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Also we list two schools that closed this year. Fall Ready to Go: Updating Hourly We are keeping the site updated with all the new platforms, new essays, and current programs.

Below we will list the applications we have updated as they are released. Submission Guidelines With so many institutions participating in the Coalition, there are many different admissions guidelines, […]. We Added The Coalition on Access, Affordability, and Success The Coalition is moving forward with more than 90 colleges, many of whom are public universities with stand alone application systems. Filling out the grid is an act of prioritization: Harvard is a residential institution, and our students are actively engaged in college life.

This section helps us to understand how you might contribute at Harvard. The Common and Universal College Application essay topics are broad. While this might seem daunting at first, look at it as an opportunity to write about something you care about, rather than what you think the Admissions Committee wants to hear. The point of the personal statement is for you to have the chance to share whatever you would like with us.

The essay is an opportunity for students to provide information that might not be contained in other parts of the application. As an admissions officer, I personally get excited to read through an essay that has a great lead. Think of your opening sentence or paragraph as the hyperlink on your favorite news website. Editing is a critical talent that will become increasingly important as students advance through college, graduate and professional school, and, of course, in their professions.

It can be helpful to have your essay reviewed by another person to check on typos, etc. The essay is not a vocabulary test! We want to get a glimpse of who you are, not who you think we want you to be. Believe it or not, the essay nearly always fits in with the rest of the application.

A terrific one can help and a careless one can hurt. Use the essay to convey more about you and what you value. As we have noted earlier, we realize that students have widely varying help in preparing their applications. Some students have completed the essay entirely on their own. Others have used appropriate amounts of help from family, friends and teachers. Such help would include proofreading and general suggestions about organization as well as brainstorming about topics.

Still other students may have been preparing for the essay for many years with too much help from a variety of sources, including borderline plagiarism or worse , using the Internet or various essay writing publications and services. We look carefully to see how consistent the essay is with other parts of the application, including grades in English courses, standardized tests, and, occasionally, the actual download of the essay that is part of the SAT and ACT.

It is critically important for you to be honest with colleges as you start what could be a long- term association. Please read this section carefully. Do not feel obligated to fill this space, but some students have used this opportunity to tell us about challenging circumstances in their lives such as illness or other difficulties that may have affected their grades.

Supplementary materials art slides, music recordings, research papers, etc. Harvard has a need-blind admissions process and applying for aid is never detrimental to your admissions decision. We ask the question because we want to be able to calculate your financial need in advance of our April notification date so that we can send your admission letter and financial aid offer at the same time.

While we realize that this question is quite similar to the one asked on the Common Application, our own format allows us to fit this information into data fields that Harvard has been collecting for many years. As a liberal arts institution with forty-nine academic concentrations and more than extracurricular organizations, we expect and encourage our students to explore new opportunities.

One of the principal ways students meet and educate each other during college is through extracurricular activities. Your answer to this question gives us a better sense of the interests you might bring to college and how definite your academic, vocational, extracurricular or athletic interests might be. This information helps us understand better how you might use Harvard. Of course, one of the best things about a liberal arts education is that plans may change.

If you have applied to Harvard before, we want to include your previous application with your current one. We also want to have a record of any other involvement at Harvard you may have had, including the Summer School and the Extension School and associated transcripts. The reason I think he circled this was that the email address I used is a joke pun on my name. I knew it was risky to use this vs something like allencheng15 gmail. Second, I knew in high school that I wanted to go into the medical sciences, either as a physician or as a scientist.

I was also really into studying the brain. Figuring out what you want to do is the point of college! This early question is still a chance to build that Personal Narrative. Finally, in the demographic section there is a big red A, possibly for Asian American. This section was straightforward for me. The most notable point of this section: This is notable because our school Principal only wrote letters for fewer than 10 students each year. Counselors wrote letters for the other hundreds of students in my class, which made my application stand out just a little.

After all, schools like Harvard have the pick of the litter, and there are plenty of students who get super high test scores AND have amazing achievements. Remember, over 40, students fit in the top 1 percentile of students nationwide.

