So I'm a greencard holder, Southeast Asian, low income ( extremely low < 10K), inner city high school and none of my family members work. I used to think that a poor kid like me, if really put effort, can eventually have the shot at Harvard or other prestigious institutions ( A typical inspiring story, isn't it?)
But lately, I've found out that the price of getting admission is large. I'm not URM, not athlete, not big donator etc. and often these kids get picked. So at this point I'm really wondering, are Harvard as well as other Ivies which claim to be need-blind actually need blind? It makes that even harder at this dire economic time, and American is a capitalist country.... So I think the chance of me being accepted is less than 0.0005%
What do you think?
Harvard is need-blind. You'll hear rumors to the contrary, but they are unsubstantiated. People of very low income, in fact, usually have an advantage in that they are seen as having come from difficult backgrounds in which to flourish academically.
I agree with Silverturtle. I am convinced money only makes a difference if you are talking in big terms. I know a former student of my school whose father invested a lot of money in some science building (I think it was called the northeast bulding or something like that) and he got in, but thats definitely not the majority, perhaps less than 3 applicants...if at all.
Last edited by felixbloch; 08-23-2009 at 07:21 PM.
Roughly 1-2 percent of the class(about 20 people) get in based on developmental status(money). This is coming from a friend who got in based on developmental status so I'd bargain he's learned a little about the process. It seems unfair, but these acceptances make it possible for Harvard to provide so much to middle and lower class students.
Also, when they get to the wait list, the rules are out the window, and the adcom can very easily cherry pick full payers.
Other than the 20 or so developmentals, and wait list acceptances, they're need blind. It's actually an advantage to come off as poor and underprivileged.
What difference does it really make? Let's suppose Harvard is lying about being need blind. It still admits a significant number of students with financial need (over half of the students it admits), including many whose families can afford to make little or no financial contribution to their education, and it awards them the most generous financial aid anywhere.
The problem is that everyone knows that, and everyone who thinks he has a snowball's chance in hell of getting in applies. So that drives down the likelihood of acceptance. Whether Harvard is truly need blind or not shouldn't affect anyone's decision whether to apply.
The whole purpose of getting you is to benefit Harvard after you leave Harvard, in any sense. Are you the one who are going to make difference, say in SE Asia? Or getting into Harvard is to improve your life? Harvard would not get you just because you are poor.
did you guys here that story? from alley-ways to Harvard??? about this homeless girl who got into Harvard.... Im under the impression that her parents cant afford to donate library wings to Harvard, but I could be wrong :P lool.
When a school is need-blind, does that mean they (adcoms) can see your financial information and choose not to influence your acceptance/rejection on it, or is it that they completely don't see your family income at all?
I think need blind is so that they won't fill the class with rich kids who can pay the full tuition. They can tell a lot about your financial status from your application. The kid who worked 45 hours a week during high school and wrote about taking care of his siblings is gonna appear to be from a low income background. The kid who played polo and went to a super expensive prep school is going to appear to be from a high income background.
Need blind simply means that the Admissions people do not see the financial information that the Financial Aid people see. They are (theoretically) admitting a class regardless of whether the admitees can pay all or a part of the tuition. As a practical matter they can also make assumptions based on your application, essays, ECs of your parents' general financial condition. I think Harvard is as close to need blind as any school can possibly be.