Harvard University has around 20,000 students across the College, graduate, and professional schools located in Cambridge and Boston. When people refer to Harvard students, often they mean the subset of roughly 6,400 students who attend Harvard College. Students arrive every year in late August.
Harvard College’s diverse student population makes it hard to describe the typical student and even harder to describe the quintessential Harvard student experience. Students come from all 50 states and from over 80 countries; from cities, suburbs, small towns and farms; from public, private and parochial schools; from every ethnic and religious background; and from across the economic spectrum. Based on longstanding tradition and an extensive financial aid program, Harvard is committed to making educational opportunity accessible to all, with over 60% of the undergraduate population receiving financial aid.
With over 400 official student organizations including extra-curriculars, co-curricular and athletic opportunities in addition to academics, Harvard students are active around and beyond campus. Whether in Harvard Stadium playing on the field or cheering on The Harvard Crimson, volunteering through organizations like PBHA, fostering entrepreneurial activities in the Harvard innovation lab, writing or editing at The Harvard Crimson or The Harvard Lampoon, or researching in one of the many labs, Harvard students are continuously learning — and constantly busy!
Demographics for the class of 2016:
- 17% are from New England
- 22% are from the Mid Atlantic
- 19% are from the South
- 10% are from the Midwest
- 21% are from the Western and Mountain states
- 11% are international or from U.S. territories
Harvard College is committed to making a college education affordable for all admitted students. Learn more about Harvard College financial aid programs.
The House System
The housing system at Harvard is designed to create a full collegiate experience for all four years of undergraduate education. As freshmen, students live in one of the dormitories in Harvard Yard, a prime location, and eat in the historic and picturesque Annenberg dining hall.
After their first year at Harvard, students are placed into one of the 12 houses on campus and continue to live there for the remainder of their residential life at Harvard. Over ninety-seven percent of Harvard undergrads choose to live on campus for all four years, creating a strong campus community and undergraduate experience.
Each house has a resident master and a staff of tutors, and includes a dining hall, common areas, and recreational and cultural spaces that help give them each a distinct character. Many even field their own intramural sports teams or theater ensembles. The houses themselves also have unique histories and traditions that bring the students together and help to foster the close and long-lasting ties amongst the residents of each house.
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard College announced plans to launch the systemwide effort to renew the University’s 12 undergraduate Houses. The announcement provides the first details about this ambitious initiative, unveiling the first full House to be renewed, the location of “swing” housing, and the pacing for the rest of the project.