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How much does it cost to study at Harvard and Yale?


“I want to study at Harvard or Yale… How much does it cost and is it even a possibility?”


Short answer: Yes, it’s possible for Australians to study at Harvard or Yale, but it will cost you.

Starting cost:  

Bachelor’s degree at Harvard:

Tuition & fees: $74,058.50

Room & board: $25,219

Estimated personal expenses (including $800-$1200 for books): $5,980

Estimated travel costs $6,275.5

Health insurance: $5,277

= 1-year total: $116,809.5

Bachelor’s degree total: $467,238


Bachelor’s degree at Yale:

Tuition & fees: $79,193

Room: $13,413

Board: $10,273.5

Estimated books and personal expenses: $5,279.5

Estimated travel costs: $6,275.5

Health Insurance: $3,427.5

Student activities fee: $178

Senior class dues: $170

= 1-year total: $118,210

Bachelor’s degree total: $472,840


Success stories:

Brett: I’m going to study at Harvard on an athletic scholarship this year. Honestly,

thank god I’m on a scholarship, because universities in the US don’t have a system like HECS, so you basically have to pay up front. It’s honestly so expensive and not worth it unless you get a scholarship – my parents said there was no way I could go unless I got one.


Arun: I did a B.Science at Yale on an academic scholarship. It’s definitely possible for Australians to go and study there, but I personally think that unless you have a scholarship, studying in Australia first and then doing a postgraduate degree over in the US is the best way to do it.

A lot of people don’t realise this, but

American degrees don’t work the same as they do in Australia.

They have general education subjects that everyone has to do, which is pretty much equivalent to 1 year in a 4-year degree. They’re not all done in the first year, they’re spread out across your 4 years. For instance, I did a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science), and each semester contained 1-2 (out of 4-5) totally unrelated subjects in history, literature, ethics, etc. I think there is more value in doing postgrad in the US as it’s way more specialised and you aren’t wasting money.



Arun: For Harvard College, coming from Australia,

you would generally need an ATAR of 99.85 to 99.95 (but your SAT score is more important) as well as a lot of extra curriculars. Unless, of course, you are an Olympic or other elite athlete, or a Harvard legacy, or have a parent on staff. But even then, it’s not guaranteed by a long stretch.

Brett: From a financial perspective, the only way to go study at an Ivy League college is to get a scholarship, unless your family are completely loaded. So, you need to be excellent in either sport or academics and work really hard in school. I’d recommend talking to your career counsellor or sports coach about it as early as possible, so they can help you figure out a plan.

Your step one:

Brett: Do as many extracurriculars as you can in school and aim for an ATAR above 97. Then, you need to sit your SATs and do your application, which for me included three letters of recommendation and a personal statement. To be totally honest, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

Arun: Look at the admissions process and work backwards.

They look at your grades, your SATs, your extracurriculars which are so important (things like volunteering, sport, drama clubs) and your personal statement.

Set yourself up well for this process by getting involved and working hard as early as you can.

Applying as an international student:

International students can receive financial help at both institutions just like US citizens, and it is offered based on need. They are also equally eligible for scholarships, which are offered based on meeting certain criteria such as excelling in academics or sport. The application process for these universities is also the same for all students.

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