Prev RANK: 6, Best Selective Colleges Next
Overall Score: 88.97

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
Harvard is probably the school most synonymous with the Ivy League. 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 scientist Steven Pinker. Harvard alumni are well-represented at the top of most professions, ranging from music (cellist Yo-Yo Ma) to politics (President Barack Obama) to law (Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts). If you get in, Harvard can also be surprisingly affordable. A majority of students get financial aid, and the 20% of the student body who come from families earning less than $75,000 a year get free rides. Partially as a result, most Harvard students graduate debt-free. Harvard boasts the nation's highest graduation rate, at 98%. The university fields 42 Division I sports teams that have won more than 140 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.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

More From Money’s College Team

  • Recent College News

    Recent College News

    Read the latest Money coverage on paying for college, succeeding on campus and transitioning to the working world.
  • How to Apply for the FAFSA

    How to Apply for the FAFSA

    The application is the gateway to billions of dollars in financial aid for college.
  • Best Student Loans

    Best Student Loans

    Learn all about private student loans with Money's expert guide.