Former Midlands Technical College student Sara Oswald has achieved a dream that she never even foresaw being a possibility. On May 29, 2014, Oswald graduated from Harvard.
Oswald transferred her entire Midlands Technical College (MTC) Associate in Arts degree to Harvard, and was the first student in MTC history to do so. “When I started at Midlands Technical College, I did not expect to go to Harvard,” Oswald said.
“There is no way I could have gone to Harvard without graduating from Midlands Technical College. I had to go to MTC to get the credits I needed to show that I was Harvard material.”
Oswald earned the majority of her Harvard credits online through Harvard Extension School. She also took classes in-person (including an overseas summer program).
She also received a nearly full scholarship to Harvard – according to Oswald, the total out-of-pocket cost for her bachelor’s degree (including MTC tuition) was less than $2000.
Oswald graduated cum laude from Harvard’s Extension School with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts. She also received Harvard’s Dean’s List Academic Achievement Award for graduating with a GPA greater than 3.5.
Oswald first learned of the transfer opportunity to Harvard following her appointment to the South Carolina All-State Academic Team, a program that annually recognizes the scholarly achievements of approximately 20 students enrolled in two-year colleges in the state. Oswald was actually contacted by a Harvard admissions representative who encouraged her to not only apply to Harvard, but also to apply for the scholarship she eventually received.
“I’ve gone from Midlands Technical College to Harvard University due to a combination of tenacity and patience, and the support I’ve received from both MTC and Harvard’s faculty and staff has granted me the confidence to achieve the greatest dreams,” Oswald said.
Just a few weeks prior to her Harvard graduation, Oswald was accepted into the first cohort for Harvard Business School’s CORe program, a new online certificate program from Harvard Business School. She’ll start the two-month-long program on June 11.
Oswald is a seventh-generation resident of the rural Cedar Creek area of Blythewood, SC, and was the first in her family to graduate college. She wants to maintain her South Carolina roots and work in the state, but she says she will go wherever she can best use her talents.
“My wish is that my academic journey serves to inspire my fellow South Carolinians, no matter their age or background, to be fearless in pursuing their goals,” Oswald said.
About Midlands Technical College
Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a comprehensive, multi-campus, public, two-year college serving Richland, Lexington and Fairfield counties of South Carolina. The fifth-largest provider of higher education in South Carolina and the largest provider of transfer students to four-year colleges and universities in the state, MTC enrolls approximately 18,000 credit students annually. The college’s Corporate and Continuing Education program, one of the largest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, annually has 30,000 enrollments and provides continuing education to hundreds of area businesses each year. www.midlandstech.edu