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2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Is Horizon Research Academy reliable?
Answered

Hey! I have applied for a research programme at Horizon Academic And I have an interview today. Is it reliable? Would it be a great addition to my application? How much importance would it hold on my application? Oh btw it costs 5000 dollars. Thank you!

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Accepted Answer
2 months ago

I'm not a STEM person but I know that I certainly wouldn't be excited to attend the Horizon Research Academy in Newark, N.J. First of all, Newark is a depressing place and no one can disagree with that. Yes, you might not have to go there because the fees are just to hook you up with some instructor at a remote location online.

Second of all of the 13 staff, there is only 1 Ph.D. from less than top University in Italy (ranked #21 in Italy, #367 globally), 6 Masters degrees, 3 of which are from outside the country, and the rest a hodgepodge of credentials. So the first red flag besides location is that I don't believe their staff has an inside track at any school in the US besides UPenn because 3 of them went there. Since they are neither former college professors nor old enough to have a long list of published research themselves, I would hesitate to think how they are going to help a high school kid find the right external professor to conduct a viable research project with.

I would much rather attend a real college HS program because at least the reputation of the college stands behind it and you are getting taught by some real instructors. If I'm an HS kid and can see through this pay-to-pay schema to prop up or pad your academic resume that I'm certain that Admissions Officers will not give this program much weight in their decision to accept you or not.

My recommendations:

1. It's 1000% more impressive to find your own research project and curate that with your own emails and phone calls. Having someone broker that for you, can be seen as lazy and uninspiring.

2. Unless you have no more room to improve your core ECs, Essays, Test Scores, Academic Rigor, I would focus on that since it's really hard for to get into Top colleges these days.

3. Some random ideas that cost money but have more clout:

https://www.cmu.edu/pre-college/academic-programs/summer-session.html

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/Opportunities-High-School-Undergraduate-Postbac-Students/Opportunities%20for%20High%20School%20Students/

https://summer.jhu.edu/programs-courses/pre-college-programs/

https://mitadmissions.org/apply/prepare/summer/

https://ctlo.caltech.edu/outreach/summerprograms

https://precollege.berkeley.edu/

https://precollege.sps.columbia.edu/highschool/academic-year-immersion

https://summer.harvard.edu/high-school-programs/pre-college-program/

None of these will help you get into those schools but they help with your academic rigor and your intellectual curiosity which are markers that AOs look for on college applications.

Good luck

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