Mentioned 3rd party university
I took courses online from edX, and one course that was particularly interesting was from MIT. I feel connected and it does give inspiration for me in studying the topic. Do I include this story mentioning MIT in the essay of other university (Harvard)?
If not, I could just state that I learned from edX, but which way is better?
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I am just giving you my opinion, so you can totally ignore me. Harvard specifically has a place to write any online certificated and courses you took, so you should definitely put it there. In all other universities (except MIT if you are applying there) I would recommend just giving the name of the course/topic, without specifying the university. Again, this is just my opinion :).
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