Harvard-Cambridge Scholarships - How to Apply

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at 11:59pm (ET)

The Harvard-Cambridge Scholarships provide for one year of study at Cambridge University. There are currently four Harvard-Cambridge Scholarships, which are distinct from one another only in the Colleges where respective scholars reside. Applicants make one application, and the Selection Committee decides which of the four scholarships each one of the four successful candidates will be awarded.

  1. Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholarship (Emmanuel College)
  2. John Eliot Scholarship (Jesus College)
  3. Lt. Charles H. Fiske III Scholarship (Trinity College)
  4. Gov. William Shirley Scholarship (Pembroke College)

Each of the four scholarships provides tuition and fees for three terms, placement at the designated college, lodging, and a generous stipend to cover living expenses and some travel.

The criteria for selection are broad. The Selection Committee — made up entirely of former scholars — looks for people who have been actively engaged in their academic and extracurricular pursuits, who have learned and grown at Harvard, and who give promise of further learning and growth. There is no requirement of a particular grade point average or concentration although candidates must be admitted to a graduate program at Cambridge. Ambassadorial qualities are as important as academic strengths. At the same time, no specific extracurricular activities or positions automatically qualify a candidate either for an interview or an award. The achievements of scholarship winners are often outstanding, but these are neither required nor determinative of success in the selection process.

By far the most important parts of an application are the student’s essay and the letters of recommendation. The Selection Committee is not seeking merit-badge collectors; a sense of adventure and a willingness to take risks may mean more than a string of successes. The essay should therefore devote greater attention to the applicant’s background and interests than to a program of study. In other words, the essay should not be a purely academic proposal, though some awareness of the educational structure at Cambridge is advisable. The Selection Committee’s focus is on the person at a moment in time because it has always been important to the Committee to select scholars who are likely to make the most of the entire experience life in Cambridge has to offer. Applicants must apply on their own for admission to their chosen degree program at Cambridge.

Many House tutors have known and recommended students for these scholarships and can provide a very good sense of what kind of applications find the most favor with the Committee.

Seniors graduating from Harvard College are eligible.

  • Applications due: November 29, 2022
  • Semi-finalist interviewsLate January
  • Finalist interviews Mid-February


 Download the full application instructions on the URAF website