When people think about transitioning to college, they are usually thinking of the process of moving-in to college and being new to the environment.
Not a lot of people think about what the first time you go home would feels like after settling into college Harvard College is an academic and residential community devoted to learning and the creation of knowledge. We - the academic community of Harvard College, including the faculty and students - view integrity as the basis for intellectual discovery, artistic creation, independent scholarship, and meaningful collaboration.
We hold honesty - in the representation of our work and in our interactions with teachers, advisers, peers, and students - as the foundation of our community. Read more about our Honor Code.
Main content Main content. Wherever your life may have started, and whatever its destination, there is a place for you at Harvard. Be Inspired by Your Surroundings. An education at Harvard has limitless possibilities. Learn more about the academic environment. 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. So overall, I believe the essay accomplishes my goals and the main points of what I wanted to convey about myself. Note that this is just one of many ways to write an essay. It worked for me, but it may be totally inappropriate for you. Looking at it with a more seasoned perspective, some parts of it are WAY too try-hard.
I try too hard to show off my breadth of knowledge in a way that seems artificial and embellishing. With just words, I could have made the essay more cohesive by keeping the same theme from beginning to end.
Some phrases really make me roll my eyes. A key principle of effective writing is to show, not say. The mention of Nietzsche is over-the-top. I mean, come on. Where in the world did fried rice come from? I could have deleted the sentence and wrapped up the essay more cleanly. I think it accomplished my major goals and showed the humorous, irreverent side of my personality well. However, it also gave the impression of a kid who thought he knew more than he did, a pseudo-sophisticate bordering on obnoxious.
I still think it was a net positive. At the end of the day, I believe the safest, surefire strategy is to develop a Spike so big that the importance of the Personal Essay pales in comparison to your achievements. You want your Personal Essay to be a supplement to your application, not the only reason you get in. There are probably some cases where a well-rounded student writes an amazing Personal Essay and gets in through the strength of that.
Without a strong application to back it up, your mileage may vary. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. This is a really fun section.
Teacher recommendations are incredibly important to your application. The average teacher sees thousands of students through a career, and so he or she is very well equipped to position you relative to all other students. Furthermore, your teachers are experienced adults — their impressions of you are much more reliable than your impressions of yourself see my Personal Essay above. They can corroborate your entire Personal Narrative as an outside observer.
The most effective recommendation letters speak both to your academic strengths and to your personality. For the second factor, the teacher needs to have interacted with you meaningfully, ideally both in and out of class.
Check out our guide on what makes for effective letters of recommendation. Starting from sophomore year, I started thinking about whom I connected better with and chose to engage with those teachers more deeply. The minimum requirement for a good letter is someone who taught a class in which you did well. Beyond this, I had to look for teachers who would be strong advocates for me on both an academic and personal level.
These tended to be teachers I vibed more strongly with, and typically these were teachers who demonstrably cared about teaching. This was made clear by their enthusiasm, how they treated students, and how much they went above expectations to help. If you honestly like learning and are an enthusiastic, responsible, engaging student, a great recommendation letter will follow naturally.
The horse should lead the cart. Read my How to Get a 4. She was my favorite teacher throughout high school for these reasons:. All of this flowed down to the recommendation you see here. Remember, the horse leads the cart. The Common Application now has 16 qualities to rate, rather than the 10 here. You can tell that the updated Common App places a great emphasis on personality.
The most important point here: The more experienced and trustworthy the teacher, the more meaningful this is. As you read this, think — what are the interactions that would prompt the teacher to write a recommendation like this?
This was a relationship built up in a period of over 2 years, with every small interaction adding to an overall larger impression. You can see how seriously they take the letter because of all the underlining. The letter here is very strong for a multitude of reasons. First, the length is notable — most letters are just a page long, but this is nearly two full pages , single spaced.
The structure is effective: We are interested to know how you manage your time and to understand how you balance your life outside of the classroom. We know that students are often active both during the school year and the summer — working, babysitting siblings, enrolling in courses, traveling, playing sports, holding internships, etc.
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.
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Graduate Admission Essay Help Harvard,Custom Writing On Sunglasses. Harvard professors will help me understand. Sample admissions essays accepted by Harvard for undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.
Sample admissions essays accepted by Harvard for undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Erratic Impact, in association with EssayEdge has gathered sample admission essays to help getting into school. Writing a Graduate School Application Essay Getting Started Every graduate school requires applicants to submit either a personal statement or astatement of purpose (sometimes called a.
Aug 11, · If want to go to Harvard, Using these words in your admission essay may secure you a spot at Harvard EMAIL A study conducted by AdmitSee, an undergraduate and graduate application-sharing. Application Tips. WHEN YOU APPLY TO Harvard, Citizenship does not in any way affect your chances of admission or eligibility for financial aid at Harvard. 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.