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09/08/2019

How do i get a scolarship to an Ivy League school?

QUESTION
How do i get a scolarship to an Ivy League school?
How would i get a scolarship to an Ivy League school (Harvard in particular). Do they look for a certain amount of AP courses, or a lot of community service? I’m from Canada so do you need extra courses?

I’m a couple of years away from university but any tips would help. I’m really looking for a scolarship so i just want to know how i would get one. Thank you so much!

ANSWER
http://www.fao.fas.harvard.edu/qa_prospe…

Most notable: Harvard doesn’t give academic scholarships, so doing well in school will only get you IN, and not give you any money. Scholarships are need-based only. They are available to foreign students, but fair warning: in my experience, it is very rare for international students to get financial aid, to any major private university. You have to be a real superstar and very financially needy.

I’m not readily familiar with the differences in the Canadian school system, but I looked it up, and you would follow the exact same admissions procedure as a US student, and don’t need a special application (you may have already known that). My best guess of where you will need to make things up is with your standardized test scores — make sure you take the SAT, and there may be a discrepancy in how your school system calculates grade point average. You likely won’t need extra courses.

Harvard and all the Ivy Leagues look for, well, superstars. You should be academically excellent. Most applicants have perfect grades and near-perfect or perfect test scores. They all have a laundry list of activities, and leadership roles in these activities. They are well-spoken and write stellar, original essays. They usually have a lot of awards, from various competitions and school functions. After that, there are all sorts of quotas, financial/legacy and just dumb-luck things to consider, but those are generally the things you can’t control and the “dirtier” side of college admissions.

Use your coming from Canada as an advantage, and put an original spin on why you want to attend an American university instead of an institution in your own country — a lot of times what gets someone in over someone else is a unique angle! I would also not only apply to the Ivy Leages, but also to other top tier and 2nd tier private universities – you are more likely to get a scholarship from a non-Ivy. Some private universities are notoriously generous, other notoriously stingy. Harvard is pretty stingy. And university in Canada is relatively cheap, so use those as back-ups!