Study at Harvard University
Study at Harvard University
A legendary Ivy League school in Cambridge
Both the oldest and most well known American university, the foundation of Harvard dates back to 1636 when it became the first institute of higher learning founded by colonists in Massachusetts. In many ways, Harvard has remained at the forefront of learning, innovation and especially reputation! Today Harvard’s nearly 210 acre undergraduate campus is relatively concentrated around the area called the “Harvard Yard” in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Harvard University in a few words
As Harvard is immensely popular with visitors and the campus is open, Harvard Yard feels like a mixture between an open city campus and a closed campus. The undergraduate population of about 6,700 students and some of the more than 15,000 postgraduate students attend classes in buildings surrounding the Yard, while the rest of the student body is dispersed between the medical and business schools further a bit further away. To escape the busyness of this most famous part of campus, the main building of the Harvard Library, Widener Library – the oldest library system in the United States – provides a calm, scholarly space, which includes a significant amount of underground tunnels where some 9 million volumes are stored.
The architecture of the city of Cambridge itself resembles that of Harvard, where red brick is commonly seen, creating a typically American look and feel to the campus. Winters in Cambridge are very snowy, and students will likely be seen in snow boots during the coldest months as they move around campus.
After their freshman year, most students are assigned to houses located in the Radcliffe Quadrangle or “Quad”, which is distinct from the Harvard Yard. This area of campus is quieter than the Yard and in addition to student housing, has House masters, and resident tutors, as well as a dining hall and library. As can be expected on any campus, the housing assignment for students ultimately becomes an important part of their social experience at Harvard.
If you think studying at Harvard means following in the footsteps of great men and women, you’re right. Among Harvard’s alumni are eight U.S. presidents, multiple foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, some 157 Nobel laureates, and the list goes on. In addition, Harvard students and alumni have won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals. Suffice it to say that Harvard is a competitive university with an environment to match!
How do I apply?
To apply to Harvard College, you will need to use the Common Application, a centralized platform through which you can apply to most American colleges and universities. You will need to fill in information about your family – including the occupation of your parents -, provide your transcript or high school grades, submit two teacher reference letters and a guidance counselor letter of reference, draft a résumé or CV, send official test scores (SAT, SAT Subject Test scores, ACT and English language test scores), describe your extracurricular activities and as with most highly selective colleges complete the essay questions on the Common App as well as answer additional essay questions specific to Harvard. The application will be due on January 1st unless you are applying for Early Action in which case you must submit all materials by November 1st.
When do you have to start preparing for Harvard University
Taking into account the numerous specific requirements for American universities like taking exams; consistently participating in extra-curricular activities including clubs, music, sports, and side projects; and the numerous essays to write, we recommend that students begin start to think about their path to Stanford as soon as they begin high school. The application itself is typically completed during the fall semester of students’ last year in high school.
What is the profile of students at Harvard?
As a “highly selective” school according to official terminology, the current rate of acceptance for new freshman hovers around 5%. As do many selective schools, Harvard looks for students to have a niche: like “photography & music”. The area or areas that you choose to develop and invest in should be things that really grab your attention. Find your passion! You’ll want to concentrate on activities and academic pursuits that come naturally to you and that you’ll look forward to working hard for both before and during your time as a student. You’ll also want to stand out from the crowd via a “spike” such as an internship, scholarship, trip, project, etc. Ask yourself: What have I done with my time in high school? Finally, be careful of the idea of “well-roundedness”. Today this means that universities seek to recruit a diverse student body. It does not mean that you need to take part in an infinite number of unrelated activities.
Without financial aid, the tuition fees for Harvard College in 2018-2019 were $46,340 and $67,580 for tuition, room, board, and fees combined.
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