Harvard College admits an average of 12 transfer students per year from a pool of about 1,500, and veterans represent a growing segment within this select population. These four vets came to Cambridge by way of an enriching community college experience after — and in one case before — serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.
Professors say they are impressed by how these students approach their work with a sense of purpose and urgency. David Laibson, Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics, called Jesse Carlos “one of the most intellectually engaged students in a class of over 600,” and James Casey’s expository writing professor Willa Brown expressed her good fortune to have the vet in her class this way:
“He has a sense of self that gives him the confidence to not only speak up when he has an idea, but also when he has a question, and he is a natural leader for his classmates, even when he’s being self-deprecating. But most of all the impressive thing about Jimmy is his dedication to his own education. Having studied in community college, and having served in the armed forces, he is ready to take responsibility for getting the most out of his opportunities.”