Application Basics

What is the application process for the 2017 Harvard Conference?

In order to attend HPAIR conferences, delegates must successfully complete the following steps:

  • You must first fill out and submit an application before the appropriate deadlines.
  • If accepted, you must then fill out the online registration form and pay the conference fee. You can register online only after receiving notification of your acceptance. You must register by the registration deadlines listed under the “Registration” section of this FAQ.
  • Closer to the date of the conference, you are expected to fill out a pre-arrival survey.

Who is eligible to apply?

Current undergraduate and graduate students. Recent college graduates (within the past 5 years) may also apply to HPAIR conferences!

When will I be notified of the application decision?

Early round applicants will be notified in late November, regular round applicants will be notified in early January, and late round applicants will be notified in late January.

I have been waitlisted for the conference. What happens now?

After the registration deadline has passed for accepted delegates, we will notify waitlisted delegates if there are still positions available.

I was not accepted or waitlisted for the conference. Is there any chance that I can still participate in HPAIR?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer you a place in this year’s conference. We do encourage you to apply to the HPAIR Asia Conference that will take place in late August, as the result of this application will not affect your future admission chances.

What is the difference between Early, Regular, and Late applications?

Early applications do not receive special preference. However, there are many advantages to applying early. First, early applications are evaluated in greater detail, as HPAIR receives fewer applications in the cycle. Second, applicants who are accepted through the early cycle are notified earlier, giving them more time to apply for a visa and complete registration. Finally, early applicants will have the opportunity to pay a smaller registration fee. Since decisions are made and spots are filled on a rolling basis, it is certainly beneficial to apply and to register as early as possible. Please note that your registration fee is dependent on when you actually register.

Late applicants historically have a substantial lower acceptance rate, as available positions in the conference drop dramatically as early and regular applicants begin to register. Furthermore, on-campus hosting with a Harvard student is not available for late applicants. Therefore, HPAIR highly recommends applying in the early or regular application rounds.

Will attendance of previous conferences influence my chances of being accepted again?

Having attended previous conferences does not by itself influence your chances of acceptance. However, if you were accepted for a previous conference, this means we were sufficiently impressed by your essays, resume and credentials in a previous application cycle. As such, you will have a fair chance of being accepted again this year provided your application demonstrates the same strength relative to the rest of our applicant pool.

I am unable to log in to the application portal.

If you have previously made an account with us before October 24th, 2015, you will need to create a new account here. If you are still having problems logging in, please email tech-help

Registration / Cancellation & Refunds

How do I register for the 2017 Harvard Conference?

After you have been accepted, register for the conference by accessing the registration portal through a link on the main application portal page.

When are the registration deadlines?

Early registration deadline: December 27th, 2016 | 11:59 PM EST
Regular registration deadline: January 18th, 2017 | 11:59 PM EST
Late registration deadline: February 6th, 2017 | 11:59 PM EST

What are the registration fees for the 2017 Harvard Conference?

Early Registration = $400
Regular Registration = $425
Late Registration = $475

How do I pay the registration fee?

You will have to pay your registration fee when filling out the online registration form for the conference. Because HPAIR uses PayPal, delegates will need to use a debit or credit card. Your online registration is NOT complete until you have successfully submitted both your online registration form and your registration payment. Alternative methods of payment are also available on a case by case basis.

How can I confirm that my payment and registration has been received?

After registering and paying, your application portal should show that your payment has been received. If it does not, please email us at help@ to let us know and we will help you complete your payment.

What if, due to medical, family-related, or other reasons, I am unable to make the conference after being selected to attend? Is my registration fee refundable then?

If you are accepted to the conference but have not registered yet and find that you unable to attend, please inform us as soon as possible at help Because you have not registered yet, there is no need for a refund. However, if you cannot attend after registering, please refer to our refund policy (below) and email us as soon as possible with documentation in regards to your circumstance. Refund requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

How do refunds work?

