In this issue:
- Early Action admits to the Harvard Class of 2025
- Actions for applicants: Years 11, 12 and 13
Early Action admits to the Harvard Class of 2025
Notifications were sent on 17th December to the 747 successful applicants out of the 10,086 who applied from around the world for admission to Harvard College under the Early Action program. Those who have been offered places are not obliged to attend and have until 1st May to make a final decision. Several successful candidates were from the UK, so congratulations to all of you!
The Harvard Gazette reports that Harvard’s generous financial aid program was cited as a factor by students and families as a reason for applying. Around 55% of students receive need-based financial aid, and 20% of families pay nothing towards their child’s Harvard education. Financial aid is in the form of grants, not loans, so it does not have to be paid back. International students are considered for financial aid in exactly the same way as US citizens.
So far, 17% of admitted students come from first generation backgrounds (the first in their families to go to university), compared with 10% last year. International citizens comprise 12.2% of Early Action admits, compared with 9.6% last year.
Click here to read the full article.
Although Harvard applicants do not have to choose their concentration (or main area of study, often called a ‘major’) in advance, they are nevertheless asked to express a preference on their application forms so the university has a rough idea of the likely numbers for different subject areas. Students have the opportunity to take classes in a variety of subjects for the first 18 months before making a final decision on their concentration mid-way through their second year. Most students change their minds about their course of study during their time at Harvard, so they can rest assured that they’re not committed to any particular subject area at entry.
Many more UK students will be applying to Harvard by the Regular Action deadline of 1st January. If you are one of them, remember that many offers of admission are made during the Regular Action cycle. The admissions office has taken a conservative approach to admitting applicants in the Early Action round to ensure that all applicants, Early or Regular Action, are reviewed properly. If you are keen to apply to US colleges, here is what you should be doing now and in the coming weeks, depending on your school year:
Year 13 (England & Wales) S6 (Scotland) Year 14 (N. Ireland)
Submit your US college applications by 1st January
You should now be in the final stages of gathering together the various components of your application, ready to send off before the deadline. Check your Common App. online to make sure that your nominated referees have submitted their reports. If not, chase them up urgently. In case there are technical glitches it’s always a good idea to submit your applications early – preferably before Christmas so you can enjoy the holidays in the knowledge that the applications are all safely with the relevant admissions offices. If you are a high achieving student from a state funded school, or from a family where no one has been to university before, we very much hope that you have included Harvard as one of your choices, as we particularly welcome applications from these groups.
Year 12 (England & Wales) S5 (Scotland) Year 13 (N. Ireland)
Apply for the Sutton Trust US Programme 2021
If you fulfil the criteria for the Sutton Trust US Programme, submit your application without delay.
To be eligible to apply, you must:
- Currently be in Year 12 in England or Wales, S5 in Scotland or Year 13 in Northern Ireland
- Attend, and have always attended, a state-funded school or college in the UK (i.e. non-fee paying)
- Not hold US citizenship
- Be from a low income family (generally, this will mean a household earning £45,000 per year or less)
- Be interested in US culture and higher education
In addition, the Sutton Trust are looking for students who:
- Would be the first generation of their family to attend university
- Have been eligible for free school meals
- Attend a school or college with a below average A Level or Higher point score and/or a low rate of progression into higher education
- Live in a neighbourhood with a low rate of progression into higher education and/or a high level of socio-economic deprivation
- Have excellent GCSE or S4 qualifications. This means you have achieved at or close to the grades below. In England and Northern Ireland: at least eight GCSEs at grade A or 7 or above, or near this level. In Wales: at least eight GCSEs at grade A or above, or near this level. In Scotland: at least six B passes at National 5 or above, or near this level
The more of the above criteria you meet, the more likely you are to get a place on the programme.
Students will be selected based on similar criteria to those used by US universities:
- Academic performance and potential
- Extracurricular involvement, including school and community activities, work experience, paid work, sports and music performance, volunteering, caring responsibilities and other interests (accepting that many of these activities will have been curtailed during the coronavirus pandemic)
- Character: leadership, service, work ethic, enthusiasm, drive to succeed
- Demonstrated interest in US higher education
Applications: Students should apply online at the Sutton Trust website.
Student Application Deadline: 11.59pm, Sunday 17 January 2021
School Reference Deadline: 11.59pm, Thursday 21 January 2021
Year 11 (England & Wales) S4 (Scotland) Year 12 (N. Ireland)
Work hard at your GCSEs and develop your extracurricular profile
Top priority this year is to work hard so that you get excellent results in your GCSEs or National 5 next summer, as these will act as a gateway to whatever comes afterwards. You should also spend time developing your extracurricular activities and pursuits (as far as COVID-19 will allow) as US colleges are just as interested in your extracurricular achievements as in your academic ability.
Also, it’s not too early to start thinking about doing some kind of work experience and/or community service next summer before you start your A Levels or Highers. This will stand you in good stead for both UK and US university applications, as it will show your dedication and initiative.
Despite the lockdowns and social distancing restrictions we are all facing this holiday season, we wish all of our subscribers across the UK and the world a very safe and merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. See you all in 2021!