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How To Answer Harvard's 2023/24 Supplemental Essays: Tips & Insights

How To Answer Harvard's 2023/24 Supplemental Essays: Tips & Insights

What's New in 2023/24

What are Harvard's Essay Prompts?

How to Answer Harvard's Essay Prompts

General Guidelines

Explore the changes in Harvard's supplemental essay prompts for 2023/24, understand the nuances of each question, and gain insights on crafting compelling responses with our detailed guide, complete with expert tips and links to successful Harvard essay examples.

Harvard's 2023/24 Supplemental Essay Updates: What's Changed?

Gaining admission to Harvard is no small feat, with acceptance rates sometimes plummeting as low as 3% . In such a competitive environment, every component of your application, especially your essay, becomes a crucial tool to stand out to admissions officers.

Every year, top-tier universities like Harvard fine-tune their application process to get a deeper understanding of their applicants. For the 2023/24 admissions cycle, Harvard University has made notable modifications to its supplemental essay questions .

Last year, applicants had a mix of required and optional prompts, with varying word limits, ranging from 50 to 150 words. These prompts touched on extracurricular activities, intellectual experiences, personal backgrounds, and more.

This year, Harvard has streamlined the process, requiring all applicants to answer five questions, each with a strict 200-word limit . The questions emphasize the importance of diversity, intellectual experiences, extracurricular activities, the utilization of a Harvard education, and personal insights for potential roommates.

This shift indicates a desire for more concise, focused responses from applicants, allowing the admissions committee to gain a clearer, more uniform understanding of each student's background, aspirations, and personality.

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What Are Harvard’s Supplemental Essay Prompts for 2023/24?

For the 2023/24 application cycle, Harvard University has outlined specific supplemental essay prompts to understand applicants better in addition to the Common App or Coalition App questions. These questions delve into your experiences, intellectual pursuits, and personal insights. Students are required to answer each Harvard-specific question in under 200 words. Here's a breakdown of the prompts:

  • Diversity and Contribution : Harvard values a diverse student body. Reflect on your life experiences and explain how they have shaped you and how you plan to contribute to Harvard. (200 words)
  • Intellectual Experience : Discuss an intellectual experience that has had a significant impact on you. (200 words)
  • Personal Shaping Experiences : Elaborate on extracurricular activities, employment, travel, or family responsibilities that have played a pivotal role in defining who you are. (200 words)
  • Future Aspirations : Describe how you envision utilizing your Harvard education in the future. (200 words)
  • Getting to Know You : List three things your future roommates should know about you. (200 words)

These prompts offer applicants a chance to showcase their personalities, aspirations, and experiences, providing a holistic view of their candidacy.

Looking for inspiration? Dive into these Harvard essay examples to see what successful applications look like!

How to Answer Harvard’s Supplemental Essay Questions?

This guide aims to help you craft a compelling response that showcases your unique journey and potential contributions to Harvard's diverse community.

As you begin planning responses to each individual prompt, be sure to consider what experiences, reflections, and qualities you want to showcase once you’ve responded to all the prompts:

  • Ensure you won’t leave out any important experiences, reflections, and qualities you want Harvard to know about.
  • Be sure you’ll avoid repeating the same experiences, reflections, or qualities in the other prompts.

Answering Prompt 1

Harvard values a diverse student body. reflect on your life experiences and explain how they have shaped you and how you plan to contribute to harvard., - 200 words or fewer, 1. understand the question.

Harvard is not merely asking for a list of experiences. They want to understand the depth of your experiences , how they've molded your character, and how you'll use that growth to contribute to the Harvard community.

Since Harvard is telling you they value diversity, consider emphasizing unique experiences or circumstances that highlight the most personal and profound aspects of your personality, values, and perspectives.

2. Reflect on Your Unique Experiences

Consider moments in your life that have had a significant impact on your worldview:

  • Have you lived in multiple countries, exposing you to various cultures?
  • Did you overcome challenges that forced you to view the world differently?
  • Were there pivotal moments in your upbringing that shaped your identity?
  • How did interactions with diverse individuals or groups influence your perspectives?

3. Dive Deep into Personal Growth

Discuss the evolution of your perspectives, values, or aspirations.

  • How did these experiences challenge your beliefs or expand your understanding?
  • What lessons did you derive, and how have they influenced your subsequent actions or decisions?
  • What experiences or reflections shape your deepest beliefs and values? — or, shape some deep questions or doubts you wrestle with?

4. Connect to Harvard

Consider how your unique perspective will enrich Harvard's community .

  • Will you introduce new viewpoints in classroom discussions or help teams work together more successfully?
  • Will you contribute to or initiate student organizations or community projects?
  • Will you exemplify certain traits that enhance a vibrant, curious, and inclusive learning environment?

5. Be Concise and Authentic

With a 200-word limit, precision is key. Ensure your narrative is genuine, making your essay resonate with the reader. Avoid generic statements; instead, provide specific examples that showcase your journey.

Harvard's first supplemental essay is an opportunity to showcase the depth of your experiences and how they've shaped you . Reflecting on significant moments, emphasizing personal growth, and connecting your unique perspective to how you'll contribute to Harvard is essential. Remember to be concise, authentic, and ensure your essay is polished to perfection.

Answering Prompt 2

Discuss an intellectual experience that has had a significant impact on you..

This question aims to help you articulate the depth and significance of an intellectual experience and its profound impact on your academic and personal journey.

1. Define "Intellectual Experience"

Before diving in, understand that an intellectual experience isn't limited to classroom learning . It could be:

  • A book that changed your perspective
  • A conversation that challenged your beliefs
  • An experience that triggered a profound insight or understanding
  • Or even a personal project or research endeavor

2. Choose a Meaningful Experience

Reflect on experiences that genuinely transformed your thinking:

  • Was there a particular course or project that ignited a passion?
  • Did a specific book, article, or documentary challenge your pre-existing beliefs?
  • Have you attended seminars, workshops, or lectures that introduced you to new ideas?

3. Delve into the "Why"

Discuss why this experience was transformative:

  • What preconceptions or beliefs did it challenge?
  • How did it expand or deepen your understanding of a particular subject or idea?
  • Did it inspire further exploration or study into the topic?

4. Highlight Personal Growth

Describe how this intellectual experience influenced your academic and personal journey:

  • Did it guide your academic pursuits or career aspirations?
  • How did it shape your values, beliefs, or worldview?

5. Be Authentic and Reflective

Your genuine curiosity and passion should shine through. Avoid using jargon or overly complex language. Instead, focus on genuine reflection and personal growth .

Harvard's second supplemental essay seeks to understand your intellectual journey . It's an opportunity to showcase your curiosity, passion, and the transformative power of learning. By reflecting on a significant intellectual experience and its impact on you, you can demonstrate your academic depth, your own intellectual processes and aptitudes, and intellectual growth.

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Answering Prompt 3

Elaborate on extracurricular activities, employment, travel, or family responsibilities that have played a pivotal role in defining who you are..

This question is designed to help you articulate the significance of experiences outside the classroom and their profound impact on your personal journey.

1. Prioritize Depth Over Quantity

While you might have multiple experiences, focus on one or two that have had the most profound impact on you . This allows you to delve deeper and provide a more insightful reflection.

2. Choose a Defining Experience

Reflect on moments that genuinely shaped your character:

  • Was there an extracurricular activity that taught you leadership, teamwork, or dedication?
  • Did a job teach you responsibility, time management, or the value of hard work?
  • Has travel exposed you to diverse cultures, broadening your perspectives?
  • Were there family responsibilities that instilled in you a sense of maturity, empathy, or resilience?

3. Describe the Experience

Briefly set the scene. Whether it's the bustling environment of a part-time job, the challenges of a leadership role in a club, or the nuances of a family responsibility, paint a picture for the reader.

4. Reflect on the Impact

Discuss how this experience influenced your personal growth:

  • What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
  • What skills or values did you acquire or strengthen?
  • How did this experience shape your aspirations, perspectives, or values?

5. Connect to the Present

Highlight how this experience continues to influence you:

  • How do the lessons you learned guide your current decisions or actions?
  • How has it influenced your academic interests or future aspirations?

Harvard's third supplemental essay is an opportunity to showcase experiences outside the classroom that have significantly influenced your personal growth . Reflecting on these pivotal moments and their lasting impact can provide a holistic picture of your character, values, and aspirations.

Answering Prompt 4

Describe how you envision utilizing your harvard education in the future..

This question aims to help you articulate how a Harvard education aligns with your future goals and the impact you aim to make in your chosen field or community.

1. Reflect on Your Goals

Begin by identifying your long-term aspirations . Have a clear vision in mind, whether it's a specific career, a desire to address a global challenge, or a passion you wish to pursue further.

2. Highlight Harvard's Unique Offerings

Research specific programs, courses, or opportunities at Harvard that align with your goals. This could be a particular academic program, research opportunities, or extracurricular activities.

3. Draw a Connection

Discuss how these unique offerings will equip you with the skills, knowledge, or experiences needed to achieve your future aspirations . Make it evident that Harvard is the ideal place for you to realize these goals.

4. Go Beyond the Obvious

While Harvard's academic excellence is a given, delve into the broader Harvard experience. Consider the influence of its diverse community, its culture of innovation, or its commitment to leadership and service.

5. Discuss the Broader Impact

Expand on how you plan to use your Harvard education to make a difference . Whether it's in your community, in a particular field, or on a global scale, showcase your commitment to creating positive change.

6. Stay Authentic

Ensure your response is genuine and reflects your true aspirations. Admissions officers can discern genuine passion and commitment from generic responses.

Harvard's fourth supplemental essay is an opportunity to showcase your forward-thinking approach and how you plan to leverage Harvard's resources to achieve your future goals. By drawing a clear connection between what Harvard offers and your aspirations, you demonstrate a purposeful approach to your education.

Answering Prompt 5

List three things your future roommates should know about you..

This question aims to help you present a genuine and well-rounded picture of yourself, offering insights into your personality, habits, and values.

1. Reflect on Your Personality

This prompt is an invitation to share more about your personal side. Think about the quirks, habits, or values that define you. What are the things that make you, well, you?

2. Balance Seriousness with Lightness

While one point could be a deep reflection of your values or beliefs, another could be a fun fact or a unique hobby. This mix gives a rounded picture of who you are.

