The name ‘Harvard’ arises more often than that of any other North American university when the topic of quality comes up for discussion. It is widely felt that Harvard is “as good as it gets”. By any measure, Harvard is a great university. The question for you to consider is whether or not Harvard is a good match for you. There are many great universities. They come in all sizes and configurations. Only some of them are a good match for you. Is Harvard one of those good matches?
Entering Harvard right out of high school is hard; it’s hard to be chosen over the thousands of other candidates. In our experience, Harvard wants high school students who are utterly Sincere about their post-secondary studies and about learning in general. The good prospect needs to be Passionate about learning and about other things and this passion needs to show, both in the classroom and in the student’s extra-curricular activities. The freshman candidate needs to demonstrate a positive Attitude towards the world, its joys and its challenges. The good prospect needs to be Resourceful in the search for answers to questions and s/he needs to come with a healthy complement of Knowledge already available. SPARK is our acronym. We know that a freshman candidate with SPARK has a better chance of admission at Harvard than does a candidate lacking in these qualities.
It is difficult to show your SPARK in the online application that Harvard uses, but good planning, and attention to detail in your high school career (starting years before you graduate) can go a long way. Maybe you need a school where there is less pressure to perform; perhaps you need some time after high school to develop your SPARK. Perhaps you want a smaller school than Harvard; perhaps a larger one. Maybe you don’t want to be in the busy Boston metro area. Maybe you see Harvard as a suitable graduate school destination, but not the right place for your undergraduate studies.
This is all good, – the school you choose has to fit……..but if you see Harvard as the place you want to go right out of high school, pay attention to your SPARK!
Sincerity Passion Attitude Resourcefulness Knowledge