When I informed my parents on my plans to study at the Harvard University
, they looked a little bit shocked. I had to complete the elementary school and to study for two years more and my parents decided that I only play pranks. But I really dreamed of studying there and I decided to make all endeavors to make my dream come true.
When to prepare for Harvard?
Now I am a Harvard University student and I should say I lost my time to prepare for the study here. I should have started my preparations three years prior to admission. However, if you go through to your target, you will succeed anyway. Unfortunately, I lost one year after the secondary school since I failed the exams.
I was a little bit scared with all these stories on how quite prosperous people (bankers, businessmen) failed to become the Harvard students. The competition is too high with the fourteen applicants per a vacant seat. Hence, I started reviewing mistakes done by others to avoid my personal ones. Finally, I came to decision to apply for the School of Arts and Science with the Bachelor of Science majoring in Computer Networking Security.
The point is that applicants for the Harvard University should perform excellently to get enrolled. The admission committee (there are two authorized persons in the team who perform independently) is quite faultfinding to assess applicant’s documents. First, the applicant should show high academic performance in all disciplines within all terms for the last two years of study. Second, the lowest requirements should be met as follow:
- To pass SAT General Test with at least 2100 credits;
- To pass two SAT Subject tests, as well as SAT Writing with at least 720 in credit;
- To be in 5% best school leavers at the end of the academic year;
- To submit two reference letters from school teachers;
- To show himself or herself as a leader, to manage any youth’s club for the last several years, at least (if the movement is local, then leadership in two unions or organizations);
- To show any achievements in sport or fine arts with any diplomas and letters as preferred;
- To be engaged in volunteer movements.
I was always keen on fine art and I liked singing as a child. As a schoolgirl, I sang for the local music band which I managed later as the senior. I used to write the lyrics to its songs. Our band was popular to get acknowledged at various public competitions. As for volunteering, I created a school union taking the orphan home under patronage. The support that we rendered was not limited in visits or gifts; our union members ran various workshops. As for me, I ran the workshop on advanced English language curriculums. I was in need of practice and so did the children. Correcting grammar or spelling mistakes in children, I managed to master my knowledge and skills, either. I launched a dress-making course for girls from the boarding school along with friends. The boys trained orphans in primary skills like hammer handling, simple repairing of electric devices following safety techniques. Now when I am away the union created by me is still involved in caring the junior members.
Tuition at Harvard
By the way, my parents confronted me and my dream to study at the Harvard University for two reasons: first, financial resources (the tuition is about 42000 USD per year), second, the applicant may apply for a Bachelor programme at Harvard providing only if the former has no other bachelor diploma awarded by the other university. Thus, I would lose a year if I failed. Yet, I comprehensively planned all my steps and got ready for all possible circumstances. As for the financial support, I relied on scholarships among the variety of them here at Harvard provided for lower-income students.
Exams – period and types
Upon completion of the secondary school, I signed up at www.collegeboard.com and successfully passed SAT I and SAT II tests. At admission at Harvard, TOEFL is replaced by SAT Writing and SAT I verbal part. Among SAT II tests I chose Math and Physics. I had to pass exams as soon as possible to apply to the Harvard Admission Committee in July or August. Test results are immediately forwarded to the Admission Committee (code of Harvard College is 3434).
At the same time, I signed up at the Harvard official website for 65 USD (the application will not be considered without this duty) and I completed the application form. I also attached reference letters from my school teachers (including a letter of recommendation from my English language teacher) and my academic performance rates for the last two years of study (by terms) to the application form and payment receipt. In addition I sent three audio files with my songs to the Admission Committee for consideration to prove my success in music. Evidence of achievements in music, sports or other fields may help to positively promote enrollment process. Moreover, such proof of achievements may trigger the authorized persons to allot a scholarship for study. All my documents were sent in two packages with original and translated versions to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, 86 Brattle Street, Cambridge.
I received a letter from Harvard on my documents to be in process of consideration. It took me a month and a half to wait for the response. The applications will be considered from December 1. The deadline is January 1.
Is it feasible to get scholarships at Harvard
In February I got the message on positive consideration of my documents. I was accepted to the Harvard University. I was thrilled to bits though I was in need of the scholarship. My family could not support me in my study and cover my living expenses in America. I had the time to apply for the scholarship programme until March 1. I applied for the Harvard Student Support Service stating that the annual profit of my parents is far less than 60 000 USD. This is one of criteria to allot the maximum amount of financial aid to students that 100% covers all demonstrated needs. In respect that I performed excellently, and considering all my music achievements and essay that stated all my accomplishments and projects of life, I was given the scholarship and the opportunity to earn extra money at the campus since my family earnings were not sufficient to cover my needs.
Which visa is required to study in USA?
I needed F-1 Visa to enter the USA territory and so, I was not eligible to work outside of the campus for the first year of stay in there. Later on, I completed Form I-9 to get a job and received my personal Social Security Number along with the work permit from the university authorized person to deal with international students. I ended up with the official job at the café for 20 hours a week (40 hours a week during holidays).
Harvard is the real state in the state. The campus comprises of a great variety of various sport facilities, clubs, three specific (!) libraries for bachelors. Crimson is the official color of the University and most students enjoy wearing crimson-colored T-shirts. I am a third-year student now. Most of my classmates changed their field of concentration upon close introduction to common disciplines during first two years of stay in here. As for me, I am still eager to become an expert in Information Security field. I put high hopes to get my Bachelor degree and apply for the postgraduate programme.
Location on map - Harvard University