3. Be Genuine

Avoid coming up with things you believe the admissions committee wants to hear. This is your chance to let your true self shine through.

4. Consider Your Daily Life

Think about your habits or routines, the music you listen to, or the books you read. These can offer insights into your personality and preferences.

5. Reflect on Past Living Experiences

Have you shared a space with someone before — roommate, sibling, family members, fellow campers?… Think about what made the experience harmonious. Were there particular habits, routines, or guiding principles you followed that were appreciated by those you were sharing space with?

Harvard's fifth supplemental essay is a chance to showcase your personality beyond academics and extracurriculars . By sharing genuine aspects of yourself related to day-to-day living and the many small ways you interact with those around you in more personal spaces, you give a glimpse into your life outside the classroom and what it might be like to share a living space with you.

5 Tips for the "Why This School?" Essay

General Guidelines for Crafting Stellar Harvard Supplemental Essays

1. Understand the Question: Before you start writing, ensure you fully understand what the prompt is asking. Break it down and consider its nuances. This will help you stay on track and address all aspects of the question.

2. Be Authentic: Harvard isn't just looking for high achievers; they're looking for genuine individuals. Your essay should reflect your true self, not what you think the admissions committee wants to hear.

3. Show, Don't Tell: Instead of just stating facts or beliefs, use anecdotes, experiences, or stories to convey your points. This makes your essay more engaging and paints a clearer picture of who you are.

4. Stay Within the Word Limit: While it might be tempting to write more, respect the word limits. It shows that you can convey your thoughts concisely and respect guidelines.

5. Proofread and Edit: Always review your essay multiple times for clarity, coherence, and grammar. Consider also asking a teacher, mentor, or friend to review it.

6. Connect to Harvard: While the prompts might not explicitly ask for it, subtly showing why your experiences, values, or aspirations align with Harvard's culture or offerings can be a plus.

7. Reflect on Growth: Colleges love to see personal growth. Reflect on how experiences have shaped you, lessons learned, and how you've evolved.

8. Avoid Repetition: Ensure that your supplemental essays present new information and don't repeat what's already in your Common App essay or other parts of your application.

9. Be Forward-Looking: While it's essential to reflect on past experiences, also touch on how these experiences prepare you for future endeavors, especially at Harvard.

10. Start Early: Give yourself ample time to brainstorm, draft, and revise. Starting early reduces stress and allows you to approach the essay with a clear mind.

Remember, the supplemental essays are an opportunity to showcase aspects of yourself that aren't evident in other parts of your application . Use them wisely to provide a holistic picture of yourself and why you'd be a great fit for Harvard.

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Final Thoughts

The journey to Harvard is more than just academic prowess; it's about crafting a narrative that resonates deeply with the admissions committee. Your supplemental essays provide a unique window into your personality, aspirations, and the distinct perspectives you'll bring to the Harvard community.

Every Harvard aspirant has a story waiting to be told. This is your moment to share yours. Approach your essays with authenticity, introspection, and a genuine passion for your narrative.

If you're wondering whether your essay truly captures your essence or if it stands out from the multitude of applications, our essay review service is here to help. Our team of experts will meticulously review and provide feedback to refine your essay, ensuring it resonates with admissions officers. For further inspiration, delve into our ebook , which showcases essays from students who clinched spots at top universities. And if Harvard is your dream, these successful Harvard essay examples will provide invaluable insights.

For those just starting their college application journey, consider booking a free consultation with our seasoned college counselors. We're dedicated to guiding you in creating an application that significantly enhances your chances of donning the Crimson colors. Harvard is within reach, and we're here to help you every step of the way.

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What Makes Crimson Different

Key Resources & Further Reading

  • Everything you need to know about US Application Supplemental Essays
  • Acing your College Application Essay: 5 Expert Tips to Make it Stand Out from the Rest
  • How to Tackle Every Type of Supplemental Essay
  • 2023-24 Common App Essay Prompts
  • What are the Most Unusual US College Supplemental Essay Prompts?

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How to Write the Harvard University Essays 2023-2024

Harvard University, perhaps the most prestigious and well-known institution in the world, is the nation’s oldest higher learning establishment with a founding date of 1636. Boasting an impressive alumni network from Sheryl Sandberg to Al Gore, it’s no surprise that Harvard recruits some of the top talents in the world.

It’s no wonder that students are often intimidated by Harvard’s extremely open-ended supplemental essays. However, CollegeVine is here to help and offer our guide on how to tackle Harvard’s supplemental essays. 

Read this Harvard essay example to inspire your own writing.

How to Write the Harvard University Supplemental Essays

Prompt 1: Harvard has long recognized the importance of enrolling a diverse student body. How will the life experiences that shape who you are today enable you to contribute to Harvard? (200 words)

Prompt 2: Briefly describe an intellectual experience that was important to you. (200 words)

Prompt 3: Briefly describe any of your extracurricular activities, employment experience, travel, or family responsibilities that have shaped who you are. (200 words)

Prompt 4: How do you hope to use your Harvard education in the future? (200 words)

Prompt 5: Top 3 things your roommates might like to know about you. (200 words)

Harvard has long recognized the importance of enrolling a diverse student body. How will the life experiences that shape who you are today enable you to contribute to Harvard? (200 words)

Brainstorming Your Topic

This prompt is a great example of the classic diversity supplemental essay . That means that, as you prepare to write your response, the first thing you need to do is focus in on some aspect of your identity, upbringing, or personality that makes you different from other people.

As you start brainstorming, do remember that the way colleges factor race into their admissions processes will be different this year, after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in June. Colleges can still consider race on an individual level, however, so if you would like to write your response about how your racial identity has impacted you, you are welcome to do so.

If race doesn’t seem like the right topic for you, however, keep in mind that there are many other things that can make us different, not just race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and the other aspects of our identities that people normally think of when they hear the word “diversity.” That’s not to say that you can’t write about those things, of course. But don’t worry if you don’t feel like those things have played a significant role in shaping your worldview. Here are some examples of other topics that could support a strong essay:

  • Moving to several different cities because of your parents’ jobs
  • An usual hobby, like playing the accordion or making your own jewelry
  • Knowing a lot about a niche topic, like Scottish castles

The only questions you really need to ask yourself when picking a topic are “Does this thing set me apart from other people?” and “Will knowing this thing about me give someone a better sense of who I am overall?” As long as you can answer “yes” to both of those questions, you’ve found your topic!

Tips for Writing Your Essay

Once you’ve selected a topic, the question becomes how you’re going to write about that topic in a way that helps Harvard admissions officers better understand how you’re going to contribute to their campus community. To do that, you want to connect your topic to some broader feature of your personality, or to a meaningful lesson you learned, that speaks to your potential as a Harvard student.

For example, perhaps your interest in Scottish castles has given you an appreciation for the strength of the human spirit, as the Scots were able to persevere and build these structures even in incredibly remote, cold parts of the country. Alternatively, maybe being half Puerto Rican, but not speaking Spanish, has taught you about the power of family, as you have strong relationships even with relatives you can’t communicate with verbally. 

Remember that, like with any college essay, you want to rely on specific anecdotes and experiences to illustrate the points you’re making. To understand why, compare the following two excerpts from hypothetical essays.

Example 1: “Even though I can’t speak Spanish, and some of my relatives can’t speak English, whenever I visit my family in Puerto Rico I know it’s a place where I belong. The island is beautiful, and I especially love going to the annual party at my uncle’s house.”

Example 2: “The smell of the ‘lechón,’ or suckling pig greets me as soon as I enter my uncle’s home, even before everyone rushes in from the porch to welcome me in rapid-fire Spanish. At best, I understand one in every ten words, but my aunt’s hot pink glasses, the Caribbean Sea visible through the living room window, and of course, the smell of roasting pork, tell me, wordlessly yet undeniably, that I’m home.”

Think about how much better we understand this student after Example 2. If a few words were swapped out, Example 1 could’ve been written by anyone, whereas Example 2 paints us a clear picture of how this student’s Puerto Rican heritage has tangibly impacted their life.

Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest challenge with this particular “Diversity” essay is the word count. Because you only have 200 words to work with, you don’t have space to include more than one broader takeaway you’ve learned from this aspect of your identity. 

Of course, people are complicated, and you’ve likely learned many things from being Puerto Rican, or from being interested in Scottish castles. But for the sake of cohesion, focus on just one lesson. Otherwise your essay may end up feeling like a bullet-point list of Hallmark card messages, rather than a thoughtful, personal, reflective piece of writing.

The other thing you want to avoid is writing an essay that’s just about your topic. Particularly since you’re going to be writing about an aspect of your identity that’s important to you, you’ll likely have a lot to say just about that. If you aren’t careful, you may burn through all 200 words without getting to the broader significance of what this piece of your personality says about who you are as a whole. 

That component, however, is really the key to a strong response. Harvard receives over 40,000 applications a year, which means that, whether you write about being Puerto Rican or Scottish castles, it’s likely someone else is writing about something similar. 

That doesn’t mean you need to agonize over picking something absolutely nobody else is writing about, as that’s practically impossible. All it means is that you need to be clear about how this aspect of your identity has shaped you as a whole, as that is how your essay will stand out from others with similar topics.

Briefly describe an intellectual experience that was important to you. (200 words)

Harvard admissions officers are being considerate here, as they’re telling you explicitly what they would like you to write about. Of course, there are still nuances to the prompt, but in terms of brainstorming, just ask yourself: What is an intellectual experience that’s been important to me?

Keep in mind that “intellectual” doesn’t necessarily mean “academic.” You absolutely can write a great response about a paper, project, or some other experience you had through school. But you could also write about attending a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic, or about a book you read for fun that made a big impact on you. So long as the experience was intellectually stimulating, you can write a strong essay about it.

Once you’ve picked an experience, the key is to describe it in a way that shows Harvard admissions officers how this experience has prepared you to contribute to their classrooms, and campus community as a whole. In other words, don’t just tell them what you did, but also what you learned and why that matters for understanding what kind of college student you’ll be.

For example, say you choose to write about a debate project you did in your American history class, where you had to prepare for both sides and only learned which one you would actually be defending on the day of the debate. You could describe how, although you came into the project with pre-existing opinions about the topic, the preparation process taught you that, if you’re thoughtful and open-minded, you can usually find merit and logic even in the polar opposite position from your own.

