While admissions officers may not count words per se, you should absolutely respect the word limitation. The admissions committee at Harvard (and many other top schools) will review thousands of applications and essays, so, the word limitation helps to streamline their own process.
I encourage you to find ways to keep your essays under the word limitation. Think about what content matters the most, what material really fills in gaps in your application. Do you repeat information that can be found elsewhere on your application? Can you eliminate redundancies in language? Can you cut back on passive voice? Can you focus your story even more? There are always ways to respect word limitation AND preserve the quality of your essay.
While word count helps admissions committees to make the review process more manageable, it also tests your ability to communicate crisply and effectively. So, find a way to streamline your prose, and message us if you have any further questions.
We hope this helps!
All the best,
Ivy Eyes Editing
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