Harvard freshman visits MV with news of financial aid

Chloe Jackson, Staff Writer

Olivia Weeks, a freshman student at Harvard University, visited Mount Vernon Township High School on January 15 to educate students interested in attending Harvard University.

Weeks stated that the majority of Harvard students rely heavily on financial aid to be able to afford such a prestigious school.

“[Around] 60-70 percent of Harvard students receive some amount of aid while 20 percent receive full financial aid,” stated Weeks.

As Weeks did not receive any scholarships, her application process for Harvard’s financial one became even more crucial if she were to be accepted.

While the application was well worth it in the end, it proved to be an extremely long process.

“The financial aid process was complicated for me because I have a weird family dynamic, but ultimately it worked out really well,” Weeks explained.

Weeks further explains the specifics of her application. “I had to fill out both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile and spend some time on the phone with the financial aid office at Harvard to describe my personal circumstances,” Weeks said.

Harvard, being the ivy league school it is, was more of a distant hope than a dream for the freshman attendee.

“ I applied to eight schools and my safety school was University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,” Weeks told us.

With the University of Illinois being relatively close to home for this West Frankfort Redbird, she was happy to have this school as a solid option.

“UIUC was really the only school I was super confident I’d be accepted at,” stated Weeks

After applying to Harvard, Weeks tried to brush it off, moving on as if it was not a possibility.

“I was absolutely shocked when I found out I’d been accepted to Harvard. I had no hope whatsoever that I’d be admitted there,” Weeks stated.

When asked what some of the biggest advantages of going to Harvard were, Weeks was not hesitant to share her excitement.

Weeks happily replied “The biggest advantage that comes with going to Harvard is the sheer amount of resources.”

There are tons of people who are just there to help you become more comfortable and confident at Harvard.

“They provide [around] 5 different advisors/mentors for freshmen, the class sizes are really small, and there are all kinds of academic departments focused on making the academic transition easier for students,” Weeks explained.

Along with having multiple mentors to aid their students, Weeks reminded us of Harvard’s true principle: Creating successful, productive of members of society.

Weeks stated, “Going to a school like Harvard is amazing because they have the funds to provide really personalized education to their students.”