Alternatively, you could write about a book you read that had been translated from Danish, and how reading it got you interested in learning more about how to translate a text as faithfully as possible. After watching many interviews with translators and reading a book about translation, you have learned that sometimes, the most literal translation doesn’t capture the spirit from the original language, which to you is proof that, in any piece of writing, the human element is at least as important as the words on the page.

Notice that both of these examples include broader reflections that zoom out from the particular experiences, to show what you took away from them: increased open-mindedness to different perspectives, for the first, and a more nuanced understanding of what makes art, art, in the case of the second. 

A strong response must include this kind of big-picture takeaway, as it shows readers two things. First, that you can reflect thoughtfully on your experiences and learn from them. And second, it shows them a skill or perspective you’d be bringing with you to Harvard, which gives them a better sense of how you’d fit into their campus community.

The only real thing you need to watch out for is accidentally selecting an experience that, for whatever reason, doesn’t allow you to incorporate the kind of bigger-picture takeaway described above. Maybe the experience just happened, so you’re still in the process of learning from it. Or maybe the lessons you learned are too nuanced to describe in 200 words. 

Whatever this reason, if you find yourself unable to articulate the broader significance of this experience, head back to the drawing board, to select one that works better for this prompt. What you don’t want to do is try to force in a takeaway that doesn’t really fit, as that will make your essay feel generic or disjointed, since the “moral of the story” won’t clearly connect to the story itself.

Briefly describe any of your extracurricular activities, employment experience, travel, or family responsibilities that have shaped who you are. (200 words)

This is a textbook example of the “Extracurricular” essay . As such, what you need to do is well-defined, although it’s easier said than done: select an extracurricular activity that has, as Harvard says, “shaped who you are,” and make sure you’re able to articulate how it’s been formative for you.

As you brainstorm which extracurricular you want to write about, note that the language of the prompt is pretty open-ended. You write about “any” activity, not just one you have a lot of accolades in, and you don’t even have to write about an activity—you can also write about a travel experience, or family responsibility. 

If the thing that immediately jumps to mind is a club, sport, volunteer experience, or other “traditional” extracurricular, that’s great! Run with that. But if you’re thinking and nothing in that vein seems quite right, or, alternatively, you’re feeling bold and want to take a creative approach, don’t be afraid to get outside the box. Here are some examples of other topics you could write a strong essay about:

  • A more hobby-like extracurricular, like crocheting potholders and selling them on Etsy
  • Driving the Pacific Coast Highway on your own
  • Caring for your family’s two large, colorful macaws

These more creative topics can do a lot to showcase a different side of you, as college applications have, by their nature, a pretty restricted scope, and telling admissions officers about something that would never appear on your resume or transcript can teach them a lot about who you are. That being said, the most important thing is that the topic you pick has genuinely been formative for you. Whether it’s a conventional topic or not, as long as that personal connection is there, you’ll be able to write a strong essay about it.

The key to writing a strong response is focusing less on the activity itself, and more on what you’ve learned from your involvement in it. If you’re writing about a more conventional topic, remember that admissions officers already have your activities list. You don’t need to say “For the last five years, I’ve been involved in x,” because they already know that, and when you only have 200 words, wasting even 10 of them means you’ve wasted 5% of your space.

If you’re writing about something that doesn’t already show up elsewhere in your application, you want to provide enough details for your reader to understand what you did, but not more than that. For example, if you’re writing about your road trip, you don’t need to list every city you  stopped in. Instead, just mention one or two that were particularly memorable.

Rather than focusing on the facts and figures of what you did, focus on what you learned from your experience. Admissions officers want to know why your involvement in this thing matters to who you’ll be in college. So, think about one or two bigger picture things you learned from it, and center your response around those things.

For example, maybe your Etsy shop taught you how easy it is to bring some positivity into someone else’s life, as crocheting is something you would do anyways, and the shop just allows you to share your creations with other people. Showcasing this uplifting, altruistic side of yourself will help admissions officers better envision what kind of Harvard student you’d be.

As always, you want to use specific examples to support your points, at least as much as you can in 200 words. Because you’re dealing with a low word count, you probably won’t have space to flex your creative writing muscles with vivid, immersive descriptions. 

You can still incorporate anecdotes in a more economical way, however. For example, you could say “Every morning, our scarlet macaw ruffles her feathers and greets me with a prehistoric chirp.” You’re not going into detail about what her feathers look like, or where this scene is happening, but it’s still much more engaging than something like “My bird always says hello to me in her own way.”

The most common pitfall with an “Extracurricular” essay is describing your topic the way you would on your resume. Don’t worry about showing off some “marketable skill” you think admissions officers want to see, and instead highlight whatever it is you actually took away from this experience, whether it’s a skill, a realization, or a personality trait. The best college essays are genuine, as admissions officers feel that honesty, and know they’re truly getting to know the applicant as they are, rather than some polished-up version.

Additionally, keep in mind that, like with anything in your application, you want admissions officers to learn something new about you when reading this essay. So, if you’ve already written your common app essay about volunteering at your local animal shelter, you shouldn’t also write this essay about that experience. Your space in your application is already extremely limited, so don’t voluntarily limit yourself even further by repeating yourself when you’re given an opportunity to say something new.

How do you hope to use your Harvard education in the future? (200 words)

Although the packaging is a little different, this prompt has similarities to the classic “Why This College?” prompt . That means there are two main things you want to do while brainstorming. 

First, identify one or two goals you have for the future—with just 200 words, you won’t have space to elaborate on any more than that. Ideally, these should be relatively concrete. You don’t have to have your whole life mapped out, but you do need to be a lot more specific than “Make a difference in the world.” A more zoomed-in version of that goal would be something like “Contribute to conservation efforts to help save endangered species,” which would work.

Second, hop onto Harvard’s website and do some research on opportunities the school offers that would help you reach your goals. Again, make sure these are specific enough. Rather than a particular major, which is likely offered at plenty of other schools around the country, identify specific courses within that major you would like to take, or a professor in the department you would like to do research with. For example, the student interested in conservation might mention the course “Conservation Biology” at Harvard.

You could also write about a club, or a study abroad program, or really anything that’s unique to Harvard, so long as you’re able to draw a clear connection between the opportunity and your goal. Just make sure that, like with your goals, you don’t get overeager. Since your space is quite limited, you should choose two, or maximum three, opportunities to focus on. Any more than that and your essay will start to feel rushed and bullet point-y.

If you do your brainstorming well, the actual writing process should be pretty straightforward: explain your goals, and how the Harvard-specific opportunities you’ve selected will help you reach them. 

One thing you do want to keep in mind is that your goals should feel personal to you, and the best way to accomplish that is by providing some background context on why you have them. This doesn’t have to be extensive, as, again, your space is limited. But compare the following two examples, written about the hypothetical goal of helping conservation efforts from above, to get an idea of what we’re talking about:

Example 1: “As long as I can remember, I’ve loved all kinds of animals, and have been heartbroken by the fact that human destruction of natural resources could lead to certain species’ extinction.”

Example 2: “As a kid, I would sit in front of the aquarium’s walrus exhibit, admiring the animal’s girth and tusks, and dream about seeing one in the wild. Until my parents regretfully explained to me that, because of climate change, that was unlikely to ever happen.”

The second example is obviously longer, but not egregiously so: 45 words versus 31. And the image we get of this student sitting and fawning over a walrus is worth that extra space, as we feel a stronger personal connection to them, which in turn makes us more vicariously invested in their own goal of environmental advocacy.

As we’ve already described in the brainstorming section, the key to this essay is specificity. Admissions officers want you to paint them a picture of how Harvard fits into your broader life goals. As we noted earlier, that doesn’t mean you have to have everything figured out, but if you’re too vague about your goals, or how you see Harvard helping you reach them, admissions officers won’t see you as someone who’s prepared to contribute to their campus community.

Along similar lines, avoid flattery. Gushy lines like “At Harvard, every day I’ll feel inspired by walking the same halls that countless Nobel laureates, politicians, and CEOs once traversed” won’t get you anywhere, because Harvard admissions officers already know their school is one of the most prestigious and famous universities in the world. What they don’t know is what you are going to bring to Harvard that nobody else has. So, that’s what you want to focus on, not vague, surface-level attributes of Harvard related to its standing in the world of higher education.

Top 3 things your roommates might like to know about you. (200 words)

Like Prompt 2, this prompt tells you exactly what you need to brainstorm: three things a roommate would like to know about you. However, also like Prompt 2, while this prompt is direct, it’s also incredibly open-ended. What really are the top three things you’d like a complete stranger to know about you before you live together for nine months?

Questions this broad can be hard to answer, as you might not know where to start. Sometimes, you can help yourself out by asking yourself adjacent, but slightly more specific questions, like the following:

  • Do you have any interests that influence your regular routine? For example, do you always watch the Seahawks on Sunday, or are you going to be playing Taylor Swift’s discography on repeat while you study?
  • Look around your room—what items are most important to you? Do you keep your movie ticket stubs? Are you planning on taking your photos of your family cat with you to college?
  • Are there any activities you love and already know you’d want to do with your roommate, like weekly face masks or making Christmas cookies?

Hopefully, these narrower questions, and the example responses we’ve included, help get your gears turning. Keep in mind that this prompt is a great opportunity to showcase sides of your personality that don’t come across in your grades, activities list, or even your personal statement. Don’t worry about seeming impressive—admissions officers don’t expect you to read Shakespeare every night for two hours. What they want is an honest, informative picture of what you’re like “behind the scenes,” because college is much more than just academics.

Once you’ve selected three things to write about, the key to the actual essay is presenting them in a logical, cohesive, efficient way. That’s easier said than done, particularly if the three things you’ve picked are quite different from each other. 

To ensure your essay feels like one, complete unit, rather than three smaller ones stuck together, strong transitions will be crucial. Note that “strong” doesn’t mean “lengthy.” Just a few words can go a long way towards helping your essay flow naturally. To see what we mean here, take the following two examples:

Example 1: “Just so you know, every Sunday I will be watching the Seahawks, draped in my dad’s Steve Largent jersey. They can be a frustrating team, but I’ll do my best to keep it down in case you’re studying. I also like to do facemasks, though. You’re always welcome to any of the ones I have in my (pretty extensive) collection.”

