What is Harvard’s Dropout Rate?

What is Harvard’s Dropout Rate? is a question every prospective student wants to know before submitting an application to the school.


Harvard University is considered one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, known for its academic excellence with students from all over the world.


Harvard University, one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, is often associated with academic excellence and success. However, many people are curious about Harvard’s dropout rate.

Dropout rates refer to the percentage of students who leave a university before completing their degree. This article will answer some common questions that prospective students and curious minds have about Harvard’s dropout rate.

We will explore the dropout rate at Harvard and the graduation rate for students who complete their degree within 4 years. Additionally, we will discuss the most famous Harvard dropout.

Harvard's Dropout Rate

What is Harvard’s Dropout Rate?

Harvard’s dropout rate is 4%. This means about 4% of students who enroll at Harvard University do not graduate. The dropout rate is higher for students who are first-generation college students, students of color, and students from low-income families.

There are a number of factors that can contribute to a student dropping out of college, including academic difficulty, financial problems, and personal issues.

What is the Graduation Rate for Harvard Within 4 Years?

Harvard takes pride in its high graduation rate within the traditional four-year timeline. Approximately 88% of students successfully complete their undergraduate degrees within this timeframe.

Many factors contribute to Harvard’s high graduation rate, including the school’s rigorous academic program, its strong support system for students, and its commitment to student success.

The university provides a number of resources to help students succeed, including academic advising, tutoring, and financial aid. Harvard also has a strong alumni network that can support and guide students.

What is the Post Graduate Rate at Harvard?

Post-graduate success is a significant factor in evaluating an institution’s efficacy. Harvard boasts an impressive post-graduate rate, with over 98% of graduates either pursuing advanced degrees or establishing themselves in their chosen fields.

This statistic reflects the university’s emphasis on nurturing undergraduates, lifelong scholars, and leaders.

Many factors contribute to Harvard’s high post-graduate rate, including the school’s rigorous academic program, its strong support system for students, and its commitment to student success.

Who is the Most Famous Harvard Dropout?

The most famous Harvard dropout is undoubtedly Mark Zuckerberg. Co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Zuckerberg is a tech visionary and one of the most influential figures in the digital era. Born on May 14, 1984, in White Plains, New York, Zuckerberg entered Harvard University in 2002.

While at Harvard, Zuckerberg, along with his roommates, Andrew McCollum, Eduardo Saverin, Chris Hughes, and Dustin Moskovitz, launched “The Facebook” in February 2004. Initially created as a social networking platform for Harvard students, the site quickly expanded to other universities and eventually to the general public.

However, Zuckerberg’s journey at Harvard was cut short. Fueled by the rapid success of Facebook, he decided to drop out of Harvard in 2004 to focus on developing the social media platform.

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Is It Hard to Fail Out of Harvard?

Harvard University has a remarkably low dropout rate, with only around 2.2% of students dropping out before completing their degrees. This is among the lowest dropout rates of any prestigious university in the world.

Factors that make it difficult to fail out:

  • High standards from the beginning: Admissions are incredibly selective, so students entering are already academically strong and motivated. They’re less likely to struggle with basic concepts or lack the drive to persevere.
  • Supportive environment: Harvard offers extensive resources like tutoring, academic advising, and mental health counseling. They actively intervene to help students facing challenges before they reach the point of failing out.
  • Financial aid: Generous financial aid ensures students aren’t forced to drop out due to financial hardship. This removes a major stressor that can contribute to academic decline.
  • Honor code and culture: The strong emphasis on academic integrity fosters a culture of collaboration and learning. Students are more likely to seek help and support from peers and faculty, reducing the risk of isolation and failure.
  • Self-selection: Students who choose Harvard are often intrinsically motivated and possess a strong work ethic. They’re less likely to give up easily and are committed to completing their degrees.

Why is Harvard’s Graduation Rate so High

Harvard’s impressive graduation rate of 96% within 6 years isn’t just random luck. Several factors contribute to Harvard’s high graduation rate.

1. Selective Admissions: Harvard meticulously selects students with strong academic backgrounds, standardized test scores, and extracurricular involvement. This incoming class is already well-prepared for the rigors of college and highly motivated to succeed.

2. Rigorous Curriculum: Harvard challenges its students with a demanding academic program, pushing them to think critically and develop strong problem-solving skills. This prepares them for the complexities of their chosen fields and fosters a culture of academic excellence.

3. Supportive Environment: Harvard recognizes that academic success goes beyond just grades. They provide extensive support services, including academic advising, tutoring, and mental health counseling. This ensures students have the resources they need to overcome challenges and stay on track.

