Harvard University

35 Harvard Essays That Worked

Updated for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle.

About Harvard

One of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard University is the United States’ oldest college. Steeped in a rich 400 year history, Harvard's rich academic and research environment has fostered some of the world's brightest minds. Students at this Cambridge-based school have access to a world-class education and a community with exceptional talents, resources, and connections. Indeed, Harvard’s alumni includes presidents, billionaires, and award-winning researchers. Motivated students and passionate faculty members make it possible for Harvard's students to pursue their passions and gain the experience they need to realize their goals and make the world a better place.

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Cambridge, MA

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Real Essays from Harvard Admits

Prompt: Your intellectual life may extend beyond the academic requirements of your particular school. Please use the space below to list additional intellectual activities that you have not mentioned or detailed elsewhere in your application. These could include, but are not limited to, supervised or self-directed projects not done as school work, training experiences, online courses not run by your school, or summer academic or research programs not described elsewhere.

Leisure Reading: Silent Spring—Rachel Carson The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—Douglas Adams The Old Man and the Sea—Ernest Hemingway Blood Meridian, The Road—Cormac McCarthy Die Welt von Gestern—Stefan Zweig Cicero—Anthony Everret Independent research: Used GIS mapping and Berkeley’s Transportation Injury Mapping System to analyze traffic collision data in my city. Books: The Death and Life of Great American Cities—Jane Jacobs The Color of Law—Richard Rothstein Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance—Andonia E. Lugo Historical research areas from hours perusing Wikipedia, YouTube, and scholarly articles: 19th Century Urbanism and the Sanitation Revolution Implications of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the British betrayal of the Hashemites Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas’ nationalization of Mexican oil and foundation of PEMEX Mercantilism and how it stunted Iberian colonies’ development post-independence Fall of the Roman Republic Norman Conquest of England The Trial of Charles I CA Dominguez, Victor CEEB: 050438 Fall 2023 15 FY RD CAID: 34107877 Risorgimento Among others.

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Essay by Víctor Gabriel Domínguez

i love everything cities <3

Prompt: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.

Trump Rejects “Man-Made” Climate Change, the news alert on my phone reads. The world’s constant injustices tempt me to punch a wall. Instead, my hand rushes to the keyboard, applying irony and humor to transform this frustration into laughter for The Scallion, my school’s satirical newspaper: Trump Sends Prayers to Amazon Forest Fires, Hopes Jeff Bezos Alright Bombarded by news streams, I’m constantly swirling in an ocean of injustice and contradictions, but satire is my breath of fresh air—my way to wade through the sea of disillusionment. Even during lockdown, I created online platforms for The Scallion to continue producing content for my school community and to bring some stillness to rough waters. The true reward of my team’s work, beyond producing smiles, is enabling others to think critically and to question the world around them, whether we’re satirizing climate change deniers or merely my school’s unbearably long lunch lines.

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Essay by Sarah J.

CS @ Stanford | Sharing the essays that got me into top schools (14 acceptances, 2 waitlists, and 0 rejections)!

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