Example 2: “Just so you know, every Sunday I will be watching the Seahawks, draped in my dad’s Steve Largent jersey. But if football’s not your thing, don’t worry—once the game’s over, I’ll need to unwind anyways, because win or lose the Hawks always find a way to make things stressful. So always feel free to join me in picking out a face mask from my (pretty extensive) collection, and we can gear up for the week together.”

The content in both examples is the same, but in the first one, the transition from football to facemasks is very abrupt. On the other hand, in the second example the simple line “But if football’s not your thing, don’t worry” keeps things flowing smoothly. 

There’s no one right way to write a good transition, but as you’re polishing your essay a good way to see if you’re on the right track is by asking someone who hasn’t seen your essay before to read it over and tell you if there are any points that made them pause. If the answer is yes, your transitions probably still need more work.

Finally, you probably noticed that the above examples are both written in a “Dear roomie” style, as if you’re actually speaking directly to your roommate. You don’t have to take this exact approach, but your tone should ideally be light and fun. Living alone for the first time, with other people your age, is one of the best parts of college! Plus, college applications are, by their nature, pretty dry affairs for the most part. Lightening things up in this essay will give your reader a breath of fresh air, which will help them feel more engaged in your application as a whole.

Harvard is doing you a favor here by keeping the scope of the essay narrow—they ask for three things, not more. As we’ve noted many times with the other supplements, 200 words will be gone in a flash, so don’t try to cram in extra things. It’s not necessary to do that, because admissions officers have only asked for three, and trying to stuff more in will turn your essay into a list of bullet points, rather than an informative piece of writing about your personality.

Finally, as we’ve hinted at a few times above, the other thing you want to avoid is using this essay as another opportunity to impress admissions officers with your intellect and accomplishments. Remember, they have your grades, and your activities list, and all your other essays. Plus, they can ask you whatever questions they want—if they wanted to know about the most difficult book you’ve ever read, they would. So, loosen up, let your hair down, and show them you know how to have fun too!

Where to Get Your Harvard Essays Edited

Do you want feedback on your Harvard essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools.  Find the right advisor for you  to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

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Participants will receive access to The Crimson's robust network of alumni in these fields, while winners will be invited to take an internship on The Crimson's summer 2024 content  team.

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Successful Harvard Medical School Essays | 2023

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With a consistently competitive pool of applicants submitting essays to top medical schools each year, it is essential to gain a high-level understanding of what a successful application reads like. Browse through our list of successful medical school applications below from students who were accepted to elite universities and hear from expert college consultants on what made these pieces a success.

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Harvard University’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Diversity short response.

Harvard has long recognized the importance of enrolling a diverse student body. How will the life experiences that shape who you are today enable you to contribute to Harvard?

Intellectual Experience Short Response

Briefly describe an intellectual experience that was important to you.

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Briefly describe any of your extracurricular activities, employment experience, travel, or family responsibilities that have shaped who you are.

Future Goals Short Response

How do you hope to use your Harvard education in the future?

Roommate Short Response

Top 3 things your roommates might like to know about you.

Common App Personal Essay

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

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harvard crimson essay 2023

‘Last One Standing’: William R. Fitzsimmons ’67, the Keeper of Harvard’s Gates

Eight years of litigation over Harvard’s use of race in its admissions process had finally brought the University to Washington, D.C., face-to-face with the most conservative court in decades — a court almost certain to shatter the longstanding status quo of race-conscious admissions.

In the years since anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions first sued Harvard in 2014, alleging discrimination against Asian-Americans in the College’s consideration of race in admissions, University officials had sat through days of demanding testimony , while Harvard was forced to release of hundreds of thousands of internal documents and endure nonstop media coverage.

And so, the black box on Brattle Street began to crack.

Fitzsimmons — alongside the rest of Harvard’s top brass — arrived at the Supreme Court in Oct. 2022. He watched oral arguments in person, sitting alongside the likes of former Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, and William F. Lee ’72, former Senior Fellow of the Harvard Corporation, the University’s highest governing body.

But Fitzsimmons, who served for decades as chief architect of Harvard’s admissions program, was optimistic.

As the group returned to the airport, Fitzsimmons turned to Lee and said “I’m excited.”

“'We have a job to do,'” Lee — who represented Harvard through much of the case’s trial stages — said Fitzsimmons told him, as it became clearer than ever that Harvard would lose. “We’ll get it done.”

‘Pull Back the Curtain’

The longtime keeper of Harvard’s gates began working in the admissions office in 1972 before ascending to the deanship 14 years later.

Under his watch, Harvard has admitted tens of thousands of students, including some of its most prominent. From Natalie Portman ’03 and Neil deGrasse Tyson ’80 to Chief Justice John G. Roberts ’76 and interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber ’76, Fitzsimmons is the longtime architect of the modern-day Harvard admissions process.

Central to that effort was affirmative action.

He had long played a vital role within a vast, University-wide effort to fight for the survival of the practice as it faced a series of legal challenges across the United States over the course of five decades.

Race-conscious admissions policies, in their modern form, trace their roots at the College to the early 1970s. The ‘Harvard Plan,’ as it came to be known, employed both expanded recruitment efforts and the consideration of race within admissions deliberations in an effort to bolster the diversity — racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, or otherwise — of Harvard’s admitted undergraduate classes.

The program, at the time, received praise from the Supreme Court. Harvard’s race-conscious processes were cited as a national model in the landmark case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, which maintained the constitutionality of such admissions practices.

As dean, Fitzsimmons would preserve and reinforce the College’s commitment to racial diversity.

In 2014, however, that process came under fatal attack. SFFA’s initial complaint, filed in Nov. of that year, alleged that Harvard employed “racially and ethnically discriminatory policies” in its undergraduate admissions, violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and called for a court-imposed ban on the College using race as a factor in its admissions and admissions officers viewing the race of applicants.

“We both felt a deep commitment to affirmative action and the kinds of transformations in the student body that it had enabled,” Faust — who served as Harvard President from 2007 to 2018 — said in an interview with The Crimson. This made the lawsuit one that was “very much worth fighting,” she said.

Harvard's long-serving Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons '67 (far right) exits the courthouse during the admissions trial.

Still, the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin — in which it ruled in favor of the UT’s use of race-conscious admissions practices — injected further confidence into the University’s leadership that Harvard’s effort to fend off SFFA’s challenge might succeed.

Lee said that in 2014, after Fisher, Harvard “felt pretty good about where we were.” But the 2018 retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy — the swing vote in Fisher — and the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020 led to a firmly 6-3 conservative majority.

“We went from a point of being uncertain, to being cautiously optimistic, to being pessimistic,” Lee said.

Harvard would fight initial attempts to take the case to trial. Eventually, though, Fitzsimmons decided — in coordination with Faust and Harvard’s then-General Counsel Robert W. Iuliano ’83 — to let the case proceed to trial.

“That was a big decision, because — with one exception — all of the other affirmative action cases the Supreme Court had decided had been decided on paper records without a trial,” Lee said. “We would pull back the curtain on everything that happened during admissions.”

Fitzsimmons’s view was, “We think we’re doing what’s right, what’s constitutional,” Lee said. “And if we are, the court will tell us we are and if we’re not, that we should change and adjust.”

The decision, in part a product of the faith Harvard officials — including Fitzsimmons — had in the admissions process, would open Harvard’s top-secret admissions process to unprecedented levels of public scrutiny. For three weeks, Fitzsimmons , Faust , Khurana , and others would testify in defense of Harvard’s admissions process.

“That decision was a very important decision,” Lee said.

‘Make Harvard Accessible’

Harvard emerged from the district court trial victorious, and the University was handed a second win in 2020 by the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals before its loss at the Supreme Court in the summer of 2023.

But while Harvard’s race-conscious policies were overturned, many who know him paint Fitzsimmons’ lasting impact on the University as one defined by far more than just affirmative action.

Rather, his peers say that it is the titanic shift in the diversity of the College — enacted in large part throughout his time at the admission office’s helm — that will outlast him.

From left, former Harvard President Drew G. Faust, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons '67, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, and former Harvard Corporation Senior Fellow William F. Lee '72 exit the Supreme Court on Monday.

His five-decade-long tenure has been characterized by an aggressive expansion of outreach and an explosion in undergraduate financial aid — both personally important to Fitzsimmons, who often references his status as a first-generation college student on a scholarship.

Thomas A. Dingman ’67, a former Dean of Freshmen and Fitzsimmons’s Harvard classmate, said that his commitment to expanding the diversity of Harvard’s student body began shortly after he started working in the admissions office in the 1970s.

“He worked feverishly to get out to areas that were underserved,” Dingman, who worked closely with Fitzsimmons throughout his time at Harvard, said. “He was not content simply to keep drawing from the schools that were considered, over time, ‘feeder schools.’”

“He wanted, very much, to make Harvard accessible internationally, and to groups that were underrepresented,” he added.

Fitzsimmons has also centered recruitment and outreach as dean, enlarging and diversifying Harvard’s applicant pool. Harvard has partnered with universities across the country — such as Wellesley College, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, Georgetown University, and others — to aggressively conduct outreach and recruitment events.

Such efforts typically involve Fitzsimmons, alongside other representatives from Harvard, traveling across the country, meeting with high school guidance counselors alongside students and parents potentially interested in Harvard.

“You can imagine how popular Harvard is with a group of a couple thousand guests,” Greg Warren, dean of undergraduate admissions at the University of Virginia who has regularly traveled with Fitzsimmons, said. “He is immediately swarmed by families and students.”

“And, inevitably, he’s the last one standing,” Warren added.

In December, Harvard announced it had joined the Small Town Outreach, Recruitment, and Yield consortium, a group of universities working to bolster applications from rural areas.

“We have the pedal to the metal, in terms of outreach,” Fitzsimmons told The Crimson.

The College’s financial aid has also dramatically expanded in the years Fitzsimmons has helmed the department.

It was under his watch that, in 2004, then-President Lawrence H. Summers launched the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative , making Harvard free for those with household incomes under $40,000 and greatly increasing financial assistance for students whose families earned above that threshold.

Expansion continued throughout the 2000s, with rapid growth dating back to 2007. Even throughout the financial crisis of 2008, the College managed to expand its student assistance. In 2023, Harvard announced a second consecutive raise to the income threshold at which families pay nothing to attend.

