More than 35,000 high school students applied to Harvard University in 2013, and only 2,048 were accepted, so admittance is extremely competitive. You need good grades and high standardized test scores to be admitted, but Harvard officials caution students not to focus too heavily on these numbers.The admissions office is looking for bright, motivated, well-rounded candidates.

GPA and SAT Requirements

As high school policies, programs and opportunities differ across the country, Harvard University has no specific minimum grade point average for applicants. However, the Harvard Admissions website states that most first-year students at Harvard ranked in the top 10 to 15 percent of their graduating classes. Likewise, there is no minimum score required on the SAT test, but most Harvard first-year students score between 600 and 800 on each section of the SAT Reasoning Test as well as each subject test.

Other Considerations

More than just a high GPA or SAT score, Harvard wants well-rounded freshmen with a depth of education across all subjects. On the Harvard Admissions website, the President and Fellows of Harvard University recommend taking four years of English, a foreign language, math and science. They also encourage students to take three years of history and to find opportunities for plenty of writing practice. Community service, leadership roles in extracurriculars and work experience are also significant.

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About the Author

Rudy Miller has been writing professionally since 1996. Miller is a digital team leader for, a local news website and content provider to the Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pa. Miller holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Miami.