Chinese 'Power Couple' Defends Harvard Donation

“Many Chinese families are not aware of the financial options [offered by American colleges],” she said. “Through our public profile, we hope that more Chinese students will see this as a potential future.”

Some Chinese students have reacted positively to the scholarship.

“It’s going to have a lot of ripple effect[s]…. I would expect more and more donors coming from mainland China to replicate this,” said Sicong Shan, president of Harvard Chinese Students and Scholars Association and a student at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. HCSSA was one of four co-hosts of the event.

“This is a better way of using their money than if they go and purchase more real estate [properties],” said Yang Du, another GSAS student who attended the event.

Tianxing Lan ’18, one of the eight beneficiaries of the donation, said the total amount of financial aid that he was receiving from Harvard was not increased by the SOHO China Scholarship.


“I think for now, there hasn’t been a big influence on whether more Chinese students will apply to Harvard, because you can get financial aid anyway,” said Lan, referring to Harvard’s need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid policy for international students.

“But if they continue to give money to schools that don’t give a lot of financial aid to Chinese students such as Stanford and Duke, that would influence people’s decisions to apply to those schools,” Lan said.

—Staff writer Zara Zhang can be reached at


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