Harvard Transfer Acceptance Rate


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As one of the top universities in the United States and world, Harvard is the dream school for many students.
Harvard Transfer Acceptance Rate
Harvard Transfer Acceptance Rate

What is their acceptance rate, and how does one improve their odds of getting accepted? These questions and more will be addressed in the article below.

What is Harvard’s Transfer Acceptance Rate?

Every year approximately 1,500 students apply to transfer to Harvard University. Of these hopeful students, typically, only about a dozen get accepted to the prestigious school. This makes Harvard’s transfer acceptance rate less than 1%, or only 0.8% to be precise.

Does Harvard Accept Transfer Students?

Yes, Harvard does accept transfer students. They accept very few, however, and are exceptionally selective about who they do accept.

The application for transfer to Harvard becomes available in the fall each academic year. They emphasize that they only accept transfers for the fall semester, and never for spring semester.

The deadline for all financial aid and application material is March 1st.

What are the Requirements to Transfer to Harvard?

There are several minimum requirements that one must have to be eligible to apply to transfer to Harvard.

harvard transfer

Prospective Harvard transfers must have a minimum of one continuous year of academic college, but not more than two. This is a very strict and exact requirement.

Additionally, only programs with a liberal arts curriculum analogous to Harvard’s will be considered eligible for transfer. Online, extension, vocational, technical, or professional programs are typically not eligible.

What GPA Do You Need to Transfer Into Harvard?

Harvard does not provide a specific GPA requirement for their transfer applicants. Some sources, however, state that, realistically, a minimum GPA of 4.18 and preferably 4.35 is required.

Needless to say, attaining the highest GPA you are able to is ideal.

Is It Worth It to Transfer to Harvard?

Although it is exceedingly competitive to transfer to Harvard, the consensus is that it is well worth the effort.

Harvard has an exceptionally esteemed curriculum and education, as well as extracurricular opportunities.

Harvard’s selectivity in acceptance is directly related to its faculty’s desire to support the success of their students. This pays off with an incredible 98% graduation rate.

Beyond graduation, having a degree and education from Harvard almost always ensures exceptional life-long success. In addition to the prestigious name recognition, Harvard’s curriculum is meant to build personal, academic, and professional life skills.

Harvard Graduate Employment Rate

Harvard’s prestige certainly transfers to its students and graduates. Its students most often go on to work at top consulting, financial, or technology firms.

In fact, in 2017, 40% of Harvard graduates were hired in either finance or consulting.

The first that often hired them considered among the best in the world. These include Bain, McKinsey, and BCG in consulting. For finance, these top firms include Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan.

About 5% of graduating Harvard seniors plan to go into politics. Another 5% plan to work in public service or for a non-profit. Approximately 10% plan to work in academia or research.

About 61% of Harvard graduates start working right after graduation. Sixteen percent plan to go on to graduate or professional school.

Another 8% plan to attain fellowships, while 14% are undecided about their post-graduation plans. About 1% plan to travel after they graduate.

Harvard Graduate Average Salary

The average salary of a Harvard graduate with just a 4-year bachelor’s degree was $84,918 in 2018. Since then, it has almost certainly gone up.

In 2021, 25% of graduating Harvard seniors reported they expect to make more than $110,000 in their first year of post-college work. Twenty-one percent expect to make $90,000 or more, and 18% expect at least $70,000.

All of these figures are a considerable amount more than the average U.S. college graduate with a bachelor’s degree. The average starting salary for a college graduate with a 4-year bachelor’s degree is $60,996 per year.

One can compare the known 2018 average salary of a Harvard graduate to the most recent average college graduate salary. Doing so shows that the average 2018 Harvard graduate made about 40% more than the average U.S. college graduate today.

Attending and graduating from Harvard provides an educational foundation for a young adult to think and analyze critically. It also offers unique opportunities for collaboration and networking that one would not receive elsewhere.

These can lead to invaluable introductions, internships, and the opportunities that can establish ones future.

When a hiring manager sees “Harvard” on an applicant’s resume, they immediately know several important items. They know that this person is one of the smartest, most well-educated people in the world.

They also know that this person has the work ethic and ability to succeed in a demanding and competitive environment.

For these reasons, it is easy to see how success builds throughout a Harvard graduate’s life. It is unquestionably well-worth the effort to transfer and attend this world-renowned university.

