Sunday, December 1, 2013

JFK's Harvard College Application Essay

I guess it helped to be the son of the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, I mean, applying to Harvard in 1935, when John F. Kennedy applied. His grades at Choate were kind of grim - 62 and French and Latin - and his essay wasn't earth shattering. I can say with confidence that if you want to get into Harvard these days, you need something a little stronger than this. JFK's Harvard application and accompanying documents, including a priceless letter from his father, are now available on-line from the Kennedy Library right here. Fascinating stuff. 

This is his hand-written essay in its entirety:

"The reasons that I have for wishing to go Harvard are several. I feel that Harvard can give me a better background and a better liberal education than any other university. I have always wanted to go there, as I have felt that it is not just another college, but is a university with something definitive [cd be "definite"] to offer. Then too, I would like to go to the same college as my father. To be a 'Harvard man' is an enviable destination, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain."  April 23, 1935

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