How to enter Harvard and Princeton

Overseas-education | 29 Jan 2021

Each year, entry into the best universities in the world is becoming more competitive than ever, especially for international students. While overseas universities claim that they do not have a quota for international students, it is a fact that they do try to balance the percentage of students they admit from each city and country in the world to maintain diversity. In 2020, there were roughly 40,000 applicants to Harvard, and yet only roughly 1,900 applicants were admitted, making the acceptance rate a measly 4.9%. How does a student differentiate themselves from 40,000 other students who are just as academically gifted as them?

Academic Interest, Leadership and Community Engagement

A big part of what universities look for in an applicant is their compatibility with their major choice and how they have demonstrated their interest in this field through inside of school and outside of school opportunities. The students who really stand out are those who show leadership capabilities and are able to use their talents to contribute to their community. For instance, our student who entered Harvard for International Relations a few years ago was the captain of his school’s debate team, a leader of his Model United Nations team and a founder of a charitable organization. Our student who was admitted to Princeton for Biochemistry recently spent a whole year in a lab doing research about DNA amongst professors and masters students; he also founded a nonprofit organization that offers free stem courses to underprivileged students in Hong Kong.

The truth is not every student might be as motivated and academically competitive as these two, but every student should now understand that for entry into university, having good grades is just the minimum. Students in their last three years of high school should start thinking about their career interests and strategize  how they can participate in extracurricular activities that could help them gain experience in these areas.

Lee Educational Consulting is an admissions counselling and tutoring centre dedicated to helping students enter the best universities in US, UK and HK. For more tips on portfolio building and university admissions, you can visit and schedule a free consultation with us!

Lee Educational Consulting

Address: 1625A, 16th Floor, Star House, No. 3, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2722 7128

Wechat: ljasonkh


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