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Harvard Waitlist 2015 **discuss here**

FatumFatum Posts: 870Registered User Member
edited April 2012 in Harvard University
For all the people who are on the waiting list this year..let's start the discussion! I found it hard to discuss things on the other thread with everyone adding on to the name list. So if you guys think it's a good idea, let's move the discussion stuff here. :)

For instance, I wanted to know if it's a good idea to call the adm office and ask for some type of reflection on my application...this was suggested by some online articles but I am not sure if it is a good idea.

Also, did anyone email his or her regional officer yet? Or did anyone send a letter of interest/update to Harvard yet? For the regional officer, I tried emailing Harvard to ask for it, but got no reply..and as to the letter, I'm thinking it might be good to send it closer to May since awards etc may still be coming, and whatever info we send will be fresher on adcom's minds.

Thoughts?
Post edited by Fatum on
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Replies to: Harvard Waitlist 2015 **discuss here**

  • sparkleflowersparkleflower Posts: 25Registered User New Member
    Hello, fellow waitlistee! I'm glad you made the thread. :)

    I actually called the admissions office yesterday for my regional rep's contact info (and they were very happy to give it to me), but I didn't ask about any deficiencies in my application so I can't shed light there.

    I was looking through the old waitlist threads, and people were still sending their letter of intent/update through mid-April apparently, so it seems to be fine if you send it a little late...

    I personally haven't emailed my rep yet, but I'm probably sending it tomorrow. My question is, is it alright to send the letter of interest (with updates included) to only the regional rep, or would it look better to send a letter of interest to the rep and an official snail mail letter to the admissions office in Cambridge?
  • FatumFatum Posts: 870Registered User Member
    Hey. :D

    I've seen that most people suggest to send to both, so I guess that what I'll do :).

    I didn't want to call since I am an international..but I guess I will D:. When you called them, did they ask for your verification and stuff to identify you?
  • Aussie93Aussie93 Posts: 26Registered User New Member
    I'm an international and I recently called the admissions office. they gave me the name of my rep but couldn't shed any light on my application. As for snail mail, they have repeatedly told me that emailing information to my rep is fine, and there is absolutely no need to send it via regular post. I really thought I should send it snail mail too (just to show the effort etc) but they were really adamant that it's not important.
    Hope that helps.
  • T26E4T26E4 Posts: 16,717Registered User Senior Member
    "but they were really adamant that it's not important." Why? Because they don't want to be burdened with opening your letter and either physically putting it in your file or scanning it. Don't burden them -- doesn't make friends.
  • karenoonakarenoona Posts: 169Registered User Junior Member
    When I called the admissions office they gave me the name of my reginal rep along with a general e-mail address to contact her. I mean, it's not her personal e-mail but a general one for the admissions office. Did anyone get a rep's personal e-mail?
  • 1a2b3c4d1a2b3c4d Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    I just called for my rep's contact information and they said that e-mailing new updates to the the general e-mail would be fine. Didn't even get the name of my regional rep.
  • FatumFatum Posts: 870Registered User Member
    ahh I see. Guess I'll just send an electronic copy then. :)

    1a2b3c4d (<-wow took me 3 tries to type that name right), that's really weird...I feel like updating the regional officer is more personal, and after all, it was he/she who advocated for us to the adcom..I'd hate to be told to just email to the general one.
  • etondadetondad Posts: 1,120Registered User Senior Member
    push a bit harder for the name and phone number at least of the Regional rep--the email will usually be first inital last [email]name@fas.harvard.edu..if[/email] it isn't it will bounce back. I would send the email to Dean Fitzsimmons, Director McGrath-Lewis and the regional rep. Probably only your regional rep will read it, but ya never know...

    remember the most critical part of the letter is your undying love for Harvard and that you will accept immediately if offered a place. If you CAN'T in good conscience write that then you should think very seriously about remaining on the wait list as without that it will become very very difficult to be selected--and if you are accepted you will be taking--or at least delaying--a spot from someone who IS dying to get into Harvard.
  • micha3lmicha3l Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    Hello everybooooody!

    I'm planning on calling the admissions office tomorrow. My IB coordinator/de facto college counselor suggested that I ask where I am on the waitlist...even though Harvard claims there isn't a ranking system in place.

    I'm not sure if asking where I am would necessarily be advantageous...("Didn't you read the website?")

    But then again, I remember my older brother, who was waitlisted at Dartmouth (which also vehemently claims that there is no ranking), called the admissions office to see where he was...and apparently he was told that he was at the "top" of the waitlist...And now he's happily attending D.

    Any thoughts?
  • FatumFatum Posts: 870Registered User Member
    etondad, what great advice!
    micha3l, that's is really interesting. I've not done that but please let us know what happens!
  • FatumFatum Posts: 870Registered User Member
    So I was reading this article which had some interesting points about waitlists.
    Undergraduate Waitlists
    Reasons a Candidate May be Waitlisted

    The answers to these questions depend on why the candidate was placed on the waitlist in the first place. Many times, it simply comes down to the numbers; a candidate's GPA and SAT scores are less impressive than those of other applicants. If a candidate is placed on the waitlist because of marginal credentials, the odds of being admitted are slim. Yet applicants are often waitlisted for non-academic (ie political) reasons, to save face for both the university and the applicant. Here are a few common scenarios:

    1) An extremely strong applicant has personal problems and is considered unstable. His/her reference letters suggest a poor fit for a top-level program. Rather than citing the negative feedback as the reason for rejection (and risk a lawsuit), the school will waitlist the candidate.

