- The applications for the Path to Harvard award are accepted until March 31.
- Only Polish nationals can apply.
- Covid-19 is not going to stop the contest.
Natalie Portman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Matt Damon, Caroline Wozniacki, Barack Obama – all those people have one thing in common, Harvard graduate diploma. It’s an impressive calling card that leads to even more impressive bullets in the years after.
If you are Polish, until March 31, you have a chance to apply for the Path to Harvard award and become one out of four winners who get the Main Prize:
- a week trip to the US with flight and accommodation expenses covered (in October);
- meeting with Polish Harvard alumni in New York;
- visiting Boston, Cambridge, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT);
- taking part in lectures and meetings with Poles who are currently studying and working at Harvard;
- meeting with Harvard’s admissions office representatives who will introduce the recruitment requirements at the university.
Over a dozen Path to Harvard laureates will get Harvard alumni’s mentorship on the university application and ways of getting financial help.
Who covers the trip expenses?
At Harvard, there are many options to get the financial help that supports students from less affluent families. For example, 20% of Harvard College students study for free, and 55% receive financial assistance from the university.
All the expenses are covered by Harvard Club of Poland, an association of Polish Harvard graduates and other people closely connected with the university. Having been holding the contest since 2010, the Club is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Path to Harvard this year.
‘Our goal is to bring Harvard closer to the laureates and show them that studying here is doable and viable, even for people from less privileged backgrounds,’ Path to Harvard Director Agata Mazurowska-Rozdeiczer said.
It’s worth stressing that being a winner of Path to Harvard doesn’t guarantee the university admission.
Harvard Club of Poland does not provide a scholarship or financial support to study abroad. The organization’s mission is primarily mentoring on the further educational path, as well as the ways of applying for various scholarships.
Who can apply?
Anyone. No age limits. No qualification limits.
- Primary and Higher School Students
The preparation process for application at Harvard can take several years. So, it’s better to start getting ready in advance. Students of VII and VIII grades of primary schools can also take part in the competition.
Students can apply to Master’s Programs at Harvard. Organizers insist that it doesn’t matter what course you study but what idea you have for your future and how much passion you put into that.
- Higher Education Graduates
If you’ve already obtained a master’s degree, you can apply for some postgraduation programs like MBA.
How to apply?
The candidate for the Path to Harvard award has to complete two tasks:
- Write an essay (up to 300 words). The subject is:
Assume you have a chance to invite any Harvard Graduate or any of the Harvard past or current professors for a 30 minutes private lunch. Who and why would you choose to invite, and what would be three key questions you would ask them?
Organizers encourage you to show your originality in the essay and don’t go for names like Bill Gates or Natalie Portman.
2. Write an essay (up to 300 words) or record a video (up to 120 seconds) and post it on YouTube. The subject is:
Tell us the most important thing about yourself.
On May 6, the list of 30 finalists will be revealed. The next step is a one-to-one interview with the contest admission representatives. More detailed instructions on how to apply you can find at the Path to Harvard website.
As organizers admit, despite who you are, they highly value:
- academic excellent results,
- experience and leadership achievements,
- a social activity and the ability to go beyond the area of your specialization.
Good English skills are also important – you’ll need to pass the language exam to get to college.
How does Covid-19 affect the contest?
‘At the moment we do not anticipate the cancellation of the competition, but we are implementing significant changes in its course. We accept online applications until the end of March. In the next stage, interviews with candidates will probably take place online at the end of May, depending on how the pandemic situation develops. Similarly, we may announce the names of the winners online in early June instead of the gala event,’ Media Coordinator of Path to Harvard Robert Socha told ITKeyMedia.
What do the laureates from previous editions say?
Thanks to Path to Harvard program, laureates applied to Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Oxford or Cambridge. Part of the alumni came back to Poland after graduation, the other part stayed in Switzerland, Sydney, the UK, the US. And yet all of them claim the same – Path to Harvard helped them to see that studying in the world-leading universities is possible even if you don’t have millions on your bank account.
‘In March 2019, I met the laureate of one of the previous editions of Path to Harvard, Konrad Wojtowicz. He encouraged me to try myself at the competition and to apply to foreign universities. It is worth believing in yourself. The first step is the most important one. Sometimes a decision like taking part in the competition can change your life for good,’ said Andrzej Tkacz, a first-year student at Cambridge, the UK.
Being first of its kind, Path to Harvard initiative inspired Harvard alumni in other countries to launch similar programs. For instance Road to Harvard in Germany which also provides scholarships, Ukrainian Research Institute, and others.