Discover the Types of Harvard Scholarships Available


Pursuing a degree at Harvard University is a dream for many students around the world. However, the cost of attending such a prestigious institution can be a barrier for some. To help students overcome this challenge, Harvard offers a variety of scholarships to make education more accessible. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of Harvard scholarships available, including need-based, merit-based, athletic, specialized, and those for graduate and professional students.

Need-Based Scholarships

Harvard Financial Aid Initiative

Harvard University is committed to ensuring that all admitted students can afford to attend, regardless of their financial background. Through the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI), the university provides need-based scholarships to cover the cost of tuition, room, board, and other expenses. HFAI scholarships are available to both domestic and international students. Families with annual incomes below $65,000 are not expected to contribute to the cost of attending Harvard, while those earning between $65,000 and $150,000 are expected to contribute a percentage of their income.

Applying for Need-Based Aid

To apply for need-based scholarships at Harvard, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile. These forms are used to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid, including scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans.

Merit-Based Scholarships

External Scholarships

While Harvard does not offer merit-based scholarships, many external organizations provide merit-based awards that can be used to fund your education at Harvard. These scholarships are typically awarded based on academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, leadership, and community service.

How to Find Merit-Based Scholarships

You can search for merit-based scholarships through online databases, high school guidance offices, and community organizations. Start your search early and apply to as many scholarships as possible to increase your chances of securing funding.

Athletic Scholarships

Ivy League Athletic Scholarships

As an Ivy League institution, Harvard does not offer athletic scholarships. However, student-athletes can still receive financial aid through need-based scholarships, as well as merit-based scholarships from external organizations.

Eligibility Criteria

Student-athletes must meet the same admissions criteria as other applicants and maintain good academic standing to be eligible for need-based financial aid.

Specialized Scholarships

Scholarships for International Students

Harvard University is dedicated to supporting its diverse student body, including international students. Need-based scholarships are available to international students through the HFAI program, ensuring that all admitted students can afford to attend Harvard, regardless of their financial situation.

Scholarships for Specific Majors

Some external organizations offer scholarships specifically for students pursuing certain majors or fields of study. These scholarships may be available to Harvard students and can help fund your education in your chosen field. To find these scholarships, conduct targeted searches based on your major or area of interest.

Scholarships for Graduate and Professional Students

Harvard Business School Scholarships

Harvard Business School (HBS) offers need-based fellowships to MBA students. These fellowships are awarded based on financial need, and students must submit the FAFSA and CSS Profile to be considered. HBS also encourages students to explore external scholarships to help fund their education.

Harvard Law School Scholarships

Harvard Law School provides a variety of financial aid options, including need-based grants and external scholarships. Law students must submit the FAFSA and CSS Profile to be considered for need-based aid. Additionally, students should research external scholarships specifically for law students.

Harvard Medical School Scholarships

Harvard Medical School (HMS) offers need-based scholarships and grants to eligible students. To apply, students must submit the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and additional HMS-specific forms. There are also external scholarships available for medical students, which can be found through targeted searches and professional organizations.

Scholarship Application Tips

To maximize your chances of securing scholarship funding for your education at Harvard, follow these tips:

  1. Start your search early and apply to as many scholarships as possible.
  2. Tailor your application materials to each scholarship, highlighting how you meet the specific criteria.
  3. Reach out to your high school guidance counselor or community organizations for assistance in finding scholarships.
  4. Maintain a strong academic record and engage in extracurricular activities to increase your eligibility for merit-based scholarships.


Harvard University offers a variety of scholarship opportunities to help students from diverse backgrounds achieve their educational goals. By understanding the different types of scholarships available and taking advantage of the resources provided, you can make your dream of attending Harvard a reality. Remember to start your search early, apply for as many scholarships as possible, and customize your application materials to increase your chances of success.


1. Does Harvard University offer full-ride scholarships?

Harvard offers need-based scholarships through the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, which can cover the full cost of tuition, room, board, and other expenses for students with the greatest financial need.

2. Can international students receive scholarships at Harvard?

Yes, international students are eligible for need-based scholarships through the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative.

3. Are there scholarships available for specific majors or fields of study at Harvard?

While Harvard itself may not offer scholarships based on specific majors, there are many external scholarships available for students pursuing certain fields of study. Conduct targeted searches based on your major or area of interest to find these opportunities.

4. Are there any scholarships available for graduate and professional students at Harvard?

Yes, there are need-based scholarships and grants available for graduate and professional students at Harvard, as well as external scholarships specific to certain programs or fields.

5. Do I need to submit the FAFSA and CSS Profile to apply for scholarships at Harvard?

Yes, both the FAFSA and CSS Profile are required to apply for need-based scholarships at Harvard.

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