What are the eligibility requirements for this program?

This program is for students who are from backgrounds of social and financial adversity. All applicants must meet the following criteria:
– First-in-family/first-generation to attend university
– Low-income background
– Ages 18-26
– Currently enrolled in an undergraduate program (or recent graduate from an undergraduate program not currently pursuing a graduate degree)

If one of my parents completed an undergraduate or graduate degree, do I qualify?

No, this program is for first-in-family/first-generation to university students.

How do you define “first-in-family/first-generation”?

This refers to the first person in the family or a person of the first generation of a family. Family includes adoptive and/or biological members of your immediate family. 

If my sibling or cousin is already enrolled or has already graduated from university, am I still eligible?

Yes, you are still eligible if your siblings have attended or will be attending university. 

Can I apply if I have already graduated from university?

Yes, we accept students that are between 18-26 years old, who are going to begin an undergraduate program soon OR are enrolled in an undergraduate university program OR who are recent graduates of a university within the last 3 years. If you graduated exactly three years ago, you also qualify.

Can I apply if I am in a graduate or postgraduate program (Master’s degree, PhD, etc.)?


If I am currently working and not enrolled as a student, do I qualify?

We accept first-in-family recent graduates of university, graduating from an undergraduate program within the past 3 years. If you have worked since graduation, you are eligible. 

If I am about to begin my first semester of university this year, do I qualify?

Yes, as long as the other criteria are met. 

I am older than 26 because of an alternative education timeline. Do I still qualify?

Yes, on a case-by-case basis, as long as other criteria are met. We realize that extenuating circumstances may have altered your path. Please inquire about your specific circumstances by emailing us at info@aspireleaders.org.

Is there assistance for applicants with disabilities?

Yes. Please contact us directly via email at info@aspireleaders.org.

Do I need a TOEFL or IELTS score to apply to the program?

No. While fluency in English is required, shortlisted candidates will only need to demonstrate fluency during the application process. Several Aspire graduates have received grants from the Aspire Institute to fund a TOEFL exam. 

What should I expect from the program? What topics will be covered?

Participants will gain exposure to a variety of experiences, such as a Harvard classroom environment, case-study discussion groups, sessions led by Harvard and other world-class faculty, mentor workshops, and talks led by admissions professionals. This extensive, multidisciplinary curriculum has been curated by Harvard faculty. Most uniquely, finalists will connect with a diverse, hard-working, and talented group of future leaders spanning continents and intellectual curiosities.


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