Top schools are generally looking to see that you fit in the top 1 percentile of the country. But within that 1 percentile, your score does NOT make a big difference in your chances of admission.

Just a sanity check: The 75 th percentile is a , and the 25 th percentile is a They know that there is some amount of chance every time you take a test, so a is more or less equivalent to a However, their standards are still very high. You really do want to be in that top 1 percentile to pass the filter.

A on the SAT IS going to put you at a disadvantage because there are so many students scoring higher than you. Download it for free now:. Even though math and science were easy for me, I had to put in serious effort to get an on the Reading section of the SAT. I learned a bunch of strategies and dissected the test to get to a point where I understood the test super well and reliably earned perfect scores. The tests were so similar that I scored a 36 Composite without much studying.

Having two test scores is completely unnecessary — you get pretty much zero additional credit. Again, with one test score, you have already passed their filter. This section asks for your parent information and family situation. The reader made a number of marks here for occupation and education. So it seems higher numbers are given for less prestigious educations by your parents.

This makes me think that the less prepared your family is, the more points you get, and this might give your application an extra boost. Schools really do care about your background and how you performed relative to expectations.

For most applicants, your Extracurriculars and your Academic Honors will be where you develop your Spike and where your Personal Narrative shines through. This was how my application worked. As instructed, my extracurriculars were listed in the order of their interest to me. The most important point I have to make about my extracurriculars: If I were to guess, I assign the following weights to how much each activity contributed to the strength of my activities section:.

In other words, participating in the Research Science Institute RSI was far more important than all of my other extracurriculars, combined. You can see that this was the only activity my admissions reader circled.

You can see how Spike-y this is. The RSI just completely dominates all my other activities. The reason for this is the prestige of RSI. Because the program was so prestigious and selective, getting in served as a big confirmation signal of my academic quality. I had already ranked nationally in the Chemistry Olympiad more below , and I had done a lot of prior research work in computer science at Jisan Research Institute — more about this later.

But getting into RSI really propelled my application to another level. Because RSI was so important and was such a big Spike, all my other extracurriculars paled in importance. This is a good sign of developing a strong Spike. You want to do something so important that everything else you do pales in comparison to it. A strong Spike becomes impossible to ignore. Apply this concept to your own interests — what can be so impressive and such a big Spike that it completely overshadows all your other achievements?

This might be worth spending a disproportionate amount of time on. As I recommend in my Harvard guide and 4. Each week I spent eight hours on practice and a lesson and four hours of orchestra rehearsals. This amounted to over 1, hours from freshman to junior year. I was pretty good, but definitely nowhere near world-class. Remember, there are thousands of orchestras and bands in the country, each with their own concertmasters, drum majors, and section 1 st chairs.

If I were to optimize purely for college applications, I should have spent that time on pushing my spike even further — working on more Olympiad competitions, or doing even more hardcore research.

But this problem can be a lot worse for well-rounded students who are stretched too thin. First, developing a Spike requires continuous, increasingly ambitious foundational work. From the beginning of high school, each step was more and more ambitious — my first academic team, my first research experience, leading up to state and national competitions and more serious research work.

Second, it is important to do things you enjoy. Finally, note that most of my activities were pursued over multiple years. But this guide is already super long, so I want to focus our attention on the main points. Please describe which of your activities extracurricular and personal activities or work experience has been most meaningful and why. I chose RSI as my most significant activity for two reasons — one based on the meaning of the work, and another on the social aspect.

This is only the beginning of my cringe-y writing - wait until you get to my Personal Essays. I chose to spend this clarifying my extracurriculars even further. My main motive in this section was to add more detail around my most significant activities: The only parts the reader underlined were the name of my research supervisor, and the fact that my research was then a Siemens-Westinghouse Semi-Finalist.

Both of these legitimate my research. I highly recommend you take the time to write an Additional Information section. Here you have an extra words to add more color around your life and accomplishments — DO IT. Along with Activities, Academic Honors is the other major area where you can really shine and develop a big Spike. The higher the level of competition and the more prestigious the award, the more the honor is worth. This has an exponential relationship, because of how quickly the field is narrowed at each stage of competition.