The growth, though, came with skyrocketing costs of attendance. Tuition for the 2003-2004 academic term, the same year that the Financial Aid Initiative was announced, numbered $26,066. By 2023-24, that figure had ballooned to $69,300.

The change in Harvard’s demographic statistics since Fitzsimmons took charge of the admissions office, though, are stark.

The number of African American students admitted to Harvard hovered at around 100 from 1969 to 1971. In 1972, when Fitzsimmons joined the admissions office, the African American population was 88.

By the Class of 2026, admitted exactly half a century after Fitzsimmons began his work, that number had grown to over 300.

Former University president Lawrence S. Bacow — who served through much of Harvard’s litigation with SFFA — praised Fitzsimmons’ efforts in an emailed statement to The Crimson.

“Our student body is far more diverse today in every possible dimension — ethnically, religiously, geographically, socio-economically — than it was when Bill first started working here,” Bacow wrote. “Bill, and the Admissions Deans who preceded him, have played critical roles in bringing about these changes.”

‘Welcoming of Transparency’

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, Harvard admissions enters territory without recent precedent. The process has evolved radically and rapidly in response to the Court’s ruling.

Harvard's admissions office is located at 86 Brattle St, Cambridge.

In August, Harvard unveiled an overhauled application , replacing its longstanding essays with smaller, short-answer questions. Then, just weeks after releasing admissions decisions for the Class of 2028 in March , the College announced a shock reversal of its previous commitment to remain test-optional for two more years, requiring all future applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Simultaneously, the impact of the Court’s ruling on Harvard’s results remains unclear. Demographic data of the Class of 2028 — typically sent alongside decisions in the spring — is yet to be released. The College also remains under congressional investigation , now for its use of legacy and donor preferences in admissions, ensuring that governmental scrutiny of its admissions processes will continue.

Fitzsimmons, though, remains a constant presence. The 79-year-old administrator, now in his 38th year as dean, shows little indication that retirement is on the horizon, routinely telling The Crimson that he has no imminent plans to depart the job that has defined his life.

Still, some changes appear even beyond immediate policy. In contrast to the admissions office’s furtive past, Fitzsimmons now welcomes — even lauds — the spotlight that the last several years have brought to his work. As Harvard’s peer schools begin to hide their acceptance rates, Fitzsimmons has insisted Harvard will continue to release its admissions data.

“We are beyond welcoming transparency,” he said in an interview with The Crimson. “Because the more transparency there is, the better it is for us to get excellence from everywhere.”

—Staff writer Elyse C. Goncalves contributed reporting.

—Staff writer Matan H. Josephy can be reached [email protected] . Follow him on X @matanjosephy .

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A collage of images from the year at Harvard.

Year in Photos

Loeb House

The Crimson looks back at the academic year in photos, from the inauguration of Claudine Gay as Harvard’s 30th president to the Israel-Hamas war that divided campus and ignited a leadership crisis.

Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana snaps a selfie with students at the Class of 2027 Convocation.

Sep. 5, 2023

Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana snaps a selfie with students at the Class of 2027 Convocation.

Hundreds of Harvard affiliates and local residents welcomed Little Amal, a 12-foot-tall puppet of a young Syrian refugee, to Harvard’s campus.

Sep. 8, 2023

Hundreds of Harvard affiliates and local residents welcomed Little Amal, a 12-foot-tall puppet of a young Syrian refugee, to Harvard’s campus.

A member of the Saints Cosmas and Damian Society pins money to the statues of the patron saints at the chapel in East Cambridge. Every year, the residents of East Cambridge gather at the intersection of Porter Street and Warren Street to celebrate the Feast of Saint Cosmas and Damian, a festival brought by Italian immigrants from the town of Gaeta in 1926.

Sep. 10, 2023

A member of the Saints Cosmas and Damian Society pins money to the statues of the patron saints at the chapel in East Cambridge. Every year, the residents of East Cambridge gather at the intersection of Porter Street and Warren Street to celebrate the Feast of Saint Cosmas and Damian, a festival brought by Italian immigrants from the town of Gaeta in 1926.

Sierra S. Stocker ’25 and Chloe M. Becker ’25 rock out during Crimson Jam as part of student punk band STRYK9.

Sep. 11, 2023

Sierra S. Stocker ’25 and Chloe M. Becker ’25 rock out during Crimson Jam as part of student punk band STRYK9.

Before the festivities for the inauguration of Claudine Gay, Harvard’s four most recent presidents posed for a photo in front of Massachusetts Hall. From top to bottom, left to right: Lawrence H. Summers, Lawrence S. Bacow, Drew Gilpin Faust, and then University President Claudine Gay.

Sep. 30, 2023

Before the festivities for the inauguration of Claudine Gay, Harvard’s four most recent presidents posed for a photo in front of Massachusetts Hall. From top to bottom, left to right: Lawrence H. Summers, Lawrence S. Bacow, Drew Gilpin Faust, and then University President Claudine Gay.

Boston Ballet opened its 60th season with Fall Experience, fusing classical foundations with contemporary refinement. Above, renowned Russian-born cellist Sergey Antonov accompanied dancers in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites No. 1, 2, and 10.

Oct. 6, 2023

Boston Ballet opened its 60th season with Fall Experience, fusing classical foundations with contemporary refinement. Above, renowned Russian-born cellist Sergey Antonov accompanied dancers in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites No. 1, 2, and 10.

Claudia D. Goldin, the first woman to receive tenure in Harvard's Economics Department, won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Oct. 9, 2023

Claudia D. Goldin, the first woman to receive tenure in Harvard’s Economics Department, won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Economics.

After a six year touring hiatus, Bruno Major presented an all encompassing performance that was defined by meaningful ambiance and jazzy soul searching.

Oct. 12, 2023

After a six year touring hiatus, Bruno Major presented an all encompassing performance that was defined by meaningful ambiance and jazzy soul searching.

More than 1,000 people gathered by the steps of Widener Library Sunday evening for a vigil to stand in solidarity with Israel and mourn the civilian deaths of the Oct. 7 invasion by Islamist militant group Hamas. Candles on the steps spelled out חי, the Hebrew word for life.

Oct. 16, 2023

More than 1,000 people gathered by the steps of Widener Library Sunday evening for a vigil to stand in solidarity with Israel and mourn the civilian deaths of the Oct. 7 invasion by Islamist militant group Hamas. Candles on the steps spelled out חי, the Hebrew word for life.

Lawrence B. Millman is an avid mycologist, writer, and ethnographer. For the last 35 years, he has conducted mycological work around the world and written 18 books documenting his findings and experiences.

Oct. 19, 2023

Lawrence B. Millman is an avid mycologist, writer, and ethnographer. For the last 35 years, he has conducted mycological work around the world and written 18 books documenting his findings and experiences.

Bowdoin College and Bates College Men’s rowing teams race side by side underneath the Eliot Bridge during the 58th Head of the Charles Regatta.

Oct. 23, 2023

Bowdoin College and Bates College Men’s rowing teams race side by side underneath the Eliot Bridge during the 58th Head of the Charles Regatta.

Chuck Todd speaks at a Harvard Institute of Politics forum, discussing the upcoming 2024 U.S. presidential election.

Nov. 2, 2023

Chuck Todd speaks at a Harvard Institute of Politics forum, discussing the upcoming 2024 U.S. presidential election.

Francis Dobbs, 3, helps tip a bucket to water a plant in Cambridge’s first ever Miyawaki Forest Saturday morning. More than three dozen Cambridge residents gathered to plant more than 40 species of plants native to New England in a single front yard to guard against biodiversity loss.

Nov. 13, 2023

Francis Dobbs, 3, helps tip a bucket to water a plant in Cambridge’s first ever Miyawaki Forest Saturday morning. More than three dozen Cambridge residents gathered to plant more than 40 species of plants native to New England in a single front yard to guard against biodiversity loss.

Harvard football head coach Tim Murphy celebrates with his players after his team's victory over Penn, which secured a share of the Ivy League title for the Crimson.

Nov. 14, 2023

Harvard football head coach Tim Murphy celebrates with his players after his team’s victory over Penn, which secured a share of the Ivy League title for the Crimson.

The annual showdown between the Harvard Crimson and the Yale Bulldogs returned to the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut on Nov. 18. A tight game, the Crimson fell to the Bulldogs 18-23, closing out the team’s 150th season.

Nov. 18, 2023

The annual showdown between the Harvard Crimson and the Yale Bulldogs returned to the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut on Nov. 18. A tight game, the Crimson fell to the Bulldogs 18-23, closing out the team’s 150th season.

Harvard President Claudine Gay testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for a hearing on antisemitism at college campuses.

Dec. 6, 2023

Harvard President Claudine Gay testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for a hearing on antisemitism at college campuses.

Research librarian Sarah DeMott and Librarian for Scholarly and Public Programs Peter Accardo discuss the future of Houghton library. Modern digitization of materials and innovative book scanning are hot topics, even when surrounded by the most antique texts.

Jan. 26, 2024

Research librarian Sarah DeMott and Librarian for Scholarly and Public Programs Peter Accardo discuss the future of Houghton library. Modern digitization of materials and innovative book scanning are hot topics, even when surrounded by the most antique texts.

The MBTA Red Line was closed for maintenance from Feb. 5 to Feb. 14, as part of a project to reduce slowdowns and increase safety by upgrading track infrastructure.

Jan. 31, 2024

The MBTA Red Line was closed for maintenance from Feb. 5 to Feb. 14, as part of a project to reduce slowdowns and increase safety by upgrading track infrastructure.

Interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber '76 speaks to the Crimson in an interview.

Feb. 2, 2024

Interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber ’76 speaks to the Crimson in an interview.

The Harvard men's ice hockey team lost the 2024 Beanpot semifinal to Northeastern in an overtime heartbreaker.

Feb. 6, 2024

The Harvard men’s ice hockey team lost the 2024 Beanpot semifinal to Northeastern in an overtime heartbreaker.

Actress Annette Bening was honored as the Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year. She was honored on with a parade through Harvard Yard, followed by a roast that evening.

Feb. 9, 2024

Actress Annette Bening was honored as the Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year. She was honored on with a parade through Harvard Yard, followed by a roast that evening.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Hopi Hoekstra speaks in an interview with The Crimson.

Feb. 16, 2024

Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Hopi Hoekstra speaks in an interview with The Crimson.

