Harvard is probably the school most synonymous with the Ivy League, and its prestigious reputation is well-deserved. Students enjoy access to the largest university library in the world as well as some of the most illustrious faculty members, including Nobel Prize-winning economist Alvin Roth and cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker. Harvard alumni are well-represented at the top of most professions, ranging from music (cellist Yo-Yo Ma) to politics (former President Barack Obama) to law (Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts).
If you get in, Harvard can also be surprisingly affordable. The schools says that families earning less than $85,000 a year (which includes more than 20% of Harvard families) won’t have to pay anything for their college student’s education. If their annual income is between $85,000 and $150,000, they’ll only be asked to contribute 10% at the most, the school says.
It pays off: Most students graduate debt-free, and the median earnings a decade after enrolling is around $95,000. Harvard has one of the nation's highest graduation rates, at 97%.
The university fields 42 Division I sports teams that have won more than 150 championships in total. The campus gears up for football and tailgating at the much-ballyhooed annual game against rival Yale.
Another fun aspect of Harvard life is its residential system. On Housing Day each spring, costumed upperclassmen storm the freshmen dorms with gongs and other props to tell students of their randomly assigned placements into one of the school's 12 houses — one of which features a guinea pig room.
Harvard University tuition and fees
Estimated cost and due date
Harvard University's tuition and fees come to $54,269, and there may also be additional expenses including room and board, textbooks, and living costs. The due date for Fall is September 01, 2023, though it's best to keep an eye out for any changes on the school's official calendar or your student portal. There may be charges for late payments.
It's only natural to feel a bit overwhelmed by this cost, but there are plenty of financial aid options available – such as student loans, grants, and scholarships – to ease the burden. For a more in-depth look at all the available options, check out our How to Pay for College guide.
Exploring financial aid options at Harvard University
Scholarships and grants
The typical grant aid for undergraduates at Harvard University is $49,954, which is composed of awards from federal, state, local and college programs. A popular source of college aid is the federal Pell Grant, which is given to students with lower incomes. Approximately 13% of Harvard University students receive a Pell Grant. To be eligible for Pell Grants and other types of financial aid, you must fill out the FAFSA.
Most states have a program to assist students with college expenses. Generally, these awards are only available to those who are studying in the same state, but it is worth verifying the eligibility criteria of your home state. For example, in Massachusetts, residents are eligible for the Massachusetts Gilbert Matching Student Grant, as well as other programs.
University scholarships, aka institutional aid
Most colleges offer two forms of financial aid - need-based aid, which depends on your economic conditions, and merit-based aid for those who don't need financial assistance. Merit scholarships may consider academic merit, creative aptitude, leadership abilities and more. Harvard University awards around 56% of its freshmen with scholarships, amounting to an average of $56,127.
Don't neglect the option of getting external scholarships. Numerous local groups have scholarships available to aid with college expenses, and some of those have deadlines that are always open, so you might be able to get assistance even after you're enrolled. Check out our guide on college grants and scholarships to figure out more about the various types of gift aid.
Federal student loans
Federal student loans are one of the most prevalent sources of funds for educational purposes. Such loans come from the government and have comparatively low-interest rates in addition to providing flexible repayment plans.
Private student loans
Private student loans are an alternative. These are offered by private lenders such as banks and credit unions. They can be used to cover expenses not covered by federal loans, but they usually have higher interest rates and less flexible repayment plans.
How to pay tuition bills at Harvard University
If you are awarded a loan, grant or scholarship, the funds will usually be sent directly to the university. You will need to cover any remaining balance. Tuition payments can be made online at https://www.harvard.edu/.
The information included in this page contains data published in university sites, government public records and other vetted sources as of June 23, 2023. Be advised to validate this information with the university registrar or financial office.
This content was created with the assistance of AI technology and has been reviewed, edited and fact-checked by Money's editorial staff.