This can also mean an international ranking is worth x that of a regional ranking — again, why a big Spike is so impressive. Academic honors and awards are a great, quantifiable way to show that. By far, the biggest academic honor I had was competing in the US National Chemistry Olympiad , where I ranked 6 in the country in junior year, out of roughly 11, students who took the first round test.

At the highest international level of competition, countries send their top students to wage battle against each other, just like the sports Olympics.

The best known subjects are Math , Physics , Chemistry , and Biology in order of descending prestige, among nerds. I ranked at the national level, before the US selected their final team — a study camp of 20 students.

But this was still a national level honor, in a well-known competition. This is why I say a big Spike makes you stand out clearly among a bin of well-rounded applicants. At Harvard in my class, I knew International Math and Physics Olympiad gold medalists, people who were on their national teams for the hardest subjects AND ranked in the top percentiles worldwide.

And there were students with similar level accomplishments in other arenas, from music performance to writing. Earning this kind of honor was nearly a golden ticket to getting into schools like Harvard , because you literally are the best in the world at what you care about. But remember there are thousands of nationally-ranked people in a multitude of honor types, from science competitions to essay contests to athletics to weird talents. And I strongly believe the 1 differentiator of high school students who achieve things is work ethic, NOT intelligence or talent.

Yes, you need a baseline level of competence to get places, but people far undervalue the progress they can make if they work hard and persevere. Far too many people give up too quickly or fatigue without putting in serious effort. The truth is everyone who achieves something of note puts in an incredible amount of hard work.

My research work took up the next two honors, one a presentation at an academic conference, and the other Siemens a research competition for high school researchers. At the risk of beating a dead horse, think about how many state medalists there are in the country, in the hundreds of competitions that exist. The number of state to national rankers is probably at least There are just too many of them around.

On the other hand, if you can get to be nationally ranked in something, you will have an amazing Spike that distinguishes you. How could anything I write compare to these tales of personal strength? The trite truth is that colleges want to know who you really are. But they do want students who are:. I do think my Spike was nearly sufficient to get me admitted to every school in the country.

Back then, we had a set of different prompts:. I chose to write on a topic of my choice, which no longer exists as an option probably for good reason - kids just went all over the place.

I also felt a need to be distinctive and thought that a free essay topic might give me more freedom. The way I saw it, the personal statement was a vehicle to convey my personality and my interests. To build my Personal Narrative, I wanted to showcase my personality and reveal a bit about my life experiences.

The idea I used was to talk about my battle against the snooze alarm. Frankly this personal statement is really embarrassing. Each time I read it, I cringe a bit. I think I sound too smug and self-satisfied. But again in the interest of transparency, here goes:.

I want to as well. The theme of the essay — battling an alarm clock — shows this well, in comparison to the gravitas of the typical student essay. The frank admission of a realistic lazy habit — pushing the Snooze button — served as a nice foil to my academic honors and shows that I can be down-to-earth.

So you see how the snooze button acts as a vehicle to carry these major points and a lot of details, tied together to the same theme.

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My Successful Harvard Application (Complete Common App + Supplement) , College Essays In , I applied to college and got into every school I applied to, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service.

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Top 6 Successful Harvard Essays. These college essays are from students who got accepted at Harvard them to get inspiration for your own essays and knock the socks off those admissions officers!

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WHEN YOU APPLY TO Harvard, you will fill out the Common Application, the Universal College Application, or the Coalition Application (we have no preference), followed by our own supplement to help us Application Tips | Harvard College. The college essay (officially your “personal statement,” at least at Harvard) was the most intimidating part of my application process–because, by the beginning of my senior year, it was the only thing I had any real control over.

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Recent Harvard University graduate Soa Andrian used one of her childhood memories as a jumping-off point on her college admissions essay. She told the story of a visit to Antananarivo, Madagascar. Sample admissions essays accepted by Harvard for undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. and professional programs. The following Sample Admissions Essays were accepted by Harvard. Home: Writing Admissions Essays Named "the world's premier application essay editing service" by The New York Times.