Wyatt G. Croog, a Crimson Flyby writer, jumps into a bush outside of Hurlbut Hall. Croog explored the new trend of "bush jumping" in a piece that documented the experience of jumping into different bushes around campus.

Feb. 22, 2024

Wyatt G. Croog, a Crimson Flyby writer, jumps into a bush outside of Hurlbut Hall. Croog explored the new trend of ’bush jumping’ in a piece that documented the experience of jumping into different bushes around campus.

At his workstation, Julian K. Li ’25 prepares tools to adjust an off-center bike wheel. Li is one of the students who runs Quad Bikes, an undergraduate-run bicycle repair shop that reopened in the fall of 2022 following a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Feb. 23, 2024

At his workstation, Julian K. Li ’25 prepares tools to adjust an off-center bike wheel. Li is one of the students who runs Quad Bikes, an undergraduate-run bicycle repair shop that reopened in the fall of 2022 following a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students who participated in "River Run" gathered around food trucks near the Malkin Athletic Center. Dean of Students Thomas Dunne said this year’s Housing day festivities "felt really inclusive."

March 8, 2024

Students who participated in ’River Run’ gathered around food trucks near the Malkin Athletic Center. Dean of Students Thomas Dunne said this year’s Housing day festivities ’felt really inclusive.’

Superintendent Victoria L. Greer sits at a meeting of the Cambridge School Committee in the Cambridge Rindge and Latin school. Nearly 30 parents demanded change from Greer and district leadership during that meeting.

March 20, 2024

Superintendent Victoria L. Greer sits at a meeting of the Cambridge School Committee in the Cambridge Rindge and Latin school. Nearly 30 parents demanded change from Greer and district leadership during that meeting.

Sheet music is displayed in a case at the Loeb Music Library, which contains more than 65,000 scores and books in its collections.

March 22, 2024

Sheet music is displayed in a case at the Loeb Music Library, which contains more than 65,000 scores and books in its collections.

The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations held its 38th annual Cultural Rhythms Showcase, featuring performances from 10 student cultural groups. Dancers in RAZA Ballet Folklorico join Mariachi Veritas musicians in highlighting Mexico’s culture through vibrant music and captivating dance.

March 27, 2024

The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations held its 38th annual Cultural Rhythms Showcase, featuring performances from 10 student cultural groups. Dancers in RAZA Ballet Folklorico join Mariachi Veritas musicians in highlighting Mexico’s culture through vibrant music and captivating dance.

Conservation junior fellow Madison A. Conliffe uses acetone to clean Jean Baptiste Carpeaux’s painted plaster sculpture from 1870, “Why Born a Slave!” Conliffe works at the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, where a team of dedicated conservators care for approximately 250,000 pieces in the Harvard Art Museums’ collections.

April 3, 2024

Conservation junior fellow Madison A. Conliffe uses acetone to clean Jean Baptiste Carpeaux’s painted plaster sculpture from 1870, “Why Born a Slave!” Conliffe works at the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, where a team of dedicated conservators care for approximately 250,000 pieces in the Harvard Art Museums’ collections.

Grouplove electrified Boston’s Roadrunner with their March 29 concert — the penultimate stop on their “Rock and Roll Won’t Save Me” tour.

April 6, 2024

Grouplove electrified Boston’s Roadrunner with their March 29 concert — the penultimate stop on their “Rock and Roll Won’t Save Me” tour.

Students braved the cold and gathered in Tercentenary Theatre for Yardfest, the College’s annual spring concert. R&B star Tinashe headlined the night, performing her 2014 hit song “2 On.”

April 8, 2024

Students braved the cold and gathered in Tercentenary Theatre for Yardfest, the College’s annual spring concert. R&B star Tinashe headlined the night, performing her 2014 hit song “2 On.”

Harvard affiliates across campus stepped outside Monday afternoon to witness a near-total solar eclipse — the first visible from North America since 2017.

April 9, 2024

Harvard affiliates across campus stepped outside Monday afternoon to witness a near-total solar eclipse — the first visible from North America since 2017.

The Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics hosted a conversation with Kevin McCarthy, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, on the 2024 election.

April 11, 2024

The Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics hosted a conversation with Kevin McCarthy, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, on the 2024 election.

Harvard undergraduates were among thousands of runners who crossed the finish line of the 128th Boston Marathon. Emotions ran high for runners and spectators alike on the warm spring day. The 26.2 mile course began in rural Hopkinton, continued through Heartbreak Hill in Newton, and ended in Boston’s Copley Square.

April 16, 2024

Harvard undergraduates were among thousands of runners who crossed the finish line of the 128th Boston Marathon. Emotions ran high for runners and spectators alike on the warm spring day. The 26.2 mile course began in rural Hopkinton, continued through Heartbreak Hill in Newton, and ended in Boston’s Copley Square.

More than 130 years after its installation atop the Cambridge City Hall, a mechanical tower clock — wound by hand each week — continues to chime. Above, a set of gears translates the time-keeping motion to the four clock faces on the exterior of City Hall.

April 18, 2024

More than 130 years after its installation atop the Cambridge City Hall, a mechanical tower clock — wound by hand each week — continues to chime. Above, a set of gears translates the time-keeping motion to the four clock faces on the exterior of City Hall.

Asian American Dance Troupe (AADT) dancers in the piece “Am I Dreaming” showcased their sophisticated footwork and techniques to pieces from Stray Kids and SVT The8. AADT's 30th annual show, which was completely sold out, was held in the Loeb Drama Center.

April 24, 2024

Asian American Dance Troupe (AADT) dancers in the piece ’Am I Dreaming’ showcased their sophisticated footwork and techniques to pieces from Stray Kids and SVT The8. AADT’s 30th annual show, which was completely sold out, was held in the Loeb Drama Center.

Pro-Palestine students occupied Harvard Yard in an encampment beginning Wednesday, April 24. The protest came just two days after Harvard College suspended the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee — while universities across the country have also faced a wave of pro-Palestinian student demonstrations.

April 25, 2024

Pro-Palestine students occupied Harvard Yard in an encampment beginning Wednesday, April 24. The protest came just two days after Harvard College suspended the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee — while universities across the country have also faced a wave of pro-Palestinian student demonstrations.

At Harvard, a confrontation during a protest erupts in political controversy — and lands in court

A group of demonstrators, including Harvard students Ibrahim Bharmal (left with vest) and Elom Tettey-Tamaklo (blue shirt), surrounded Israeli student Yoav Segev with his hands up at a pro-Palestinian protest on Oct. 18, 2023.

Last October, Yoav Segev, a Harvard Business School student, walked through a pro-Palestinian demonstration on his campus. He used his phone to video record protesters who were lying on the ground as if they were dead.

As Segev stepped over and around the bodies, other demonstrators approached, and then surrounded him. One said, “Get out, get out, get out.”

A scrum formed, with Segev at its center, according to multiple videos of the incident recorded by bystanders and a news helicopter. There was bumping, bickering. Minutes later, Segev walked away. No one was injured. Police officers standing nearby did not intervene.

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The incident might have been forgotten as a minor tussle in a charged environment. Instead, it has ricocheted across the globe for more than half a year in viral videos, civil lawsuits, missives from lawmakers, and international news reports. Republicans in Congress have used it as a cudgel to pound Harvard over its response to the turmoil over the Israel-Hamas war. Pro-Palestinian activists have said the reaction to the confrontation is evidence of a pervasive bias that paints them as violent extremists. Some Jewish advocates have held it up as evidence of resurgent campus antisemitism.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation looked into the incident. Mitt Romney signed a letter saying it revealed failings with Harvard’s leadership. It was an element of the conflagration at Harvard last fall that contributed to the resignation of the school’s president, Claudine Gay, earlier this year.

Now, more than seven months later, the confrontation has moved into court: Two pro-Palestinian Harvard graduate students, Elom Tettey-Tamaklo and Ibrahim Bharmal, are facing one misdemeanor count each of assault and battery and a civil rights violation — essentially a hate crime. They are accused of targeting Segev based on his Jewish identity and of making unwanted contact with him as they tried to obstruct his video recording and usher him away from the demonstration.

Protesters encircled Yoav Segev as he moved through the yard as pro-Palestinian protesters lay on the ground as if they were dead at Harvard Business School.

Segev, 26, who is Israeli, is a Harvard Business School student. Tettey-Tamaklo, 27, is a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School. Bharmal, 28, is enrolled at Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School. He is an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

The accused say they are innocent. Any contact between themselves and Segev was unintentional and they did not know he was Jewish when they approached him, Bharmal and Tettey-Tamaklo said in an interview with the Globe.

They also say they are being railroaded. In court, their lawyers have raised the prospect that Harvard may be pursuing criminal charges against them in response to political pressure. Republicans in Congress, who are investigating Harvard’s response to antisemitism, have urged Harvard for months to punish them. More broadly, some donors have exerted pressure on universities to crack down on pro-Palestinian demonstrations, including the recent encampments that upended the final weeks of the academic year at dozens of schools.

The Harvard University Police Department went to court in Brighton in March to bring the charges against Bharmal and Tettey-Tamaklo. The department, which reports directly to top Harvard leaders, has the power under Massachusetts law to make arrests and pursue criminal charges in state courts. The office of Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden did not publicly sign off on the charges or appear at a hearing on May 8 about the case.

The next day, a clerk-magistrate granted the Harvard police’s request and officially handed down the criminal charges.

In court filings, the Harvard police said Bharmal and Tettey-Tamaklo committed assault and battery by “interfering with [Segev’s] movement,” shouting the word “shame” at him, “appearing to make contact with [Segev] on more than one occasion,” and by “placing a keffiyeh” — a type of scarf — “on top of [Segev’s] head.”

The civil rights violation, Harvard police wrote, is for “participat[ing] in activity that appears to interfere with [Segev] freely walking throughout the campus and to interfere with him taking videos of the demonstration.”

Thomas Nolan, a former Boston police lieutenant and criminal justice professor, criticized the decision to pursue a misdemeanor assault and battery case. “It’s a Mickey Mouse charge,” he said. Battery is “a touching offense,” he added, meaning it can be applied in cases involving light physical contact.

“Most police officers are not going to charge someone with a simple assault and battery,” he said. “They’re going to have something else” — an allegation involving more serious criminality— “to go with that that would compel a criminal prosecution.”

