It’s not an easy feat but Malaysians Mohamed Aqil bin Azmi and Zad Chin Qi Qi beat a whopping 40,248 applicants to be accepted to study at Harvard College.
In a press statement, the alumni of the prestigious U.S. institute of higher education said that the two of them will be part of the 1,980 students admitted to the Class of 2024.
The last time a Malaysian got in was in 2017. To get in is a huge deal.
It’s been 5 months since I got the offer but that moment at 8 a.m. on a Friday when I sujud syukur and cried after checking my email still sticks in my mind as one of the most surreal moments of my life hahaha. Alhamdulillāh ♥️🇲🇾📚 https://t.co/cJOO2PCc1f
— ‘Aqīl (@aqilazme) May 20, 2020
Here’s how tough it is to get into Harvard.
The college has an admission rate of – wait for it, 4.9 percent. But, there’s more.
Out of that percentage, only 10.8 percent are made out of international students. This makes Aqil and Zad part of a very selected group indeed.
Two Harvard alumni, Wan Nadiah Wan Mohd Abdullah Yaakob and Nick Khaw, who had interviewed the both of them said the news of them being admitted was a welcoming one.
“Aqil and Zad impressed us very much during the interview session with their intellectual curiosity, maturity, drive and desire to make an impact in society. We believe that not only will they benefit tremendously from the opportunities available to them at Harvard, they will also be significant contributors to the Harvard community,” Wan Nadiah, Group CEO of TMC Life Sciences Berhad and also CEO of Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara said.
Take a sec to spotlight these 2 amazing young persons who beat the odds & got coveted spots in Harvard College Class of 2024! So, so proud of Aqil & Zad. Confirmation that our youth in Malaysia are our greatest treasure. Please share their story to inspire other young Msians! pic.twitter.com/MXx4jqfa74
— Nadiah Wan (@lapetitemaligne) May 20, 2020
So what will they be pursuing at Harvard?
Aqil, who is an avid debater and tennis player intends to major in Mathematics and Philosophy.
Zad, on the other hand, will be majoring in Computer Science and Social Studies. She’s been involved in robotics and technology competitions prior to being admitted to the prestigious college.
While Aqil has been busy compiling, translating, and writing an exigesis of works by the 16th century Malay poet, Hamzah Fansuri, Zad has been inventing a diverse range of gadgets that help detect forest fires to those that help pick up trash.
Aqil is a voracious reader and writer while Zad heads two non-profits, “BASE Scholarship” and Project BAWE (Beating Automation with Education), with a mission to provide one-to-one coaching to children living in low-cost housing areas.
“Both Nadiah and I enjoyed our interviews with Aqil and Zad and we knew that these two were not just brilliant students but also youth with an enormous potential to impact the world they are in,” Nick Khaw said.
“We wish them heartiest congratulations and we hope that their journey at Harvard will be a valuable experience in shaping them to be the great people we know they can be and to be inspirations for other young Malaysians,” he added.
Both Aqil and Zad will have their education sponsored by Malaysia’s largest fund management company, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and premier scholarship provider Yayasan Khazanah.
Harvard too has a large endowment fund to assist students regardless of their financial status. Would you be giving it a shot?