8 months ago
Admissions Advice

Can I place activities in Additional Information section of Harvard Summer School application?

I'm applying to the Secondary School Program of Harvard Summer School, but the application has no activities section. I mentioned some of my activities very briefly in my essays, but would it be okay to talk about them in more detail in the Additional Information section? Also, would it be better to just list them and what I do there (like in the CommonApp activities section) or write a short essay about them? Thanks for answering!


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Accepted Answer
8 months ago

I would only use the additional information section to talk about important facts about yourself, your passions, your character, your unique circumstances if you feel they are not adequately represented in the rest of your application. This is no different than what is expected and the main purpose of the additional information section on various college portals.

If they have not created a place to list out your extracurricular activities on their summer school application, then you have to assume that this information is not relevant to them making a decision to be admitted either into the 2 weeks or 7-week program. Just because something doesn't exist doesn't mean the organizer's intent was otherwise nor should you read into that as inconsistent with how other summer programs do things.

You are not going to be rejected or accepted based on either listing your activities or writing about them in the additional information section because they are not asking for either of these things. But I would caution you on assuming they need to know about them or want to know about them unless it is of particular importance to who you are as a person, something again that you have not covered anywhere in the rest of the application.

Keep in mind that that answering the prompt is more important than adding more information. This is a pay-to-play Summer school program that you are doing as an extracurricular activity. Rarely do these programs give you a leg up on any other qualified Harvard applicant so keep that in mind as well.

While Harvard does want to see their future applicants have evidence of intellectual curiosity, I would add that there are other ways that are equally as beneficial to getting college credits as a fraction of the cost since you are doing it online for the most part anyway. As an alternative to spending $6500 for 4 credits or $13,000 for 8 credits, you can take an Outlier.org college course for $400 and get a transcript that can be used as transferable credits in 6 different subjects. Also, you can take almost anything in the course catalog from your local community college for the same amount or less.

Maybe this doesn't apply to you because you are determined to put this on your academic resume but I leave the information for the other C.V. members who are reading this response because I think it is quite affordable and easy to access other institutions of higher learning in the summertime to pad your transcript with interesting coursework.

Good luck and have a good summer online no matter where you end up.


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