Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Does Harvard SSP have an impact on undergraduate admissions??

tiago6tiago6 Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
edited April 2012 in Harvard University
Hi everyone. I was wondering if the harvard summer school for high school students it's worth taking in terms of admission. It must be a wonderful experience anyway but the only reason i would do it for, is the improved chance for undergraduate admission on the fall.
So, does it really influence a decision or harvard just want to make 10000 dollars per student???
Post edited by tiago6 on

Replies to: Does Harvard SSP have an impact on undergraduate admissions??

  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,150 Senior Member
    Going to Harvard Summer School will not help you directly in admissions. However if you have a passion for a certain subject and taking that course is a logical way to gain additional knowledge it can be helpful. For example, my older son who loved computer programming took a course in computer graphics at Columbia's summer school. What he learned helped guide him for future summers when he was able to get a job using computer programming. (He also learned that graphics was not the field for him.)
  • rr5001rr5001 Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    everything ive seen says that ssp does not help, explicitly so. But ive been wondering the same thing since 1. it shows interest in the school 2. helps show passion in a certain field.

    I suggest that w/e you take there, if you decide to go, continue advancing your knowledge in that area through something you can show on your application.
  • SikorskySikorsky Registered User Posts: 5,851 Senior Member
    Demonstrating interest in Harvard doesn't help an applicant's chances. Harvard has just about the highest yield in the country, and Harvard already feels pretty darn confident that an overwhelming majority of its applicants are quite interested in Harvard.

    As for Harvard Summer School, it's something productive that you can do with your summer, but it doesn't help your chances for admission to Harvard College any more than any other productive summer activity does.
  • tiago6tiago6 Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    I understand, but I´m a international student (Europe), wouldn´t that be considered as unusual if I did the program and maybe raise my chances when I apply in the fall???
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,484 Senior Member
    ^^ No. According to this article, in 2011 19% of Harvard SSP (1235 students) were international students: About 19 Percent of Summer School Students Are Internationals | News | The Harvard Crimson

    "Approximately 6,500 students have enrolled at Harvard Summer School, making this year’s one of the largest summer classes in the program’s history. The program’s students represent over 200 colleges and universities, 49 states, possessions, and territories, and over 100 countries.

    Approximately 19 percent of students studying at Harvard this summer are internationals, a higher figure than the typical 10 percent of international students enrolled during the normal school year.

    This summer, Harvard issued over 1,100 I-20s, the educational visas for international students."
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    tiago: all it shows is that you come from a wealthy family. That, in and of itself, won't assist you in Harvard College admissions.
  • tiago6tiago6 Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    actually it would be a huge effort for my family to pay something like this, that´s way i wanted to make sure that it was worth the effort. Probably it doesn´t.. I just want to find something for the summer that will make me jump from the page when they see my app...well that is what everybody wants..
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,150 Senior Member
    Harvard really, really doesn't care about demonstrated interest. My older son even told his interviewer it wasn't his first choice and they still accepted him!

    Harvard would consider spending your summer working and helping your family finances just as, if not more, valuable.
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,687 Senior Member
    It is not worth the effort. I really think you should redirect your energy elsewhere. If you bring a high level of interest and persistence to a more realistic school, your odds will be better.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    It doesn't help any more than taking a college class somewhere else. And spending a summer taking a college class isn't impressive to Harvard, even if you get an "A". It will help solidify the academic part of your profile, but in terms of Harvard admissions you would be better off setting up some community service organization in your town and spending your time on that in the summer.

    However, taking a college class may help for other colleges. A bunch of people I knew at MIT had done Harvard SSP as a junior. I'm sure it helps at Caltech and some of the ivies for which having a very strong academic profile likely means you will get in (Dartmouth, Cornell). Since Yale is not quite as strong in the sciences, I think it may help to get in there if you get an "A" in a college science class (not completely sure about that.)

    If you WANT to take a class, it is a great way to spend your summer because you will learn a lot. It will help you develop intellectually, and this will be an advantage long term. For most graduate schools, they are not going to care about all these ECs.
  • tiago6tiago6 Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    In Portugal we don´t have these things, I simply can´t take college classes without being an undergraduate or graduate student, so I would have to go to the US and do this kind of program, even if it is not at Harvard. My main point is, ecen if I do this in any college(ivy league) will it help my admission chances??
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,687 Senior Member
    Coming to the U.S. to take courses as a non-degree candidate is probably not a good way to spend your money. Enrolling as a full-time community college student in the US might make more sense -- it would be cheaper, you'd be moving toward your degree, and if you do well, you will set yourself up as a strong transfer candidate to US universities after two years.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    The general consensus is no because if they favored SSP students, they would be favoring the wealthy and disadvantaging those less wealthy for having fewer opportunities.

    You could say that about anything. Music/sports lessons and equipment all cost money. Even some community service things cost money.

    Showing academic maturity (e.g., being able to do well in college classes) does help in admissions for most top schools. Taking classes is just one way to do this. I just think because Harvard is so competitive and its primary emphasis isn't on getting intellectuals that summer school doesn't help (and it may hurt because you aren't doing something else.) If you are sophomore, however, then it might be a good way to spend the summer even for Harvard.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    In Portugal we don´t have these things, I simply can´t take college classes without being an undergraduate or graduate student, so I would have to go to the US and do this kind of program, even if it is not at Harvard. My main point is, ecen if I do this in any college(ivy league) will it help my admission chances??

    #1 Is there any financial aid for Harvard SSP?

    #2 I agree with Hanna that it isn't the best use of money.

    I would see if you can find international students from Portugal at the ivies. Ask them what they had. This is the best way to figure out what you need to be doing. International admissions is separate from domestic admissions, anyway.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,484 Senior Member
    ^^ Financial Aid | Harvard Summer School

    Harvard SSP Financial Aid is not available for international students.
This discussion has been closed.