recommendation and personal statements.

What SAT scores and ACT scores are required to get into Harvard from India?

Students with an SAT score of more than 1500 or an ACT score of more than 33 have better chances to get into Harvard from India. However, submitting standardised test scores is completely optional and depends entirely on students’ will. Yet, taking SAT or ACT is a good decision for students as they provide a standard yardstick for assessing students.

You can share this post!

Admission Open 2024

Related Articles

Aug 18, 2023 04:28 PM IST

How to Apply for Masters in USA?

Aug 03, 2023 01:18 PM IST

Documents Required for TOEFL

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Related Institutes

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.