What Does it Take to Get into Howard University?
Howard University’s acceptance rate is 31%. What does it take to get in?
Howard University is one of the best-known historically black universities in the country. Historically black schools are higher education institutions established before 1964’s Civil Rights Act, created to serve members of the African-American community. Today they offer exceptional academic opportunities to students of all genders, races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds.
At Howard University, students have the opportunity to participate in more than 200 clubs and organizations while learning from top professors. And with Washington, D.C. just two miles away, students can easily lead an active political, social, or professional life. Read on to learn more about this historic institution and discover whether your student has what it takes to be accepted.
Applying to Howard University: A Quick Overview
If your teen is planning to apply to Howard University, the first step is staying abreast of the important deadlines. Students who want to apply for Early Action should be sure to submit all application materials by November 1st. The deadline for Regular Decision is February 15th.
Students who hope to attend Howard University are required to provide the following:
- Selection of preferred major program
- Completed Common Application
- SAT or ACT Scores (by April 15th)
- Official high school transcripts
- Counselor letter of recommendation
- Teacher letter of recommendation
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- $45 application fee
Fee waivers may be available for students facing “unusual financial hardship.”
Howard University Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?
Howard University is a selective college. Of the 20,946 applications received last year, Howard accepted 6,616 students for an acceptance rate of about 31%, according to the school website.
While these numbers can seem intimidating, aspiring Howard students should note that the university is passionate about admitting those from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Additionally, students who participate in extracurricular activities and take on leadership roles in their schools and communities are more likely to be admitted.
So How Does One Get Into Howard University?
Students invited to join the Howard University community share an impressive academic background and strong motivation to succeed. To gain admission to Howard, students, should have solid test scores. The average incoming freshman has an SAT score of 1220 and an ACT score of 25.
Additionally, Howard wants to matriculate students who undertake a rigorous coursework at the high school level and possess the background necessary to succeed. If your student wants to apply to Howard University, their transcript should include:
- 4 years of English
- 3 years of math
- 2 years of social studies or social sciences
- 2 years of science
- 2 years of a foreign language
The average GPA for Howard admits is 3.33.
How Your Student Can Make Their Application Stand Out
Earning good grades and test scores is the best way to boost one’s odds of getting into Howard University. However, the school also wants to ensure that prospective students are up for a challenge. Taking honors and AP exams is a great way to make students’ application profiles more competitive. In fact, one commenter on the site StudentReview said he gained admission to Howard even though his transcript included the occasional D grade. He credits his acceptance with taking a plethora of AP classes and writing a creative essay that captured readers’ attention.
Additionally, students may be able to make up for a slightly subpar GPA by giving back to their communities. Howard’s admissions committee favors students who volunteer in their schools, religious institutions, and towns. Those who demonstrate a commitment to their community show Howard that they’ll be a boon to its campus, as well.
What If Your Teen Gets Rejected?
Worried about your child getting a rejection letter from their dream college? The best way to protect their academic future is to ensure they’re applying to a wide range of schools, including safety options and reaches. Make sure they’d be willing to attend all the colleges on their list; after all, they don’t want to waste time or money applying to places that don’t meet their needs.
If Howard is at the top of your student’s college wish list, they might also want to select a few other schools that share similarities with this impressive institution. Students set on attending a historically black college might also want to apply at Spelman College and Morehouse College. Is your teen passionate about going to school in the D.C. area? They might want to consider Georgetown University or William and Mary. Additionally, Howard applicants frequently apply to Duke and Syracuse.
If your child does end up getting rejected, remind them that they’re far from alone; the majority of applicants to Howard will end up not gaining admission. Other schools are likely waiting to welcome them, and they can build a stellar college experience there.
Want access to expert college guidance — for free? When you create your free CollegeVine account, you will find out your real admissions chances, build a best-fit school list, learn how to improve your profile, and get your questions answered by experts and peers—all for free. Sign up for your CollegeVine account today to get a boost on your college journey.
Other posts you may enjoy:
Want more college admissions tips?
We'll send you information to help you throughout the college admissions process.