There aren’t many days in one’s life when one can say, “I was accepted to Harvard today.” But yesterday was one of those days for me.
When waiting to hear back from undergraduate institutions, I used to cross my fingers for the “thick envelope,” the one containing a letter of congratulations and information about financial aid, touring, student health, etc. In the last five years, however, most institutions seem to have made the transition to electronic communications, so I’ve recently found myself hoping for the “400kb email with one attachment” instead of the “4kb text-only” no-thank-you.
Harvard, in their literally old-school style, sent its decision via the postal service. And whereas five years ago I received a small “thanks but no thanks” envelope from them, yesterday I was greeting by a large white envelope from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Sure enough, they were delighted to inform me of my admissions to the GSAS at Harvard University. Here’s the scoop:
- All tuition/fees covered (true of every institution to which I’ve been accepted)
- $23,000 annual stipend (after adjusting for cost-of-living, comparable to other offers I’ve received)
- $18,000 one-time James Mills Peirce Fellowship, “given annually to a select group of the most talented prospective PhD students in the natural sciences and engineering.” (No Wikipedia article about Dr. Peirce, but he was apparently the first Dean of the GSAS as well as a “devoted teacher, talented administrator, and zealous supporter of advanced scholarship.”) This was certainly a pleasant surprise!
- They seem to have great graduate housing options available, which is nice. Finding housing at Berkeley seems nontrivial.
There’s an orientation for newly admitted students at the end of March which I plan to attend (maybe they’ll reimburse me for a T-pass, or a new set of tires for my bike?). And sometime in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be meeting up with a friend of mine who’s finishing her first year of the Harvard Statistics PhD experience. So many exciting opportunities at this point, and I still need to hear from UNC Chapel Hill and Duke!