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So the junior class had its school-based award ceremony today. Along with the spirit and academic awards, apparently my school also hands out book awards to juniors. I got the Harvard one, and a bunch of other people near the top of my class got books from UK, WKU, RPI, Yale, Princeton, Notre Dame, etc.
Now, I'm not exactly sure how these awards work. All the people who got them were near or tied for the top in the class. Some people got them based on legacy (my friend whose parents both went to UVa but who is also a very good student) or at least siblings attending their schools (UofL, UK). The people who got awards from HYP had no connection at all to them.
I'm wondering how I got chosen for this. I was definitely considering Harvard, but was in no way thinking I was a shoe-in or even someone with good chances, since I have no hook, sport, or special talent that H seems to be looking for. I do, however, have the highest quantitative stats in my grade. So, onto my questions.
What are the criteria for this award? On a CC thread from 8 years ago, posters were saying that the award is entirely meaningless, while others said the H award is reserved for the highest stat student. Perhaps this depends on which local section gave you your award? That brings me to my next question...
Should this go in the award section? Is this an award that reflects my abilities at least in comparison with my peers?
Do I only mention this in H related things like the interview and any supplementals (haven't looked into if they are required at H)? Can I put this on my app to, say, Princeton or MIT and have it still be recognized, or will they simply think they are not my first choices?
Does this mean Harvard is looking at me especially, or at least that as of right now they think I'm the most likely to get in from my school?
Any other clarifying comments are welcome. Wikipedia and past CC threads seemed unhelpful, so I'm counting on you guys! I don't expect this to be a high-caliber award since 2000 people get it each year and I didn't have to do anything for it directly to get it, but anything helps!