Financial Aid

Harvard University has long been a leader in its commitment to student financial assistance both on campus and in Washington, D.C. Harvard College was one of the first colleges in the nation to adopt broadly the tenets of the G.I. Bill and provide institutional need-based grant aid to qualified students. These practices served as a model for the creation of the federal system of student financial aid. Harvard remains active on this front today. In 2004, Harvard College began a series of groundbreaking initiatives to dramatically reduce the cost to low and middle income families. Parent contributions for families with income less that $65,000 have been eliminated and families with incomes between $65,000 – $150,000 pay zero to 10% of their income on a sliding scale. Some families with income above $150,000 still qualify for financial aid. Overall, two-thirds of Harvard College undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Harvard College provided over $169 million in scholarships for undergraduates in the 2011-2012 academic year, with the typical grant totaling $39,345. Between 2003 and 2012, Harvard College’s Pell Grant participation increased from 9% to 20%; and during the 2009-2010 academic year, Harvard College, each of Harvard’s graduate and professional schools, and the Harvard Extension School contributed funds to help pay tuition expenses for veterans through the Yellow Ribbon Program.

In Washington, Harvard works to increase funding for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant program, Work Study, and Perkins Loans. We also pursue strong federal student loan policies that provide Harvard’s undergraduate and graduate students with improved access to critical, but affordable, federal student loans.

Financial Aid Data

FY2012 Financial Aid at Harvard College

Total $195,879,690
Source Type
Institutional $169,015,103 Grants $176,575,265
Federal $15,314,158 *Loans $12,629,960
Other $11,550,429 Other $6,674,465
*College total for loans includes $6,564,275 in PLUS Loans and other parental loans, although Harvard College does not package any loans to meet need. Financial aid includes awards that allow degree seeking students to pursue summer research study/projects.

Federal Aid by Program at Harvard University 2011-2012

Awards Amount
Pell Grants 1312 $5,351,997
Federal Work Study 1424 $2,679,179
SEOG 562 $2,213,859
TEACH Grants 3 $12,000
Number of Awards New Federal Capital Total Amount
Perkins Loans 2,149 $0 $8,371,891
Federal Direct Loans (estimated)
Number of Unduplicated Borrowers Total Loan Volume
Stafford Subsidized 4638 $36,727,331
Stafford Unsubsidized 4239 $48,023,663
PLUS 236 $5,107,961
Grad PLUS 1804 $45,390,803
Direct Loans – Total Borrowers 5147 $135,249,758


Relevant Correspondence

Useful Links

Harvard Financial Aid Offices