Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. But is it actually a good school? In this comprehensive article, we’ll examine Harvard’s academics, student life, alumni network, affordability, and more to help you decide if Harvard is a good fit for you.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Harvard is considered one of the best universities in the world due to its exceptional academics, distinguished faculty, diverse student body, vast resources, and powerful alumni network.

However, it is very competitive to get into and can be expensive for many families.

Academics at Harvard

When it comes to academics, Harvard University is widely known for its exceptional quality of education. The university prides itself on its distinguished faculty, rigorous curriculum, and abundant resources.

Exceptional Faculty

One of the key factors that sets Harvard apart is its exceptional faculty. Harvard professors are renowned experts in their respective fields, many of whom are leading authorities and pioneers in their areas of study.

These professors bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom, providing students with a unique learning experience. Interacting with such esteemed scholars can be an invaluable opportunity for students to gain insights and guidance from the best in their fields.

Rigorous Curriculum

The curriculum at Harvard is designed to challenge and stimulate students intellectually. The university offers a wide range of courses across various disciplines, ensuring that students have ample opportunities to explore their academic interests.

The coursework is rigorous and demanding, encouraging students to think critically, engage in research, and develop problem-solving skills. The emphasis on academic rigor helps foster a culture of excellence and prepares students for success in their future endeavors.

Abundant Resources

Harvard University provides its students with a wealth of resources to support their academic pursuits. The library system at Harvard is one of the largest and most extensive in the world, offering students access to a vast collection of books, journals, and research materials.

The university also has state-of-the-art laboratories, research centers, and technology resources that enable students to engage in cutting-edge research and innovation. Additionally, Harvard’s network of alumni and industry connections provides students with valuable opportunities for internships, research collaborations, and career development.

Student Life at Harvard

Harvard University is renowned for its exceptional academic programs, but it also offers an enriching and vibrant student life experience. From a diverse student body to a wide range of clubs and activities, as well as comfortable housing and delicious dining options, Harvard ensures that students have a well-rounded college experience.

Diverse Student Body

One of the greatest advantages of attending Harvard is its diverse student body. Students come from all over the world, bringing with them unique perspectives, experiences, and cultural backgrounds. This diversity fosters a rich and inclusive learning environment where students can engage in meaningful discussions and gain a broader understanding of the world.

In fact, according to Harvard’s official website, the university has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and actively seeks to create a community that reflects the global society. This commitment is evident in the numerous student organizations and initiatives dedicated to promoting diversity and fostering a sense of belonging for all students.

Clubs and Activities

Harvard offers an extensive range of clubs and activities catering to various interests and passions. Whether you are interested in joining a sports team, participating in community service, exploring the arts, or engaging in political activism, there is something for everyone at Harvard.

From the renowned Harvard Crimson newspaper to the a capella groups, debate teams, and cultural organizations, students have countless opportunities to pursue their interests and connect with like-minded individuals.

These extracurricular activities not only offer a break from academic pursuits but also provide valuable leadership and networking opportunities.

Housing and Dining

Harvard provides its students with comfortable and convenient housing options. With a variety of on-campus housing choices, ranging from traditional dormitories to residential houses, students can find a living arrangement that suits their preferences and needs.

The university also offers support and resources to help students navigate the housing selection process.

When it comes to dining, Harvard ensures that students have access to nutritious and delicious meals. The university has a diverse selection of dining halls and cafes, offering a wide range of cuisines and accommodating various dietary preferences.

Additionally, Harvard’s dining services prioritize sustainability and locally sourced ingredients, promoting healthy and environmentally-friendly eating habits.

Alumni Network

One of the key factors that sets Harvard apart as a top-tier institution is its powerful alumni network. With a long list of accomplished graduates, Harvard’s alumni network is extensive and diverse. Graduates from Harvard go on to excel in various fields, including business, politics, academia, and the arts.

Powerful Connections

Being part of the Harvard alumni network opens doors to countless opportunities. The connections made during one’s time at Harvard and through alumni events can lead to valuable collaborations, mentorships, and even job offers.

Whether it’s through alumni chapters, networking events, or online platforms, Harvard graduates have access to a vast network of successful individuals who are often willing to lend a helping hand or provide guidance.

One notable example of the power of the Harvard alumni network is the Harvard Alumni Association, which organizes events and provides resources for graduates to connect with each other. This association also offers a range of services, such as career counseling and access to job postings, to support alumni throughout their professional journeys.

Career Support

Harvard’s commitment to its graduates extends beyond their time on campus. The university provides extensive career support services to help alumni thrive in their chosen fields. These services include career fairs, job boards, and alumni-led workshops and seminars.

Additionally, Harvard has a robust alumni mentoring program that pairs current students with experienced graduates who can offer guidance and advice. This mentorship program plays a crucial role in helping students and recent graduates navigate their career paths and make informed decisions.

Furthermore, Harvard’s reputation as a prestigious institution often carries weight in the professional world. Employers recognize the rigorous academic standards and the strong work ethic instilled in Harvard graduates.

This can give Harvard alumni an advantage when seeking job opportunities or advancing in their careers.

Admissions and Affordability

Extremely Competitive Admissions

Harvard University is renowned for its rigorous academic standards and its highly competitive admissions process. Each year, thousands of students from all over the world apply to Harvard, but only a small percentage are accepted.

The university carefully reviews each application, considering factors such as academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, essays, and letters of recommendation. The acceptance rate at Harvard is consistently low, typically ranging from 4 to 5%.

This makes Harvard one of the most selective universities in the world.

Generous Financial Aid

Although Harvard has a reputation for being an expensive school, it is also committed to making education affordable for all students. The university offers a generous financial aid program to ensure that admitted students can attend regardless of their financial background.

Harvard’s financial aid program is need-based, meaning that the amount of aid a student receives is determined by their family’s financial circumstances. The university meets 100% of demonstrated financial need, and for families with incomes below a certain threshold, the cost of attending Harvard can be completely covered by grants and scholarships, eliminating the need for student loans.

High Sticker Price

While Harvard’s financial aid program makes attending the university affordable for many students, it is important to note that the sticker price of a Harvard education is still quite high. The current tuition for undergraduate students at Harvard is over $50,000 per year, and when you add in additional expenses such as room and board, books, and personal expenses, the total cost of attendance can easily exceed $70,000 per year.

However, it is crucial to consider that the majority of students receive some form of financial aid, which significantly reduces the out-of-pocket cost for most families. It’s also worth noting that attending Harvard is an investment in one’s future, as graduates often go on to have successful careers and earn high salaries.


In conclusion, Harvard offers world-class academics, abundant resources, a vibrant student life, and access to an unparalleled alumni network. However, admissions are extremely selective, and the costs can be prohibitive for many families without sufficient financial aid.

Ultimately, Harvard is one of the top universities globally, but you’ll need to carefully weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s the best fit for your academic goals and financial situation.

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