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Admissions for Secondary School Program

The application for Summer 2024 is closed.

Eligibility For 2024

The admissions committee is looking for mature, academically motivated students who meet both the following criteria:

  • Will graduate from high school and enter college in 2024, 2025, or 2026
  • Are at least 16 years old by June 22, 2024, and will not turn 19 years old before July 31, 2024
  • Please Note: Harvard Summer School is unable to sponsor F-1 student visa applications for the 4-week summer term. International students should review their options on the International Students Guidelines page.

The account must be created, and the application must be completed, by the prospective student and not by parents/guardians, agents, counselors, or anyone else.

Certain email domains have historically been difficult for our automated processes to reach (ex.,, If you primarily use one of these email addresses, we request that you use an alternative email address to complete your application and in your correspondence with Harvard Summer School.

How to Apply

Do not complete the application on your smartphone. Please use a laptop or PC.

Complete an online application and provide supplemental materials, including:

  • The $75 nonrefundable application fee
  • Counselor report: You can request a link be sent to your counselor in the application
  • Transcripts from 9th grade to fall 2023 grades: This can include progress reports, report cards, and educational summaries from your high school
  • Rules and Media Release online form: We require a link be sent to your parent or legal guardian in the application
  • Review expectations for TOEFL iBT, Duolingo, and IELTS Academic tests (non-native English speakers only): Most successful Secondary School Program students score above 103 on the TOEFL iBT, 7.5 or above on the IELTS, and 135 or above on Duolingo. Be sure to schedule your test early so it does not delay your application. You can also submit an interview and writing sample from InitialView to supplement your application, but these cannot replace a TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or Duolingo score. We do not accept Cambridge English Exam or TOEFL iTP test scores.

You can view your in-progress application or application status by logging into the application portal.

Important Application Deadlines

All deadlines are 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time unless otherwise specified below.

Application and Financial Aid Dates and Deadlines: Application and Materials DeadlineDecision ReleasedApplicant Response Deadline
Early application and priority financial aid deadline
Complete your application by this date to receive a decision before course registration begins.* 

If you would like to apply for a need-based scholarship, please fill out the financial aid section of the program application.
Wednesday, January 10, 2024 Tuesday, February 6, 2024 by 5 p.m. ETTuesday, February 20, 2024
Regular application and financial aid deadline
Complete your application by this date to receive a decision soon after course registration begins.

If you would like to apply for a need-based scholarship, please fill out the financial aid section of the program application. Financial aid will be awarded subject to availability of funds.
Wednesday, February 14, 2024 Tuesday, March 12, 2024 by 5 p.m. ETTuesday, March 26, 2024
International student deadline
International 7-Week SSP Residential or 7-Week SSP Commuting applicants must complete their application by this date in order to apply on time for an I-20 and a Student Visa.
International 7-Week SSP Online applicants have until the late application deadline to complete the program application.
Current US visa holders whose visa permits for-credit study have until the late application deadline to complete their application.
Wednesday, February 14, 2024Tuesday, March 12, 2024 by 5 p.m. ETTuesday, March 26, 2024
Late application deadline
Complete your application by this date. Financial aid is not available to late applicants.
Wednesday, April 10, 2024 or earlier if all course waitlists are fullOn a rolling basis within 3 weeks of completed application following the regular decision release on March 12thWithin 2 weeks of offer of admission

*All materials (application including essays, counselor report, transcripts, current grades, online rules and media release from parent/guardian, TOEFL ibt/IELTS/Duolingo scores if English is not your native language, and application fee) must be submitted in order for an application be considered complete.

See the Secondary School Program Academic Calendar for all important dates and deadlines.

Application Tips

  • Apply early, as space in the program is limited.
  • If English is not your native language, take one of the required proficiency tests early to ensure you get your scores in time to apply early in the application cycle.
  • Track our receipt of your supplementary materials by logging into your application. You want to be sure that we have all of your application materials on hand.
  • When you apply, choose your program thoughtfully. You may apply to only one of Harvard Summer School’s college programs for high school students per year.
  • You can walk through the application in this video where we go through the application and provide guidance on how to fill it out.

Selection Process

There will be two admissions deadlines — early application and regular application. After the regular application deadline there will be rolling admissions, if spots are still available in the program.

There is no minimum GPA requirement. We evaluate all information submitted — including transcripts, counselor reports, and your GPA — when considering your application. You are welcome to submit PSAT, SAT, or ACT test scores, but they are not required.

Harvard Summer School does not discriminate against applicants or students on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry or any other protected classification.


When is the early application period?

The early application period is open from December 1, 2023 through January 10, 2024.

See the Secondary School Program Academic Calendar for all important dates and deadlines.

Why apply early?

There are several reasons why applying early is a good idea.

It’s less stressful for everyone when you apply early. You avoid the rush and anxiety of applying close to the deadline. You give your parents and other supporting adults more time to do what they need to do to assist you. This includes your counselor, who has a significant role in your application.

More financial aid is available in the early round, so scholarships tend to be larger.

When you apply and are admitted early, you leave yourself ample time to perform necessary post-admission tasks.

Once admitted, you’ll have all of February to call us for academic advising as you choose your courses.

Early admission means you’ll be ready to enroll in courses when registration begins. Registering early means you can reserve your spot in your first-choice classes, even those with limited capacity.

Does attending the Secondary School Program guarantee admission to Harvard?

No. However, attending Harvard Summer School and performing well will strengthen your application to any college or university. Additionally, the Secondary School Program offers many opportunities designed to help you navigate the college application process, gain admission to the college of your choice, and enhance your performance in a college setting.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. Scholarship amounts depend on variables such as family finances, availability of funds, and whether a student lives on campus, commutes, or attends online. Harvard Summer School staff cannot predict how much aid a student may be offered. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for admission to the Secondary School Program and complete the financial aid application by the deadline. All submitted material will be reviewed.

To be eligible:

You must be a US citizen or permanent resident
OR you must be granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status
You must complete the applications and all other requirements on time

See Program Cost for more information.

May homeschooled students apply?

Yes, we welcome applications from students who are being schooled at home. Adults in the student’s life, other than family, may submit a letter of recommendation. One or two letters are sufficient. The Counselor Report cannot be submitted by a family member. If you are unsure of who could complete the form, please email and we can help.

Can my family or guardians gain access to my application, records, and information?

In accordance with our policy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), we cannot release information such as a student’s grades or class schedule to family members or guardians. Except for information defined as “directory information,” no other information about Secondary School Program students is released outside the University—including to parents, guardians, or family members—without the student’s prior written consent, unless otherwise authorized or required by law.

We communicate by email directly with prospective and current students—not with parents or other third parties. Please be sure you check email daily to ensure you receive important communications from the Secondary School Program.

What policies related to conduct should I be aware of?

You should read the Student Handbook and the policy section of the website once admitted, both of which outline student responsibilities in areas such as conduct, attendance, and academic integrity. 

Are there exceptions to the minimum age to enroll?

Due to Massachusetts state law and other governmental and University policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including testing protocols and treatment practices, Harvard Summer School has determined that all students enrolled in Harvard Summer School for Summer 2024 must be at least 16 years old by June 22, 2024. Secondary School Program students also can not turn 19 years old before July 31, 2024.