Even as a graduate of Harvard and MIT, I truly believe you can get a high quality education at any school. It’s all about the effort you put in. I went to Harvard for a bachelor’s of science in environmental engineering and loved it. But I’m sure I could’ve gotten an excellent education elsewhere. In fact, there are many colleges that are more focused on the student experience and quality of teaching. So if you can get a great education anywhere, why go to Harvard? And especially, why spend $200,000+ to go to Harvard?
In college, you will learn far more from your classmates than your professors. Your classmates will have a far greater influence on how far you push yourself if at all. At schools like Harvard, you will be surrounded by the best of the best in the country. You will become more ambitious because you’re surrounded by extremely ambitious people. My friends from Harvard have gone onto the top graduate schools in the world. A handful of them are in medical school. When your close friends are winning silver medals at the Olympics and getting to the semi-finals of Last Comic Standing, it pushes you to achieve great things in your own life.
This is not the atmosphere you will find at every institution. You won’t necessarily be surrounded by people who are going to challenge you and make you the most ambitious you can be. Surrounding yourself with challenging peers impacts the trajectory of your entire life. It forces you to reach for higher and higher goals. It changes your perspective on what is normal and achievable. Never underestimate the power of your peers.
Harvard meets 100% of your demonstrated need. This meant I went to Harvard for less than my sister went to a state university. This is a huge reason for anyone who is lower income to apply to Harvard. Never hold yourself back from applying to a Harvard because you’re not sure you can afford it. In addition to the financial aid, Harvard has tremendous resources to help you. I received a grant to research Brazilian ethanol in São Paulo. My roommate received a grant to study Indian literature in India for her senior thesis. Many students from Harvard receive fellowships and grants to travel, study languages, and conduct research. If you can dream it, you can find money for it at Harvard.
No other university has an endowment like Harvard. If you get into Harvard, take advantage of it!
Great – Now How Do I Get In?
So now that I’ve gotten you all excited about going to Harvard, you’re probably asking yourself, “How can I get in?” There are two things you need to get into Harvard: fabulous grades & test scores and a unique compelling story. I’ve created a 7-page GPA Boot Camp just for Smart Harvard Admissions readers. Sign up for my newsletter and get it and my 4-Step Base Planning Workbook as my FREE gifts!
Leave a comment if you have any burning questions about what Harvard is really like.