What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Loading…
UCLA
Loading…
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Optimal word count for Harvard’s additional essay?

What's up, future Harvard applicants and alums! I’m drafting the additional essay for Harvard, and I’m kinda confused about how long it should be. The prompt says there’s no word limit, but what's a good length to aim for? I want to provide enough detail without rambling on and losing the reader’s interest. If anyone could share how long their essays were or any strategies for keeping it concise, I'd be super grateful!

7 months ago

While it's true that Harvard doesn't impose a strict word limit on the additional essay, there's an unspoken rule that brevity aligned with substance is key. A good target length is typically between 500 and 700 words. This should give you enough space to demonstrate intellectual curiosity, depth of thought, and insight into your personality without overstaying your welcome. Think purposeful and impactful, not exhaustive.

During my time guiding applicants, the most effective essays often have a focused narrative or theme, and every sentence works to further that purpose. Begin with a vivid anecdote or a compelling hook to draw the reader in and build from there, cutting any fluff or redundancies. Remember, quality over quantity every time.

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.