Every single high school student around the world heard the name of Harvard University. No doubt, Harvard is one of the best universities around the world and many authorities even rank it as the best higher education institution with convincing confirmations. Accordingly, Harvard becomes a dream school for millions of students not only in the United States but also around the world. But many questions raise about this reputation and those questions are including but not limited to “why Harvard University is so famous?”, “what makes it so popular and successful?” In this blog, I will give you some simple information about the university and, so that, we can see its unique characteristics with respect to its reputation. Let’s start with its history.
Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the US. It was founded in 1636 by John Harvard. Harvard is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The university, which provided religious education in its early years, became secular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Later, the institution became the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. After the American civil war, Harvard President William Eliot transformed the school into a modern research center. School admissions were liberalized after the Great Depression and the Second World War.
How does such institution become a legend?
In fact, we can understand this by evaluating the school from different perspectives. For example, we can get an idea about the source of this reputation by looking at the college properties. Harvard has one of the most beautiful campuses blended with one of the oldest cities in the United States. The school has three campuses. The main campus is the Cambridge Campus at Harvard Yard, and it is 209-acre. It has a campus next to the Charles River and medical campus in the Longwood Medical Area as well.
The amount of endowment assets owned by the school is $53.2 billion, which makes it the richest academic institution. Of course, this presence does not only show that the school is very wealthy. It also ensures that the school does not consider the financial needs of the students when admitting, the university calls this need-blind admission and provide generous financial aid. For example, in 2020, Harvard University announced that their financial aid program is expanded and now families with annual incomes of up to $75,000 will be expected to contribute nothing to the cost of their child’s education. Additionally, the school’s library, the Harvard Library, is the biggest academic library system in the world. The system includes 79 libraries and more than 20 million items. Moreover, Harvard University’s Widener Library is the second largest library in the United States.
The achievements of the school are also eye-catching. Among Harvard’s alumni, faculty and researchers, there are numerous Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, members of the US Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, and Fulbright Scholars. Alumni include eight US presidents and 188 billionaires alive today. In this sense, Harvard has the highest number compared to any other university. 14 Turing Awards, 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 110 Olympic medals, 46 of which are gold, have been won by people affiliated with Harvard.
There are many well-known companies founded by alumni. Microsoft, founded in 1975, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, international investment banks and financial services providers, Facebook, and Electronic Arts, which we know from games, are just a few of the companies founded by Harvard graduates.
Let’s talk about the prominent alumni of the school. Former US presidents Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, Franklin Roosevelt; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, famous actress Natalie Portman, Oscar-winning actor and screenwriter Matt Damon, former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki, banker David Rockefeller are just a few of the graduates. These few examples alone help us understand where the school’s reputation comes from.
The school and its achievements are impressive. Well, but is it easy to get into Harvard? Under what conditions do they accept students?
It is quite normal that the number of students who want to enter the school, which has the title of the second-best school in the US after Princeton University. Last year, 57,786 students applied to Harvard, and only 2,320 of them were accepted. It corresponds to an acceptance rate of about 4%. The early application acceptance rate, which we described in this blog, is slightly higher, 13.9%. Half of the students admitted to the school have SAT scores between 1460 and 1580 and ACT scores between 33 and 35.
Although it is quite difficult to enter this school, it is not impossible. With a quality background and an impressive application, it is possible to get admitted to these schools. When applying to a school with a low acceptance rate of 4 percent, even the smallest details can open the doors of Harvard for you. Therefore, it may be very beneficial for you to get professional help and increase your chances of being accepted.
By Furkan Kan
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