4. Financial Aid: Harvard boasts a generous financial aid program, ensuring that talented students from all socioeconomic backgrounds have the opportunity to attend regardless of their financial situation. This removes a significant barrier that can contribute to dropouts.

5. Faculty and Mentorship: Harvard attracts world-renowned professors who are passionate about their fields and dedicated to student mentorship. This creates a close-knit learning environment where students receive personalized guidance and inspiration.

6. Honor Code and Culture: Harvard fosters a strong academic integrity culture built on the Honor Code. This promotes honesty, collaboration, and mutual respect, creating an environment conducive to learning and personal growth.

7. Career Opportunities: Harvard’s alumni network is vast and influential, offering graduates access to prestigious internships and job opportunities. Knowing they have a strong support system post-graduation can motivate students to persevere through challenges.

8. Resources and Facilities: Harvard invests heavily in cutting-edge technology, libraries, research labs, and modern classrooms. This provides students with the tools and environment they need to excel in their academic pursuits and explore their interests.

9. Diverse Community: Harvard embraces a vibrant and inclusive campus community, welcoming students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. This fosters a sense of belonging and reduces feelings of isolation, which can contribute to dropouts.

10. Self-Selection: Students who choose to attend Harvard are often intrinsically motivated and highly driven to succeed. This self-selection bias means they are more likely to persevere through difficulties and commit to completing their degrees.


Harvard’s dropout rate is a fraction of a percent, emphasizing the resilience and determination of its student body. The institution’s high graduation and post-graduate rates and the success stories of notable dropouts showcase the multifaceted nature of academic achievement at Harvard.

While the academic challenges are significant, the supportive environment and resources available contribute to the university’s track record of producing successful graduates. Aspiring Harvard students can take comfort in the knowledge that, once admitted, they become part of a community that values and nurtures academic excellence.


What is the average GPA for a Harvard student?

The average GPA for a Harvard student is 4.18. This is a weighted GPA, meaning that it takes into account the difficulty of each course a student takes.

It’s important to remember that this is just an average, and there will be a range of GPAs among Harvard students. Some students may have perfect 4.0 GPAs, while others may have GPAs in the 3.8-4.0 range.

Here are some factors that contribute to the high average GPA at Harvard:

  • Selective admissions: Harvard only admits students with very strong academic records. The average unweighted GPA for admitted students in the class of 2027 was 3.95.
  • Rigorous curriculum: The coursework at Harvard is challenging, and students are expected to work hard to get good grades.
  • Supportive environment: Harvard offers a variety of resources to help students succeed, such as tutoring, academic advising, and mental health counseling.
  • Culture of excellence: There is a strong emphasis on academic achievement at Harvard, and students are motivated to do their best.

How much does it cost to attend Harvard?

The cost of attending Harvard can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Tuition and fees: These are the basic costs set by the university and cover instruction, registration, and some health services. For the 2023-2024 academic year, tuition and fees are $54,269.
  • Room and board: This covers housing and dining on campus. The cost varies depending on the type of room and meal plan you choose, but it can range from $12,424 to $18,516 per year.
  • Other expenses: These include personal expenses like books and supplies, travel, and entertainment. Harvard estimates these costs to be around $7,950 per year.

What majors is Harvard known for?

Harvard University boasts a diverse range of academic offerings, attracting students with a variety of interests. While it excels in many areas, here are some majors where Harvard truly shines:

1. Social Sciences: This is arguably Harvard’s most popular area, with strong programs in Economics, Government, Sociology, and Psychology. Renowned faculty, access to cutting-edge research, and a focus on real-world problem solving draw students passionate about understanding human behavior, societal structures, and policy analysis.

2. Biology and Life Sciences: Harvard is a leader in fields like Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, and Global Health. Its research labs are at the forefront of scientific discoveries, and students gain hands-on experience through research opportunities and collaborations with leading scientists.

3. Mathematics and Engineering: From pure mathematics to applied engineering, Harvard offers rigorous programs that prepare students for careers in academia, research, or technology giants. The interdisciplinary nature of these programs allows students to explore diverse applications of mathematical and engineering principles.

4. Humanities: Harvard’s rich history and vibrant intellectual community foster exceptional programs in English Literature, History, Philosophy, and Classics. Students engage in critical thinking, delve into historical analysis, and develop strong communication and research skills.

5. Pre-Law and Pre-Med: As a feeder institution to top law and medical schools, Harvard provides rigorous pre-professional programs. Students benefit from dedicated advisors, access to mock interviews and MCAT prep,

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