Want a Full Ride to Harvard? Yeah, We Do Too

If I had to have a claim to fame, it might be being a Most Viewed Writer on Quora. If you aren't familiar with Quora, you aren't alone. Quora is an improved hybrid of Google and Ask Jeeves, where you can search for virtually any topic, and get answers to your questions from industry experts, … Continue reading “Want a Full Ride to Harvard? Yeah, We Do Too”

If I had to have a claim to fame, it might be being a Most Viewed Writer on Quora. If you aren't familiar with Quora, you aren't alone. Quora is an improved hybrid of Google and Ask Jeeves, where you can search for virtually any topic, and get answers to your questions from industry experts, rather than a robot. Although I would like to think of myself as an expert on Tacos and Austin, TX, I have great understanding and expertise in subjects like Higher Education in the United States and Scholarships. My gift to you during this wonderful month of February is to give you a list of the Most Frequently Asked Questions I receive, so I can help you better understand the mystical world of higher education in the United States.


To start, this is a very tall order. Getting a full-ride to any school in the United States is a challenge, and it is especially difficult to answer such a general question. Students need to understand that a school will only offer a full-ride if they see a student as a must-have asset to their university. The type of student qualities that each school considers to be "must-haves" varies, but they typically include a student in the top 1% of their class, with extracurricular involvement for 4+ years, while being involved in activities outside of school as well. Schools receive applications from hundreds of extremely qualified students who can't afford paying full tuition, however, that alone isn't a reason for them to offer you a full ride. Instead, you should ask yourself the question, "What makes me stand out that makes me deserve a full-ride over anyone else?" Play on those strengths you have on your application to help the admissions and financial aid office see why you are worthy of a full-ride scholarship.

Students also need to look into applying to scholarships as soon as possible. There are scholarships that are available to students as early as 7th and 8th grade, and it is up to you to search out for these scholarship opportunities on your own. Furthermore, you can look into loans and grants with small interest rates so you don't need to pay an unnecessary amount of money back to lenders. Do your research as early as you can.


This may be the # 1 asked question I have received, and my first reaction is "I don't know." The reason for this is that the admissions requirements and demographics that a university looks for, in their incoming freshman class, changes every year. The person who can provide you with the best answer to this question would be the admissions officer to the university, however, I don't recommend that you ask them this. Why? Because you and every other student wants to know the answer to this question, and this is not the route you should take to establish a relationship with an admissions officer.

Instead, think about how you can approach this question in a unique way. My suggestion would be to go to the School Profile that you're interested in on our site, for example San Diego State University, and input your scores into the "My Chances" section. Please note that in order to get the most accurate calculation to determine your chances of getting admitted, your Student Profile should be completely filled out with all of your academic accomplishments. If it seems that you have a shot at getting admitted, you can approach an admissions officer by saying, "After doing some research, I found that I have a fairly good shot of being admitted to your school. Have admissions criteria changed for the most recent incoming freshman class, and if so, can I learn about how to best increase my chances of getting admitted? "


Everyone wants to get into an Ivy League school, and unfortunately Ivy Leagues accept some of the smallest percentage of applicants they receive. If you haven't had a chance to read one of our recent posts about The Ivy Leagues, take a look at it. In order to get into an Ivy League school, your resume needs to be a dynamic combination of top grades, numerous extracurriculars with board positions, and work experience. Instead of asking how you can get into the Ivy Leagues, try asking, "How can I get into a school that is the best fit for me?" If you don't get into an Ivy League, but get into a school that seems to be a great fit for you, you aren't missing out on an educational opportunity by going to this lesser known school. Rather, you are allowing yourself to gain more valuable insight about your own interests and goals instead of worrying about keeping up with others. Good chance is that you'll be much happier in the long run.

Source by Kara Schell

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How to Enter Harvard Even if You Are Just Average

Only about 10% of all applicants get accepted to Harvard Business School. And until recently all but the top 20% of those accepted got in without an interview.

However, this average guy with a very average background got in, and got in without an interview.

It’s a story about how a former UPS package handler with mediocre grades and an average background used to get into Harvard Business School … shocking his friends in the process.

This applicant did not go to an Ivy League school. He did not work for a major investment bank. He did not work for a major consulting firm.

He had a 2.9 GPA when he attended Idaho State University and started off his career as a $ 8 / hour UPS package handler. Just an average guy by most definitions.

At the time, this applicant was not very familiar with Harvard Business School.

Yet, by sheer dumb luck he ended up following the same proven principles and strategies used by hundreds of other successful Harvard Business School applicants …

One of the fundamental flaws this applicant made early on was he focused on his weaknesses – instead of his strengths. Like all of us, he had some self-doubt. He kept thinking to himself, “Maybe I’m not Harvard Business School material.”

Fortunately, he shifted his mindset away from why he did not belong at Harvard Business School … and focused on why he did … and more importantly he communicated this in his application.

So instead of getting hung up on the fact that he started his career as a UPS package handler, he talked about how within months he ended up leading a team of 50 package handlers.

He explained how the 50 people he inherited were constantly bickering and fighting amongst each other. He discussed how he figured out the cause of the real problem, what he thought to himself at the time, and what he did about it.

Finally, he talked about the results he achieved … how within 90 days it was one of the best running teams in the sorting facility. He did all this when he was only 22 years old.

To his friends at the time, he was the “UPS Guy.” They would have never suspected he would be Harvard Business School material because they could not hear what was going on in this leader’s head.

But, Harvard Business School did – through his application. They probably thought, “How many people in the world could have done that? And this applicant did it when he was 22.

This applicant told them exactly what he did next. He told them how later in his life he lived in the inner city of Chicago while working for a well-known company. He shared how as a tall “white” guy he mentored dozens of African-American teenagers that lived on his block.

He talked about how he was a role model, a leader really, that helped the kids on his block steer their lives away from drugs and violence. He showed Harvard Business School how he did all this even after working all day at his “day job”.

He discussed what happened to the neighborhood kids when he moved out of Chicago. These teenagers had become leaders themselves. These teenagers took over where this person left off … by getting their friends to stay away from drugs and violence.

This applicant demonstrated his success in one of the toughest leadership challenges – creating leaders.

This applicant showed Harvard Business School how he was a leader, how he is a leader, and how he will continue to be a leader. He showed Harvard Business School how he had a great leadership trajectory – the key to getting into Harvard Business School.
Harvard Business School saw in his application someone who was going to be a leader in whatever he did in his life. Despite his weaknesses, they saw his potential … his trajectory … and they wanted him as an alumnus.

How badly did they want him?

He got in without an interview. In his year, Harvard Business School accepted around 10% of all applicants and interviewed all but the top 20% of those admitted. He was in the top 2% of all applicants.

Pretty impressive for someone who was just a “UPS Guy” and did not think he was Harvard Business School material.

The moral of the story? The best way to convince people (Harvard evaluators are people, too, you know) of your leadership potential is knowing how to write all the little leadership experiences you have had when you were still a student, a fresh graduate, a rookie employee, a junior executive, and so on ..

Source by Ismael Tabije