I was ranked 1st in my class out of 180 this year as a freshman. I know that if I keep it up, I could be valedictorian. The 1st black one at my school.
However I know with 37,000 high schools there are 37,000 other students in the country just like me.
I really want to go to Harvard University. Would being valedictorian improve my chances? Would it help me get scholarships?
Besides being valedictorian, I will also be the first one ever in the history of my high school to take an AP Biology course that I designed, and take the exam. My school didn't have AP Biology, only advanced biology, so no one ever took the AP Exam. So, we designed an Independent Study Course around that had the same curriculumn as an AP class. I want to study medicine (be a medical writer), so I'm also taking chemistry (honors and AP next year. ) And almost all accelerated/ AP classes except for gym/health (mandatory.)
I'm doing a robotics camp in Vermont this summer, and a political science camp in Princeton.
I'm class president, president of FFA (I do public speaking), student council, soccer, basketball, track, science olympiad medalist, peer tutor, and in young writer's club.
I also am starting a Newspaper Club at my school, since I was editor in middle school, but was shocked when I came to high school and we didn't have one.
I am also won a writing competition and got published in a newspaper article.
I also took the PSAT and ACT this year, and besides the math section I scored in the 90th percentile or better.
I have about 20 hours of community service, mainly from peer tutoring.
Both my parents are also from Africa, so I am an underrepresented minority.
Could I get into Harvard? What else could I do/ What should I continue to do throughout my years? What are your honest opinions? What chance do you say I have of getting in? What other schools could I get into?
Im going to explain to you the chances of getting into Harvard. By no means should this be a knock on your self esteem, it is simply just the truth.
Harvard's acceptance rate this year was a record low 5.9% and by the time you are a senior it will be even lower. You account about 1% for athletes and 2% for people who have famous family members, had lots of family alumni and/or gave substantial donations, you have 2.9% left. Therefore, with 34,302 this past year (2012), only 2.9% truly have a chance based on excellent academics, standardized test scores and extra curriculars. Now while I do see you have a diverse background and shown leadership qualities, getting into Harvard is actually a lot about luck. You will find that there will be thousands of applications just as impressive as yours and thousands that are even more impressive.
Thus I get to my final point: Harvard is, indeed the most prestigious university in the world. With that said, getting in is not about working hard and proving yourself but simply if the admissions officer decides to pick you (who most likely doesn't stand out from majority of the pool).
I can already tell you have the work ethic and motive to go to one of the top colleges in our nation. Therefore do not set everything you work on to go to Harvard because you will most likely be very disappointed when you get a letter back from them. So look at all the Ivy Leagues and the other top schools (UChicago, MIT, Duke, Georgetown) and I am sure you will get into "atleast" one (im 99% sure you will get into many). Keep up your grades, challenge yourself, stay busy with ec's, score well, write a great essay and im sure you will get in somewhere you and your parents will be very proud of. Just don't base your academic efforts all on Harvard like many of my high school friends did and all failed.
Good Luck kid and if you post on this page in 4 years who knows....
Harvard is also my dream school, and i too wanna know what are my chances of making there, and here are my stats:
I was in Future doctors of america, chemistry club, peer tutoring, and badminton club in my sophomore year. then i had to move to another state because of family issues, and i went to an online school, which did not have any advanced classes, but i took college level anatomy and chemistry classes at a community college to challenge myself. and i will take ap calculus, ap bio, ap lang and ap european history as a senior, and i have already taken ap us govt. in 10th grade.
I voulnteered around 65 hours at a local library tutoring kids, I am a memeber of National Honors Society, i am very passionate about science and will pursue a career in medicine. i have always participated in an interstate chemistry competition. i have an unweighted GPA of 3.85. i also volunteer at a hospital. i have over 100 hrs of community service.
all my teachers loved me, and i work hard, push myself to do my best, but i live in a very wretched situation, i have had to face a lot of obstacles academically, emotionally, and financially, but i have always followed my path and worked hard.
I am Asian- Indian, so I am a minority and my parents are very poor as well.
@hackingharvard: By the way you are not a minority as you are Indian, that actually makes you over represented and 3.85 is low in comparison to most Harvard applicants, you always have a chance though so don't give up in applying if it really is your dream.
Dear SATACER and HACKINGHARVARD,
One thing is for sure: you won't get in if you don't apply. Keep dreaming and working hard, and like Collegebound says above, make sure you dream large. Add a few more schools and know that you can succeed in lots of places. Good luck!