Harvard College is revered through the world for providing excellence in education. Many students dare not apply believing the college is beyond their academic credentials and financial reach. Here are just a few reasons you might want to reconsider and mark the institute down on your shortlist of chosen schools.
Why choose Harvard College?
Students often believe they need a rich family background to get into Harvard. However, this isn’t true at all. Even if your parents have a combined income of over $65,000, you may still be eligible for financial aid. Getting into Harvard College actually requires no loans and anyone, from Boston to Delhi, can afford to go to this school with the help of their financial aid program.
Harvard provides students with a transformative education. Those wanting to pursue a degree at this school can enjoy world-class facilities, mentors and professors that are the envy of the world. Students at Harvard don’t just study the history of their discipline, they live it.
Preparing for College
Although there is no singular academic path or minimum GPA required for Harvard College, there are hallmarks that distinguish successful applicants. Harvard hosts a holistic admissions policy. Your application should combine strong academic and extra-curricular strengths.
Harvard encourages students to avoid the path of least resistance and take the challenging route through school. Passion, outside interests and an extra-curricular ‘spike’ that distinguish you from the crowd are vital. Zak Farkes, for example, earned his placed at Harvard with a 2.7 GPA. He did so with outstanding sports and leadership credentials.
Choosing courses in High School to prepare for College
Harvard values academic rigor. Don’t think you can bluff your way through school and supplement your GPA with superfluous qualifications – stick to the fundamentals. Your chosen path should include English, Math and Science for all 4 years. These courses, combined with history and a foreign language, are cornerstones of many successful student portfolios.
Foreign students need heed these words too. Naturally, their student portfolio should underline their capacity to write, think and understand complex ideas in English. Therefore you’ll need to fulfill Harvard’s TOEFL requirements.
Applying to Harvard College
Applications and tests
On signing up to the admissions process, all potential freshmen will need to complete either the Common Application or the Universal College Application. This pertains to both U.S and International students. Other applications required before entering Harvard include the Harvard College Questions, Writing Supplement for the Common Application, a fee of $75 for the application or a fee waiver, the SAT or ACT with Writing, two SAT subject tests, their school report with their high school transcripts, two teacher reports, a mid-year school report, and a final school year report.
If they are transferring from another college, they will need to submit the Common Application and the Universal College Transfer Application, as well as the same requirements for freshman, and they will need their college reports and college transcripts.
When filling out the applications, potential students can check out some helpful information.
Should you take time off?
Many students choose to take a year off from school before embarking on their journey through higher education. Harvard admissions officials actively encourage students to do so. A gap-year traveling and experiencing life can broaden the mind help students clarify their academic path.
A gap year can fend off ‘burn out’ among students. Harvard is proud of its graduation rate. Given the golden ticket ahead of other candidates, they want to know you’ll fulfill your promise and not be among the small number of students who drop out every year.
While the acceptance rate among applicants to Harvard is low, don’t that let deter you, use it as an opportunity to raise your game. Whether you earn admission to Harvard College, or another higher education institute, these tips will further your life experience and academic standing.
About: Kay Bassett is a language teacher and freelance author. She has contributed to a series higher education sites, notably SmartHarvardAdmissions.com. Kay has also written extensively on parenting and environmental issues.