Nolan watched a video compilation of the incident, which was provided to the Harvard police and to the Globe by Segev’s attorney. “I didn’t see anything in the video that I would characterize as an assault and battery ... or anything remotely approaching a civil rights violation,” he said.

Leonard Kesten, a lawyer who has represented police departments in criminal and civil cases, said that even if the elements of the assault and battery crime were met, Harvard police were not obligated to pursue criminal charges. “There’s always discretion whether to charge or not,” he said.

Both men thought the evidence for the civil rights violation was thin because it relies almost solely on Segev’s assertion the defendants knew he was Jewish, which the defendants deny.

They also thought political considerations could have influenced the case. “It’s certainly fair to question what the motivation is for pursuing this case all of these months later,” Nolan said.

A Harvard University spokesperson declined to respond to any questions about the case or the incident. The attorney for Segev, Douglas Brooks, said it would be inappropriate for him to comment since his client isn’t a party to the case.

Brooks, along with the Brandeis Center, an advocacy group, separately filed a civil lawsuit against Harvard in Massachusetts federal court last week. The suit references the Segev case and accuses Harvard of being “deliberately indifferent to the pervasive antisemitism on campus.”

The confrontation occurred during a hellish time on Harvard’s campus — 11 days after Hamas’s killing and kidnapping spree through southern Israel spurred Israel’s retaliatory war in the Gaza Strip. The conflict provoked strong reactions on campus that put Harvard in a spotlight like few other schools. A statement issued by pro-Palestinian student groups on Oct. 7 saying Israel bore sole responsibility for the violence provoked an international furor.

Dozens of students linked to the statement were doxxed, that is, their names, photos, and addresses were posted online. They received death threats. They had job offers rescinded. Trucks with giant monitors rolled through Harvard Square displaying their faces and names under the words, “Harvard’s Leading Antisemites.”

During the Oct. 18 “die-in,” when Bharmal and Tettey-Tamaklo saw Segev video recording the protesters, they said they thought he was going to use the footage to dox them. They said they were also concerned he might hurt protesters lying on the ground as he stepped over and around them.

Numerous videos of the incident have circulated online, from bystanders who recorded from multiple angles, from a news helicopter covering the event, and from Segev himself.

The footage shows Segev stepping over and around the demonstrators lying on the ground while recording them. Then he was approached by Bharmal, who had volunteered as a safety marshal for the demonstration, and Tettey-Tamaklo, an organizer, as well as other demonstrators.

“Our primary concern is for the safety of the people at the die-in,” Tettey-Tamaklo said in an interview. “It’s important that we escort this individual out.”

Tettey-Tamaklo said he and other demonstrators used keffiyehs, a type of scarf that is a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian cause, to block the camera on Segev’s phone. Excerpts from Segev’s video that have circulated online show keffiyehs draping over his lens.

“You’re grabbing me,” Segev is heard saying in the video. “This is not grabbing you,” a woman responds.

There is disagreement about what happened next.

Segev later told the Harvard police that he was “hit multiple times by many people,” according to a police report. The videos show one unidentified, masked man bumping Segev with his torso and pushing down Segev’s arm as Segev held out his phone. (In the videos, both Bharmal and Tettey-Tamaklo were not wearing masks.)

Bharmal and Tettey-Tamaklo said they were trying to de-escalate the situation. The videos show them obstructing Segev’s movement, as Tettey-Tamaklo and other demonstrators repeatedly yell “Exit!” and “Shame!”

A Harvard Business School administrator, Robert Breslow, who saw the confrontation, told police that he thought the demonstrators’ actions made the situation less safe, according to a police report.

At the end, the videos show Segev walking away from the demonstration.

Tettey-Tamaklo said he stood by his actions. “We felt pretty good about how we had de-escalated the situation,” he said. “It’s important to note,” he added, “that Harvard police officers were on the scene and they saw everything happen.” At least one even recorded the confrontation, according to a police report. None intervened. (The police video has not been made public.)

Later that day, Segev sat down with two Harvard police officers in a Harvard Business School building. He told them protesters had put “their hands on him” and “block[ed] his path,” according to a Harvard police report.

Later, Segev’s father, Ilan Segev, a former Israeli diplomat who lives in the Boston area, emailed the Harvard police and said he had identified two of the protesters shown in the video: Bharmal and Tettey-Tamaklo. Ilan Segev “stated in his email that his son wanted to press charges,” according to the police report.

Over the next two weeks, Bharmal’s and Tettey-Tamaklo’s lives were turned upside down. They were named in an article in the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news outlet, that said they were among protesters who “shoved and accosted” Segev. Then the videos of the confrontation went viral.

Some media outlets called attention to a social media post by Tettey-Tamaklo in the weeks after Oct. 7 that said, “The beast of Zionism shall be slain.”

Websites and social media accounts sought to tie Bharmal to the controversial Oct. 7 statement by Harvard student groups. They noted that a group he had previously led, the HLS South Asian Law Students Association, had originally signed the statement. The group later rescinded its signature, said it regretted signing the statement, and said it “condemns terrorism.”

Bharmal, a Harvard Law School student, said he had a summer job offer from a major law firm rescinded. Tettey-Tamaklo, a Harvard Divinity School student, lost his job as a Harvard proctor, a role similar to a resident assistant. He also lost his university housing, he said.

Death threats and racist vitriol poured into their email inboxes. (Bharmal is South Asian and Muslim; Tettey-Tamaklo is Black.) “I hope you rot in a hole with the rest of the terrorists,” said one email to Bharmal sent on the night of Nov. 1. “You will be wiped off this earth and the world will be a better place.”

Bharmal said he was beginning to have regular panic attacks. Late on the night of Nov. 1, he wrote to three deans at Harvard Law School. “Severely Doxxed, Receiving Death Threats,” the subject line said. “I am currently experiencing targeted harassment and doxxing based on a false allegation,” Bharmal wrote. “I am reaching out proactively because online commenters are tagging Harvard accounts with these false allegations.”

The next day, that email was forwarded to the Harvard police, according to a police report. It became part of the evidence in a criminal investigation Bharmal did not know was underway.

Who kept it alive, and why? Harvard will not say.

What is clear is the university has faced extraordinary pressure to punish Bharmal and Tettey-Tamaklo. In a scathing letter to Harvard’s leaders about a hostile campus climate for Jews, Mitt Romney and other Harvard Business School alumni referred to the incident as a “violent assault.” Republicans in Congress made the incident a focal point of their investigation into Harvard’s response to campus antisemitism. Representative Elise Stefanik recently accused Harvard’s top leaders of a “delay of justice” in the case.

Bharmal and Tettey-Tamaklo also question if bias played a role in the investigation.

The Harvard police detective handling their case, Sergeant Thomas Karns, was accused in 2019 of calling a Black colleague the n-word and a gay slur. According to reports in the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper, Karns denied using the n-word. But the union for Harvard police officers said he used the gay slur, and an outside arbitrator who reviewed the incident said he used the n-word, according to Crimson reports.

Karns was also once accused by the American Civil Liberties Union of surveilling pro-Palestinian activists. He was spotted, in 2008, photographing demonstrators in Harvard Square and later explained in a police report that he had been engaged in “intelligence gathering,” according to the ACLU. Harvard has never specified why he was gathering intelligence. But in a sworn affidavit for an unrelated case last year, Karns identified himself as a member of an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Domestic intelligence agencies sometimes surveil pro-Palestinian activist groups.

Harvard declined to answer any questions about Karns or make him available for an interview.

Now that criminal charges have been issued, the decision whether to prosecute the case rests with Hayden, the Suffolk district attorney.

A spokesperson for Hayden’s office declined to comment.

On Tuesday, after the Globe sent questions to Hayden’s office and to Segev’s lawyer, a prosecutor from Hayden’s office asked the Brighton court to impound the files related to the case. The court complied, hiding all of the police records from public view, including from the defendants.

John R. Ellement and Jeremy C. Fox of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

A pro-Palestinian protest of Harvard students and their supporters, on Oct. 18, 2023.

Thomas Nolan was misidentified in an earlier version of this story.

Mike Damiano can be reached at [email protected] .

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Harvard Management Company CEO Receives 6.9% Pay Cut Over Poor Investment Returns

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The Harvard Management Company, the entity that stewards Harvard’s $50.7 billion endowment , cut the pay of Chief Executive Officer N.P. “Narv” Narvekar by 6.9 percent in 2022 after the endowment had its third-worst annual investment results in the last 20 years.

Narvekar, who received $6.19 million in total compensation, saw his total pay drop to its lowest levels since he joined the HMC in 2016. Narvekar received approximately $1 million in base salary and $5.2 million in bonuses.

Harvard disclosed the 2022 salaries of its highest paid administrators and faculty members in the University’s annual Form 990 tax filings on Friday. The Internal Revenue Service requires all tax-exempt organizations — including higher education institutions — to report salaries for each fiscal year.

The HMC reported compensation figures for its top executives, encompassing salaries, incentive-based compensation, and deferred payments from previous years. Harvard and HMC separately file taxes to the IRS.

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Former University Treasurer Paul Finnegan ’75 — who chairs the HMC board of directors that approves salaries and bonuses for HMC executives — rushed to dispel any notion that the University’s leadership had lost confidence in Narvekar.

Finnegan, who will step down from the Harvard Corporation at the end of June, praised Narvekar and his team for producing annualized endowment returns of 9.2 percent and reshaping the University’s investing approach.

“Over the course of six fiscal years, Narv and his team have made tremendous progress repositioning the endowment and HMC for long-term success,” Finnegan wrote in a Friday press release.

“Their hard work has allowed the University to sustain this critical source of funding for financial aid, groundbreaking research, and world class teaching,” he added.

In 2022, Narvekar and Chief Investment Officer Richard W. Slocum elected to defer $1.24 million in compensation to this fiscal year. The move led to an increase in their total reported compensation on W-2 forms for the 2023 fiscal year, despite changes in salary and bonuses.

The Form 990 tax filings also disclosed the salary of the University’s top leadership, including the pay of former Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow during his final year in the job.

Bacow earned roughly $1.3 million during the 2023 fiscal year, in line with his 2022 earnings .

The compensation figures reported by the University depict earnings for the 2023 fiscal year spanning from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023. Bacow, who stepped down in June, was the only president whose earnings were reported in Friday’s filings.

