How to Get Into & Pay for College


What are the secrets to getting into Harvard?

QUESTION: I was wondering what the requirements are to get accepted into Harvard University. You have to get a good GPA, am I correct? Also, you have to be really intelligent and have a desire to get good grades, right? Some people might think that it is too early to be thinking about what colleges to apply to, but to tell you the truth, I believe that you should begin planning for your future now. Right? I would really appreciate any information you can give me. Thanks so much.
–Hopefully Harvard

Dear Hopefully Harvard: What questions! You are absolutely right that it is never too early to begin preparing for college admissions. As for getting into Harvard, realize there is no magical formula. Harvard like any of the highly selective schools is very difficult to get into because there are more qualified students who apply than spaces available. However, the basis of our book is that there are some common things that students who get into Harvard do and that by doing these things you can improve your chances of getting into college. We don’t have space here to go through everything, but let us give you some starting points.

1) Grades – grades are important and the higher your GPA the better. You don’t need a 4.0 to get into Harvard. However, you do need to challenge yourself with AP or Honors courses.

2) SAT scores – again these are important and since you have time you should study for the tests.

3) Activities – Harvard likes students who do more than study. Focus on activities that you really enjoy.

4) Applications – spend quality time on them, and use them to show the college how you will add to their entering class. Sorry, there is no way to give you a complete answer in a paragraph, but hopefully you have a basic start. Good luck.


Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.

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