Should you cancel your registration due to a change in plans, please note the following refund scheme:

On or before January 13, 2017: 90% refund of all payments.
On or before January 27, 2017: 70% refund of all payments.
On or before February 3, 2017: 50% refund of all payments.

FOR EARLY DELEGATES ONLY On or before December 20, 2016: 100% refund of all payments.

Be sure to inform us of your registration cancellations before February 3rd, as we will unfortunately be unable to offer any refunds beyond that date.

If you are unable to attend the conference because of visa issues, please email help with a copy of your visa rejection letter and you will be issued a full refund.
Please note that all refunds are final and release your reservation for a spot at the conference; if you want to re-register after having canceled, you will only be allowed to do so if there is still space available in your panel. Please also note that for refunds processed through PayPal, PayPal will take a portion of the transaction as fees, meaning that you will not receive the full amount of the reimbursement. Should you wish to receive your funds through an alternative method of payment to circumvent this fee, please let us know.

Accommodations / Expenses

What meals will be provided at the conference?

During the HPAIR conference, there will be coffee breaks throughout the conference where refreshments will be provided. HPAIR will also provide breakfast and catered lunches throughout the conference.

Will transportation from and to the airport be provided?

HPAIR is not responsible for transportation to and from the conference. Delegates have the choice of taking the T (the subway) or a bus/taxi to their hotel and the venue. More detailed information will be sent to accepted delegates in the Delegate Guide.

Does HPAIR provide housing?

HPAIR provides housing with a Harvard host on a limited basis. This housing is free of charge and lasts the strict duration of the conference, from February 17th to the 20th. Housing is given through a lottery. You may enter the lottery through your registration form, with results being released after regular registration closes. Thus, late applicants and registrants do not have the opportunity to gain Harvard housing.

Travel / Visa Applications

How do I apply for a visa?

HPAIR will issue an electronic acceptance letter that can be used in your visa application, but we cannot endorse applicants. It is the personal responsibility of the applicant to obtain a visa in time for the conference.

How soon upon admittance should delegates apply for a visa?

Since obtaining a visa takes a substantial amount of time for many delegates, it is crucial to start as soon as possible, preferably once you receive your electronic acceptance letter by email.

I need a support letter for my visa application. How should I obtain one?

Can HPAIR talk to the delegates’ respective embassies to validate their admission to the conference?

We will not be able to contact embassies on our own initiative, but if the embassy contacts us directly to confirm conference participants, we will be happy to do so.

Financial Aid

Is financial aid available?

Yes, there is financial aid available for the 2017 Harvard Conference.

When can I apply for financial aid?

Once you have completed and submitted your application, you are eligible to apply for financial aid. Please be aware that the financial aid application deadline coincides with the early application deadline, that is, November 12th, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. There will be no circumstances under which any application for financial aid will be accepted past the deadline. Acceptance in the early round is a requirement for further financial aid application evaluation.

How much financial aid will successful applicants receive?

Successful applicants will be granted a registration fee waiver and guaranteed on-campus housing with a Harvard host. A limited number of travel grants may be available based on need.

How many financial aid awards will be granted?

10 to 15 awards will be granted to successful applicants.

If I am interested in financial aid, what do I need to know?

To clarify, the financial aid application is separate from the general application. You need to apply to both to receive financial aid! You will only be considered for financial aid if you submit both your application and your financial aid application by the early round deadline – that is, before November 12th, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST.

Please be prepared to answer an essay question of up to 650 words, write a short answer of up to 250 words, participate in a Skype interview, and provide financial statements about parental and personal yearly incomes.

What are you looking for in financial aid applicants?

HPAIR financial aid is merit and need-based. We take a holistic approach to assessing all applicants. In general, a recipient exhibits the following qualities:

    • Passionate about HPAIR and willing to actively contribute the HPAIR community
    • Stands to gain significant benefits from HPAIR as a conference and as a network of international leaders
    • Demonstrates maturity, a commitment to service, and a global perspective
    • Demonstrates financial need