How They Got into Harvard: 50 Successful Applicants Share 8 Key Strategies for Getting into the College of Your Choice

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  • a nice first book for learning what makes a successful Ivy League candidate
  • must be read for its general assessment of a great application, not as the most up-to-date resource on Harvard’s admissions secrets
  • provides charming accounts of dozens of successful Harvard applicants, all of which from varying levels of “Harvard-esque” backgrounds

How They Got Into Harvard: “How quickly can I get a copy?” many Ivy League-crazed parents and students would likely ask off this book’s title alone. In a pretty remarkable overview of fifty successful Harvard entrants, all of which of various levels of quote-unquote brilliance and exceptional nature, the book purports to give readers a behind-the-scenes glance at the top eight most important qualities to mimic in their own bid to enter the Cambridge, MA campus. True, the book’s contents are a bit dated (having been published in the Stone Age of 2005). But those with their thinking caps on should be able to effectively mine this work for its general, still-relevant overview of what makes a great college applicant.

Readers need to take How They Got Into Harvard with a grain of salt, in that the book leans toward the theoretical rather than the actionable. As Harvard’s admissions policies and strategies update by the year, taking this title’s contents verbatim as paint-by-numbers application advice is ill advised. Rather, How They Got Into Harvard focuses on those evergreen qualities of successful admission bids on which readers can rely as standout characteristics in any year of applying to the elite university.

How They Got Into Harvard won’t necessarily help readers get into Harvard themselves on its own, but it’s an agreeable initial title to prying open the Ivy League gates.