Boston Globe Article: Harvard gives edge to local Applicants

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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Boston Globe Article: Harvard gives edge to local Applicants
By Alan5 (Alan5) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:03 am: Edit

Harvard and other schools give an edge to local applicants:

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:08 am: Edit

It has never been a secret. I have heard Harvard acoms say in public that they want students from Cambridge, particularly the Cambridge public high schools, and have had a hard time attracitng such students.

Frankly, I would be concerned about any school, no matter what the school's quality, if it didn't have some kind of special outreach to its local community.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:26 am: Edit

Northstarmom, I agree totally with you. All universities have ties with their local communities. An why shouldn't they? If Massachusetts were a more populous state, more than 15% of its students would be in-staters. Look at Columbia, Cornell and Stanford. All of them have over 25% of their students come from their home state. As it stands, Mass has a population of 6 million. Had Mass had a population of 35 million, like California, you can be sure that Harvard, like Stanford, would be 50% in-state.

By Alan5 (Alan5) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 10:33 am: Edit


By Justice (Justice) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:25 am: Edit

I just want to add that it's not necessarily easier for the locals--a LOT more apply too. I have friends at RL (roxbury latin, best ivy feeder in the world), which is like a few miles away from Harvard, and they tell me that the competition is so intense that Harvard expects either insanely high scores/grades or extreme poverty + URM with hardship. I'm sure Palo Alto, Cupertino, San Jose kids go through the same thing with Stanford.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:42 am: Edit

I can tell you at Stanford it's a disadvantage to be local. First, there are so many staff kids to be accomodated. Second, the area is much more filled with legacies than Cambridge and the other towns because of all the people like me who came for Stanford and stayed for the weather and Silicon Valley. Third, so many CA kids want to stay in CA and Stanford is often first choice so the competition is brutal among these kids. Much easier to get into HYP from our top high schools without a connection.

By Alan5 (Alan5) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 12:38 pm: Edit

The article states that "Harvard University gives preference to students from the communities where the school owns substantial property."

Its quid pro quo. When Harvard wants to build a new building or acquire more land in Cambridge, the first question that the community will ask is what's in it for us--you're a 501(c) (3) non-profit institution that does not pay any taxes. Harvard's answer is: we will give your children an edge in admission and offer scholarship money.

Harvard recently acquired over 100 acres of land on the other side of the river in Allston. Harvard's president, Lawrence Summers, recently announced that the school plans to build a new $1 billion campus on the land. You can bet that the City of Boston will want something in return, likely in the form of scholarships and an edge in admissions for local applicants. However, what cities like Boston and Cambridge fail to recognize is that Havard and other schools pump billions of dollars into the local economy on an annual basis and employ thousands of local residents.

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