Can i get a full scholarship to harvard?

Can i get a full scholarship to harvard

Harvard University, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, is a dream for many aspiring students. However, the cost of attending Harvard can be a significant barrier for most individuals. With tuition, fees, and living expenses, the total cost of attending Harvard can easily exceed $70,000 per year. This hefty price tag often leads students to wonder if it is possible to obtain a full scholarship to Harvard. In this article, we will explore the various avenues through which students can secure a full scholarship to Harvard and provide valuable insights into the process.

1. Merit-Based Scholarships

Harvard University offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to exceptional students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievements, leadership skills, and extracurricular involvement. These scholarships are highly competitive and are awarded based on a holistic review of the applicant’s profile.

Harvard’s merit-based scholarships include the prestigious Harvard College Scholarship, which covers the full cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses for students from families with an annual income of $65,000 or less. Additionally, Harvard offers a range of other scholarships, such as the Harvard National Scholarship, which provides substantial financial aid to students with exceptional academic records.

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To be considered for these scholarships, students must submit their application for admission to Harvard by the regular decision deadline. The selection process is rigorous and takes into account not only academic achievements but also personal qualities, extracurricular involvement, and potential for future contributions to the Harvard community.

2. Need-Based Financial Aid

Harvard University is committed to providing access to education for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. As a result, the university has a generous need-based financial aid program that aims to make Harvard affordable for all admitted students, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Harvard’s need-based financial aid program takes into account the family’s income, assets, and expenses to determine the amount of aid a student is eligible to receive. The university uses a need-blind admission process, meaning that a student’s financial need does not impact their chances of admission. Once admitted, Harvard meets 100% of the demonstrated financial need of each student.

It is important to note that Harvard’s need-based financial aid program is primarily focused on assisting families with moderate to high financial need. Families with an annual income of $150,000 or less are typically expected to contribute no more than 10% of their income towards the cost of attending Harvard. Families with higher incomes may still be eligible for financial aid, but the expected contribution will increase proportionally.

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3. External Scholarships

In addition to the scholarships offered directly by Harvard University, there are numerous external scholarships available that can help students cover the cost of attending Harvard. These scholarships are typically awarded by organizations, foundations, or corporations and are open to students from various backgrounds and fields of study.

Students can search for external scholarships through online databases, such as Fastweb,, and the College Board’s Scholarship Search. These platforms allow students to filter scholarships based on their eligibility criteria, such as academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, and personal characteristics.

It is important to note that external scholarships may have specific requirements and application deadlines. Students should carefully review the eligibility criteria and application instructions for each scholarship they are interested in and plan their application strategy accordingly.

4. Work-Study Programs

Harvard University offers work-study programs that allow students to earn money to help cover their educational expenses. These programs provide students with part-time job opportunities both on and off-campus, allowing them to gain valuable work experience while earning money.

Through the Federal Work-Study program, eligible students can secure part-time jobs at Harvard or other approved off-campus employers. The wages earned through work-study are typically used to cover personal expenses, such as books, supplies, and transportation.

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Work-study programs not only provide financial support but also offer students the opportunity to develop valuable skills, build professional networks, and enhance their resumes. Students interested in work-study should indicate their interest on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and consult with the Harvard Financial Aid Office for further guidance.

5. Alumni Scholarships and Endowments

Harvard University has a vast network of alumni who are committed to supporting current and future students. Many alumni have established scholarships and endowments to provide financial assistance to deserving students.

These alumni scholarships and endowments often have specific eligibility criteria, such as the student’s field of study, geographic location, or personal background. Students can explore these opportunities by reaching out to the Harvard Alumni Association, connecting with alumni networks, or researching specific scholarships through the university’s website.


While obtaining a full scholarship to Harvard University is highly competitive, it is indeed possible through various avenues. Merit-based scholarships, need-based financial aid, external scholarships, work-study programs, and alumni scholarships and endowments all provide opportunities for students to receive financial support.

It is important for students to thoroughly research and understand the requirements and application processes for each scholarship or financial aid program they are interested in. Additionally, students should start planning early, maintain strong academic records, and actively engage in extracurricular activities to enhance their chances of securing a full scholarship to Harvard.

Remember, the journey to obtaining a full scholarship to Harvard may be challenging, but with determination, hard work, and strategic planning, it is possible to turn this dream into a reality.

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