    2) An exceptional candidate from a school is rejected, while a lesser-ranked member of his/her class (with legacy or minority status) gets in. Rather than trying to explain the underlying bias, the school will usually waitlist the exceptional candidate, with no intention of actually admitting him/her.

    3) An average or mediocre candidate is highly recommended by a faculty member, alumni, board member or university trustee. Rather than insult the applicant's benefactor, the school will waitlist the candidate, rather than rejecting him.

    4) A highly desirable candidate has known personal interest or ties to another school (ie, his/her parents are alumni there). Rather than accept this candidate (who will likely choose to go elsewhere), a school may waitlist him/her to eliminate a negative effect on their yield statistics. University rankings are based partially on selectivity, and all top schools keep a watchful eye on yield. They prefer to admit only students who are eager to attend their school.

    I think I'm probably in the number 3 category, and my low numbers probably hindered an acceptance. Thoughts on these possible reasons? Which scenario do you think will have an advantage in the waiting list?
  • etondadetondad Posts: 1,120Registered User Senior Member
    You will drive yourself crazy trying to both discern which if any of these categories you ight be and to rank order them. I would dare say that in Harvard's case none of the above are the case. Summas come from wait listed kids, president of the UCC was a "z-lister"-- there is no discernible difference between the large majority of wait list kids and those with the "fat letters." It could be that your regional rep had a couple of schools that had never had a candidate before and Harvard wanted to encourage more candiates, or that someone who is from a URM or first generation family or legacy (but that counts very little these days--much less than URM/first generation) from your region-- or your essay just didn't strike a chord, or the Regional Rep was having a headache when your file was reviewed, or..or...or..

    Get the point? Who knows why--and frankly--who cares why. If you get it --it doesn't matter a damn and if you don't --it doesn't matter a damn.

    Sorry to be so frank, but come on' you gotta get over the "why" and get to both how can I improve my chances (win a major award would be nice) and to fall in love with the school you would attend if Harvard does not occur.
  • francisvdahlmannfrancisvdahlmann Posts: 373Registered User Member
    ^^ God, that list is depressing.

    I mean honestly, I'm amazed they didn't just flat-out reject me, considering my 580 math score. I'm convinced that that and my class rank are the reasons I didn't get into my top choice and dream school for the past two years. To be fair, I was really naive, and thought that that school would be able to see past the ways in which I am numerically inferior. When they didn't, I was really angry and hurt, and would in all likelihood have been simply and summarily rejected by Harvard if my dad hadn't convinced me to write my supplemental essay on why they should look past the numbers, and do it a pretty daring way. Still. This is a hard game to play. Suffice it to say that I'm not like most of you - I don't have an acceptance to Stanford or Yale in hand. Luckily, I have been accepted to a school I really want to go to, but I still feel bitter about this whole thing. I know I shouldn't take rejection personally, but it's hard not to feel jaded when you want to go to college just to get your ass kicked intellectually and then you find out your uneven brand of intelligence just isn't quite good enough.
  • felixfelicisfelixfelicis Posts: 331- Member
    francisvdahlmann,

    1) You don't even know if your numbers were keeping you from being accepted.

    2) Let's assume your numbers did keep you from being accepted. You say that you encouraged the adcoms to look past your numbers, so let's assume you convinced your reader to pause before tossing your application in the reject pile. Let's say your reader must either keep his admit pile the way it is (thereby wait-listing/rejecting you), or accept you at the expense of another application in the admit pile (Candidate X). Candidate X has great numbers. What makes you think that your EC's or personal qualities are more worthy of acceptance than Candidate X's? Great numbers and great ECs/personal qualities are not mutually exclusive. Many candidates -- certainly more than the 2200 admits -- have both.

    The cause of your frustration, I think, has more to do with the competitiveness of candidates in recent years. It is already difficult enough to discern the difference in potential among great candidates with perfect or near-perfect test scores. Missing that score hurdle spells disaster for candidates who are not URM/legacy/1st-gen/etc, even if the rest of your application looked very much like those that were admitted.

    If I were you, I would find comfort in being fairly sure why you were not admitted. I, on the other hand, felt that my application was strong on every count I could think of, and still received a wait-list letter in the mail. I have to deal with the fact that I probably couldn't do anything more with my capabilities to get accepted, and that my wait-listing had more to do with Harvard shaping its class.
  • francisvdahlmannfrancisvdahlmann Posts: 373Registered User Member
    felixfelicis - What makes you think you're so much more worthy than me just because you had near-perfect test scores? A Saturday morning shouldn't determine the rest of someone's life. You were probably waitlisted because the admissions office picked up on your arrogant, entitled attitude. If a miracle occurs and I'm admitted to Harvard, the only thing that will give me pause is the thought of spending four years with people like you.
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