Harvard Outreach Newsletter

112th Issue, December 2022

In this issue:

Early Action admits to the Harvard Class of 2027

A nail biting day on 15 December for early applicants to the Harvard College class of 2027 (who will arrive on campus in August 2023) came to a close at 7.00pm Eastern Time (12 midnight in the UK) as notifications were sent to the 722 successful applicants out of the 9,553 who applied from around the world (reports the Harvard Gazette). Those who have been offered admission have until 1st May to make a final decision on whether or not to accept their offer. Take-up is generally very high as entry to one of the world’s most prestigious universities is a difficult offer to turn down!  Several successful candidates were from the UK, so congratulations to you all.

Click here to see a short video made by current Harvard students welcoming the Class of 2027. Keep a lookout for Cormac Savage from Northern Ireland who is in his 2nd year and is employed as a Harvard tour guide. (He is the 5th speaker on the video).

So far, more than 14% of admitted students come from first-generation college backgrounds (the first in their families to go to university), compared with nearly 12% last year. International citizens comprise 14.1% of Early Action admits, compared with 12.6% last year.

If you have been notified that your application has been deferred, this means it will be fully re-assessed during the Regular Action round in the New Year, and you will receive a final decision on 30th March 2023.

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 most offers of admission are made during the Regular Action cycle so your chances of getting in are just as good as for Early Action applicants.

Standardized testing to remain optional at Harvard for another three years

The Harvard Gazette reports that the current admissions cycle – for the class of 2027 – is the third for which students have been able to apply to Harvard without requiring standardized testing. The report goes on:

Consistent with Harvard’s whole-person admissions process, standardized tests are one factor among many considered. Accomplishments in and out of the classroom during the high school years – including extracurricular activities, community involvement, employment, and family responsibilities – are considered as part of the admissions process.

“We would like to take this opportunity again to remind students who do not submit standardized test scores that they will not be disadvantaged in their application process,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. 

Standardized testing for Harvard applicants will remain optional for the next three application cycles for the Classes of 2028, 2029 and 2030. 

What you need to be doing right now if you want to apply to US colleges

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.  It’s always a good idea to submit your applications a few days before the deadline in case of last minute technical glitches. 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.

Applicants to Harvard and most other US colleges do not have to choose their concentration (or main area of study, often called a ‘major’) in advance, but you are nevertheless asked to express a preference on your application form so the university has a rough idea of the likely numbers for different concentrations. For the first 18 months, students are encouraged to take classes in a variety of different areas – including subjects they have not previously had the opportunity to study – before making a final decision on their concentration mid-way through the second year.  Most students change their minds about their course of study during their time at Harvard, so you can rest assured that you will not be committed to any particular subject area when you start your degree.

Year 12 (England & Wales) S5 (Scotland) Year 13 (N. Ireland) Apply for the Sutton Trust US Programme 2023

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.
  • Have attended schools with a lower than average progression to higher education, or a higher than average proportion of students who qualify for free school meals.
  • 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 secure a place.

Selection criteria

Students will complete an online application modelled on the US Common Application and Financial Aid forms. This will help the Sutton Trust to conduct a holistic review of your application, and will get students in the mindset of the US admissions process.  

  • 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.
  • Character: leadership, service, work ethic, enthusiasm, drive to succeed.
  • Demonstrated interest in US higher education.  

Applications: Students should apply online at: https://us.suttontrust.com/how-to-apply/
Student application form deadline: 11.59pm, Sunday 15 January 2023
School reference form deadline: 11.59pm, Wednesday 18 January 2023

Year 11 (England & Wales) S4 (Scotland) Year 12 (N. Ireland) Work hard at your GCSEs or National 5s and develop your extracurricular profile

Top priority this year is to work hard so that you get excellent results in your GCSEs or National 5s 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 US colleges are just as interested in your achievements outside the classroom 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. 

A Christmas Card

A Christmas Card - Harvard Yard in the Snow 2022

A very merry Christmas and happy New Year to all our readers from the Harvard UK Outreach team. See you in 2023!

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