Harvard Prize Book Program

Program Overview
For Prize Book Sponsors

Pay for a Prize Book On-line

For Participating Schools



Program Overview

The Harvard Club of Minnesota, teamed with over 90 high schools around the state, awards the Harvard Prize Book Award to a junior at each school who demonstrates excellence in scholarship and high achievement in other non-academic areas, such as community service. The program has two objectives:

  • To provide schools with a means to recognize students for their academic and personal achievements.
  • To encourage students to think broadly about where they apply to college. While admission to Harvard is very competitive, it seeks out talented students throughout the country and around the world, and is able to make attendance affordable to all who are admitted.

The recipient is selected by the school itself; HCM and its members provide the prize books. Harvard Clubs around the world participate in the program, awarding prize books to students in 1900 schools world-wide. Here is the list of schools participating in 2020-21 and their sponsors.

The award has a significant impact on the recipient and his/her school. Some feedback from schools:

It’s a definite honor for the school as well as for the students.

It is prestigious and helps to inspire the students.

It’s an honor our students truly appreciate.

Most students who are recipients are aware of the award and see it as an honor. We have a school-wide awards program where students are publicly (in front of all HS students and many parents) acknowledged for their accomplishments. High flying sophomores may even set their sights on receiving a book prize as a junior.

Recent recipients say:

I was very honored to receive this award.  I am looking forward to reading the essays in The Harvard Sampler over the summer, especially “The Human Mind” by Steven Pinker, because I just watched a video of a lecture he gave on linguistics in my Theory of Knowledge class.

Thank you so much for awarding me the Harvard Prize Book as an Osseo Senior High student. It is a great honor to have my hard work recognized by the Harvard Club of Minnesota. I admire Harvard's commitment to excellence, and appreciate the collection of essays you have given me.

Thank you again for the award, and I promise that I will continue to work hard on my education!

A prize book sponsor says:

My pleasure to give back - receiving The Book when I was in high school was probably a reason I thought about applying!

For Prize Book Sponsors

Thanks to our members who have sponsored prize books over the years. Each school's sponsor has the first option to continue sponsorship the following year. Each spring, we solicit new sponsors for participating schools whose sponsorship comes open. Watch for that email!

To fulfil your pledge to sponsor a particular school, click here to make your donation online or contact us to make payment. The cost is $45 per school.

We welcome suggestions for new schools to participate in the program. Send your suggestions to admin@harvardmn.org. Please do not make a donation until the school has confirmed to us that it will participate.

You may sponsor any number of schools. You do not need to be a member of the Harvard Club of Minnesota to sponsor a prize book.

For Participating Schools

If you represent a school and would like to participate in this program, please contact the Harvard Club of Minnesota.

Please note: While we hope that recipients of the Harvard Prize Book Award will consider the opportunities available at Harvard at both the undergraduate and graduate level, receipt of the award is unrelated to admission to Harvard College. We are confident that those who receive the award will have successful college careers at any of the many excellent private and public institutions where they might choose to pursue higher education. Harvard is just one such option.

For participating schools, the annual process works as follows.

  • In the fall, the Club contacts the school to confirm:
    • The school's participation in the program for the new school year
    • The school's point of contact for the program
  • In the early spring, the Club contacts the school again, asking:
    • The name of the school's selected recipient, who should meet the criterion stated above
    • The date and time of the presentation ceremony. Most schools present the award in the late spring as part of a school-wide awards ceremony.
    • Whether the school would like a Harvard alumnus/a to participate in the presentation, subject to availability
    • The school should respond at least three weeks before the presentation.
  • Upon the receipt of this information, the Club:
    • Prepares the prize book and award certificate and sends them to the school.
    • Identifies a Harvard alumnus/a, typically the school's sponsor, to participate in the presentation.