Study on Scholarship

The Early History of Harvard University

Harvard University, which celebrated its 350th anniversary in 1986, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Founded 16 years after the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, the University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 18,000 degree candidates, including undergraduates and students in 10 principal academic units. An additional 13,000 students are enrolled in one or more courses in the Harvard Extension School. Over 14,000 people work at Harvard, including more than 2,000 faculty. There are also 7,000 faculty appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals.
Harvard College was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard of Charlestown, a young minister who, upon his death in 1638, left his library and half his estate to the new institution. Harvard's first scholarship fund was created in 1643 with a gift from Ann Radcliffe, Lady Mowlson.

Students at Harvard University

Harvard men and women represent an array of ethnic groups, religious traditions, and political persuasions. They come from every region of the United States and more than 100 other countries. They include undergraduates and graduate, continuing education, and Summer School students. They range from pre-teens to octogenarians; in 1997, Mary Fasano became the oldest person ever to earn a Harvard degree when she graduated from the Extension School at the age of 89.

Harvard College students have a remarkable range of backgrounds and academic and extracurricular interests. Two-thirds come from public schools, and about two-thirds receive some form of financial aid.

Harvard's principal academic units are:

1) Faculty of Arts and Sciences includes:
Harvard College
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Division of Continuing Education
2) Business School
Business administration, management
3) Design School
Architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning
4) Divinity School
Theology, world religions, ministerial studies
5) Graduate School of Education
Education, educational practice, human development
6) John F. Kennedy School of Government
Public policy and administration, political economy
7) Law School
Constitutional, criminal, and international law; corporate finance
8) Faculty of Medicine includes:
Medical School
School of Dental Medicine
9) School of Public Health
Public health policy, epidemiology, nutrition, international health
10) Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Interdisciplinary center for scholarship and learning.

Financial Aid at Harvard

Harvard is one of the few remaining colleges in the country to maintain a true need-blind admissions policy. Need-blind admissions means that freshmen are accepted on the basis of their scholastic achievements and other talents, not their ability to pay tuition. There are no athletic scholarships. Financial needs are met through a combination of scholarships, loans, and term-time jobs. The financial aid package may cover up to 100 percent of tuition and expenses, depending on the degree of need.

Harvard's need-blind admissions policy evolved from a conviction that students learn as much from each other as they do from academic study. Thus, the more diverse the student body, the more opportunity students have to learn from their peers.

- International Financial Aid Information

Harvard is strongly committed to making educational opportunity accessible to all. All financial aid is awarded on the basis of financial need, and Harvard meets 100% of each family's demonstrated need. About 70% of Harvard undergraduates receive financial aid.

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