Support for Harvard Transfer Students

If you are one of the few who are selected to transfer to Harvard, you will be very fortunate. Of course, you will be on a track to earn all of the success listed above.

You will also be very well supported. Harvard’s desire for its students to succeed goes beyond the selection process.

They also match each transfer student with a mentor. Importantly, the mentor is someone who themselves started Harvard as a transfer student.

These mentors are uniquely qualified to not only guide the transfer student throughout Harvard, but also to understand and empathize. They have advice and knowhow for the layout, any bureaucracy, and also the feeling of being someone new.

How Do I Apply to Transfer to Harvard?

Students wishing to apply to Harvard as a transfer student must apply by the deadline of March 1st.

It is better to apply early, however. That way, if anything is missing you will have time to find and submit it.

The application includes answering all questions, writing and submitting their essays, and submitting test scores and transcripts. They should also submit all supplemental materials to showcase extracurricular involvement and unique talents.

SAT scores are currently not required until 2030 for Harvard. If you have taken the test, though, it is advisable to submit the scores.

Regardless of when one applies, the most recent test scores and transcripts should be submitted between January and March.

Applicants also need to receive and submit two letters of recommendations from their professors.

Applicants must also pay the application fee of $75. The fee may be waived, however, if it shown to be a financial burden. (To ask for a waiver for the transfer application fee, politely send an email request to adm-tran@fas.harvard.edu.)

Once everything is submitted, applicants will receive a confirmation email and possibly further instructions. Applicants are typically notified if they were accepted or not by mid-May.

What Ivy League Has the Highest Transfer Acceptance Rate?

The Ivy League school with the highest transfer acceptance rate is Cornell. It accepts 17.9% of its 4,762 transfer applicants for a total of 852 accepted transfers.

The next highest rate of transfers at an Ivy League is University of Pennsylvania with 8.1% of transfer applicants accepted. Out of 2715 transfer applicants, they accepted 221.

Columbia and Brown also have reasonable rates of transfer of acceptance. Columbia accepts 6.7% of its 2,536 applicants, for a total of 170 accepted transfers. Brown accepted 95 transfer students, or 5.1% of 1,862 applicants.

Though still competitive, all of these schools offer much better odds of acceptance than the highly selective Harvard University.

Princeton is approximately equally as competitive to transfer into as Harvard, with a 1% acceptance rate. Only Dartmouth is even more competitive with a 0.5% acceptance rate, accepted only 4 of 829 transfer applicants.

Tips to Get Accepted to Harvard as a Transfer

With such slight odds of getting accepted, aspiring Harvard transfers will want to optimize their chances as much as possible. Unfortunately, every year, there are more qualified candidates than there are spots available.

Harvard states that they attempt to evaluate how well a potential transfer student will do at Harvard. The admissions committee looks at several factors, for which aspiring transfer students should demonstrate as much strength as possible.

In addition to meeting, and preferably exceeding, all of the requirements above, it is crucial to incorporate the following advice.

Record of Success and Academic Need

Transfer students must have a proven record of success at the school from which they are transferring. They must also have strong and enthusiastic recommendations from faculty at that school.

It is highly preferable if they are transferring from a school that the Harvard admissions committee deems similar to Harvard. It should be a liberal arts school of similar rigor.

They look for exceptional achievement in challenging courses, especially in the student’s planned specialty.

Hopeful transfer students must also demonstrate a “clearly defined academic need to transfer.”

In other words, transferring to Harvard is different than transferring from a junior or community college to a 4-year university. It is very far from a given, almost automatic process that other transfers might be.

Consider what a difficult balance it is that transfer students must strike.

A transfer student must be able to show that they are doing exceptionally well at their current school. At the same time, they need to show that there is a real need, academically, to transfer, specifically, to Harvard.

Non-Academic Factors

It is important to also demonstrate extracurricular activities and non-academic talents. These can include leadership, resilience, critical and independent thought, intellectual curiosity, and/or creativity.

Such non-academic factors may be evidenced via supplementary application materials. They may incorporate recordings of musical performances, research articles or material, or artistic portfolios.

Students who best demonstrate all of the above have the highest chance of being accepted to transfer to Harvard.

What is the Transfer Acceptance Rate at Harvard?

Harvard University, one of the most renowned universities in the world, receives approximately 1,500 transfer applications every year. Generally, only about 12 of these aspiring applicants are accepted to the esteemed university. As a result, Harvard’s transfer acceptance rate is only 0.8%, or less than 1%.


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