During the 2023 fiscal year, then-University Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 received yet another pay hike , earning over $175,000 more than 2022. He earned a salary of $884,365 and an additional $238,402 in compensation for his residence provided by the University.

Garber’s earnings do not reflect his current salary as interim president and its compensation package, after he succeeded former Harvard President Claudine Gay in an interim capacity.

Gay, who served as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences throughout the entirety of the most recent fiscal year, earned $679,638 — a slight increase from the year prior.

Gay’s current salary remains unclear. She served as president for just 185 days before resigning amid allegations of plagiarism and fierce backlash over her handling of campus antisemitism . She has since returned to her role as a Government and African and African American Studies professor.

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The compensation figures do not include University provided housing offered to top administrators or other non-taxable benefits including medical insurance and retirement contributions made by the University.

David J. Malan ’99, a computer science professor of practice, remained Harvard’s highest paid active faculty member for a third straight year earning over $1.3 million. Malan teaches the flagship Harvard course Computer Science 50: “Introduction to Computer Science I,” which has evolved into one of the College’s largest classes and draws massive online enrollment at the Harvard Extension School.

Harvard Business School professors Rohit Deshpande and Walter C. Kester were among the top earning faculty members, each receiving north of $2 million. The sudden increase in their compensation was due to the voluntary retirement plan for tenure faculty where they can opt to retire in exchange for a lump-sum payment.

—Staff writer Thomas J. Mete can be reached at [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter @thomasjmete .

Read more in University News

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  • Harvard Corporation Rejects FAS Effort to Let 13 Pro-Palestine Student Protesters Graduate
  • Harvard Faculty Overwhelmingly Vote to Allow Seniors Disciplined Over Encampment to Graduate

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    harvard crimson essay 2023

  2. Global Winners

    harvard crimson essay 2023

  3. The Harvard Crimson Global Essay Competition

    harvard crimson essay 2023

  4. The Harvard Crimson Global Essay Competition

    harvard crimson essay 2023

  5. Argumentative Category

    harvard crimson essay 2023

  6. In Photos: Commencement Returns to Harvard

    harvard crimson essay 2023

COMMENTS

  1. 10 Successful Harvard Application Essays

    10 Successful Harvard Application Essays | 2023. With the top applicants from every high school applying to the best schools in the country, it's important to have an edge in your college application.

  2. Winning Essays 2023

    Paco, at the time when the alleged crime occurred, was attending classes in Manila, an entirely different city on an entirely different island, more than 500 miles away. Classmates, teachers, passenger records, and photographic evidence stood irrevocably in his defense.

  3. The Harvard Crimson Global Essay Competition

    The Harvard Crimson Global Essay Competition provides a platform for young, ambitious high school students to exercise their writing skills and compete with students from all over the world! This competition encourages students to challenge themselves and explore different writing styles to ultimately strengthen their writing skills.

  4. 10 Successful Harvard Application Essays

    Check out our list of 10 new Harvard application essays from students who made it in, and hear from expert college consultants about what made these work. sponsored by. The Crimson's news and ...

  5. How To Ace Harvard's '23/24 Supplemental Essay Prompts

    For the 2023/24 application cycle, Harvard University has outlined specific supplemental essay prompts to understand applicants better in addition to the Common App or Coalition App questions. These questions delve into your experiences, intellectual pursuits, and personal insights. Students are required to answer each Harvard-specific question ...

  6. Connor's Essay

    Connor's Essay. by Dan Lichterman, in collaboration with the crimson brand studio. sponsored by. As an admission essay specialist, Dan Lichterman has been empowering students to find their voice ...

  7. 10 Successful Harvard Application Essays

    10 Successful Harvard Application Essays | 2023. By The Crimson Brand Studio July 24, 2023. Zadoc I.N. Gee. With the top applicants from every high school applying to the best schools in the country, it's important to have an edge in your college application. Check out our list of 10 new Harvard application essays from students who made it in ...

  8. Global Winners 2023

    Winning Essays 2023 Winning Essays 2022 Argumentative Winning Essays 2022 Creative Join our Community! Prompts. Prompts 2024 Prompts History ... Congratulations to the 2023 Global winners! Follow us on social media. Back to Top. Terms & Conditions.

  9. Competition Structure and Dates

    HCGEC 2024 will run from February through March 2024. The competition features two key rounds, the regional qualifiers held throughout 5 regions, followed by the global finals. To compete in the global round, participants must go head-to-head with local participants and place in the top 15 of the regional qualifiers. APAC (East Asia, Southeast ...

  10. Home Register 2023

    The Harvard Crimson Global Essay Competition provides a platform for young, ambitious high school students to exercise their writing skills and compete with students from all over the world! This competition encourages students to challenge themselves and explore different writing styles to ultimately strengthen their writing skills.

  11. 10 Successful Harvard Application Essays

    Successful Harvard Essay. "You should scrub off the top layer of your skin whenever you lose a round," my debate teammate once advised me. "That's not practical," I replied. "Neither ...

  12. Connor's Essay

    As an admission essay specialist, Dan Lichterman has been empowering students to find their voice since 2004. He helps students stand out on paper, eliminating the unnecessary so the necessary may speak. Drawing upon his storytelling background, Dan guides applicants to craft authentic essays that leap off the page. He is available for online ...

  13. Prizes

    Winning Essays 2023 Winning Essays 2022 Argumentative ... Find out below what winning the exclusive Harvard Crimson Internship is like from HCGEC 2022's winner! Global Finalists. Best English Language Learner (ELL) Essay Details. Participants from an ELL background will be eligible to win one of the two prizes for Best ELL Essay. US$100 cash.

  14. Harvard Overhauls College Application in Wake of ...

    After the Supreme Court radically curtailed the use of race in higher education admissions, Harvard College overhauled the free-response questions on its application, eliminating the Harvard ...

  15. How to Write the Harvard University Essays 2023-2024

    First, identify one or two goals you have for the future—with just 200 words, you won't have space to elaborate on any more than that. Ideally, these should be relatively concrete. You don't have to have your whole life mapped out, but you do need to be a lot more specific than "Make a difference in the world.".

  16. Global Finalists

    Winning Essays 2023 Winning Essays 2022 Argumentative Winning Essays 2022 Creative Join our Community! ... The following are the finalists from each region for each essay stream. These contestants will be moving on to the Global Round and will be provided with further instruction via email. Australia & New Zealand . CREATIVE.

  17. Let's Talk About Harvard's Brand New College Application

    While Harvard's new prompts signify a notable effort to meet the moment, we have misgivings about the ability of these new questions to thoroughly capture the diverse array of student experiences. How can students reasonably condense discussions about formative life experiences and their identities into 200 words or less?

  18. Harvard Essays

    Harvard Essays. By Crimson News Staff. August 3, 2023. Interactive content by Flourish.

  19. Harvard Overhauls College Application in Wake of Affirmative Action

    After the Supreme Court radically curtailed the use of race in higher education admissions, the College overhauled the free-response questions on its application, eliminating the Harvard supplement optional essay — the longer-form response that allowed applicants to write on virtually any topic of their choosing — and replacing it with ...

  20. Competitions

    January - March 2024. About: The Harvard Crimson Global Essay Competition brings together ambitious high school students from around the world with an interest in writing. This competition is an annual opportunity for students to showcase their talents on a global stage, compete to win exclusive educational opportunities and prizes, and explore ...

  21. Successful Harvard Medical School Essays

    By The Crimson Brand Studio May 24, 2023. Joey Huang. Harvard Medical School's New Research Building is located at 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur. With a consistently competitive pool of applicants submitting essays to top medical schools each year, it is essential to gain a high-level understanding of what a successful application reads like.

  22. Harvard University's 2023-24 Essay Prompts

    Extracurricular Short Response. Required. 200 Words. Briefly describe any of your extracurricular activities, employment experience, travel, or family responsibilities that have shaped who you are. Read our essay guide to get started. Submit your essay for free peer review to refine and perfect it. Submit or review an essay.

  23. Former Harvard President Bacow, Maria Ressa to ...

    He was named one of Time's 100 most influential people in 2010 and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2023. Dudamel previously came to Harvard's campus in 2016, where ...

  24. 'Championships Are Like Children': Tim Murphy ...

    The 2023 Crimson team was no exception. The roster was led by a crop of newcomers, as quarterbacks Luke Emge '22 and Charlie Dean '23 — who split most of the first-team reps in 2021 and 2022 ...

  25. 'Last One Standing': William R. Fitzsimmons ...

    In 2023, Harvard announced a second consecutive raise to the income threshold at which ... replacing its longstanding essays with ... The Harvard Crimson; The University Daily, Est. 1873;

  26. Harvard Athletics Class of 2024 Honored at Senior Letterwinners' Dinner

    Harvard's most outstanding athlete from a men's team is presented with the William J. Bingham '16 Award. The 2023-24 recipient was Henry von der Schulenburg of men's tennis. Over the course of his career, von der Schulenberg helped lead the Crimson to three straight Ivy League championships and three straight NCAA tournament appearances.

  27. The Year in Photos: 2023-24

    Sep. 30, 2023. Before the festivities for the inauguration of Claudine Gay, Harvard's four most recent presidents posed for a photo in front of Massachusetts Hall. From top to bottom, left to right: Lawrence H. Summers, Lawrence S. Bacow, Drew Gilpin Faust, and then University President Claudine Gay. Julian J. Giordano.

  28. At Harvard, a confrontation during a protest erupts in political

    Segev, 26, who is Israeli, is a Harvard Business School student. Tettey-Tamaklo, 27, is a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School. Bharmal, 28, is enrolled at Harvard Law School and Harvard ...

  29. 'Sack the Sacklers': Students Urge Harvard to Remove Sackler Name for a

    Nine Harvard students protested Harvard's ties to the infamous Sackler family, the former owners of Purdue Pharma, at the Harvard Art Museums for a final class assignment on Saturday. ... the Sackler family settlement in 2023 required the family to pay $6 billion to combat opioid addiction while also shielding them from personal civil ...

  30. Harvard Management Company CEO Receives 6.9% Pay Cut Over Poor

    The move led to an increase in their total reported compensation on W-2 forms for the 2023 fiscal year, despite changes in salary and bonuses. The Form 990 tax filings also disclosed the salary of the University's top leadership, including the pay of former Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow during his final year in the job.