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Should I go Restrictive Early Action to MIT or Harvard?

xxxMichaelxxxxxxMichaelxxx Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
edited August 2015 in College Search & Selection
Here are a few statistics:
ACT 35
SAT subject test:
chem 800
math II 800
5s on all 4 of my ap tests

GPA of 4.27 weighted (slightly above average admittance GPA from my school to both Universities)
3.96 unweighted

Here's the thing, I'm really into computer science and web development. I even wrote my college essay about one of my websites.
MIT is obviously more technical and supposedly better for computer science, but I feel like every other kid applying early to MIT will have app and web development. Would it be worth the early application?
I feel like I'd stand out more and be more unique if I applied early to Harvard, because computer science is pretty small there. Also, they are looking to grow their engineering and applied sciences department, so it might look good if I was interested in that.

All of that said, I would probably rather go to MIT just because it's better. So which one should I use my REA on? Thanks

Replies to: Should I go Restrictive Early Action to MIT or Harvard?

  • fproskfprosk Registered User Posts: 156 Junior Member
    edited August 2015
    MIT's early action is not restrictive.

    Anyway, early action should be used at one of your top choice schools. If MIT is your dream school, I suggest doing MIT early. Your chances of admission won't be too different from applying regular decision anyway.
  • renaissancedadrenaissancedad Registered User Posts: 1,480 Senior Member
    MIT had a 9.0% EA acceptance rate last year. The overall acceptance rate was 7.9%. Apply early if it's your first choice, but don't expect any advantage.

    Harvard's EA acceptance rate was 16.5% last year. Their overall acceptance rate was 5.3%, but their RD acceptance rate was only 2.8%. However, the EA acceptances included legacies and athletes.

    Both will be significant challenges for REA/EA. Decide which one you prefer and go for it, but be realistic.
  • thedarththedarth Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I'd say apply restrictive EA to Harvard since there is no advantage to apply EA at MIT. You should still apply RD MIT and since Harvard EA is non-binding you can always go to MIT if you get in. Both schools require strong applications and a bit of luck so don't get your hopes up on anything.
  • xxxMichaelxxxxxxMichaelxxx Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Thanks for the responses. I know that I probably won't get in, but I'd still like to raise my chances :D
  • Falcon1Falcon1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    The number if CS concentrators at Harvard has risen sharply and they will get even more applicants due to the high profile gift by Steve Ballmer. Last year the intro CS50 class had over 850 kids in it! You can look for the YouTube video where Mark Zuckerberg guest lectured the class about 9 years ago and there were about 20 kids in it. Times have certainly changed.
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 6,365 Senior Member
    edited September 2015
    Apply EA to MIT, but apply EA or rolling to a school more likely to accept you so that you can eliminate some applications around Christmas time. Michigan, UChicago, Illinois, Pitt (if you need a full tuition scholarship which you are very competitive for), Ohio State (some decent scholarships), Wisconsin, Northeastern, UMass, Maryland, most SUNYs, Purdue. Actually, most public schools in the US.
  • CHD2013CHD2013 Registered User Posts: 2,528 Senior Member
    Are you sure you’ve explored enough schools and given this enough thought? Are you considering Harvard SCEA because of its name and ranking? You seem very focused on CS and there might be better options for you. Carnegie Mellon won’t be any easier to get into, but it might be a better fit and provide you a better education in your field. There’s also plenty of other schools that might be better fits for you than Harvard. There may even be others that are better fits than MIT. I hope you give this process the time and depth of thought that it deserves.
  • Falcon1Falcon1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    I feel like I'd stand out more and be more unique if I applied early to Harvard, because computer science is pretty small there. Also, they are looking to grow their engineering and applied sciences department, so it might look good if I was interested in that.

    According to the Harvard freshman survey released today, Computer Science was the third most intended concentration.
  • boudersbouders Registered User Posts: 2,572 Senior Member
    Carnegie Mellon doesn't have early action. They have early decision. The acceptance rate for their school of computer science is 5%.

    OP, you could apply to both CalTech and MIT early action as well as other schools that have non-restrictive early action.
  • xxxMichaelxxxxxxMichaelxxx Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I have put a higher consideration on Harvard and MIT because I live close by, I consider this a decently significant factor. Also, I visited both campuses and am pretty confident that I'd enjoy both. Carnegie Mellon doesn't seem special enough for me to commit, while CalTech seems a little too small and far away.

    Do you think a website wouldn't be that special for Harvard? I'm not sure if it would be, but I'm pretty confident it wouldn't be that special at MIT
  • DrGoogleDrGoogle Registered User Posts: 11,047 Senior Member
    Computer science every where is impacted.
  • Falcon1Falcon1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    ^^ No doubt about it. CS is exploding everywhere and many CS departments are looking to add staff. My point was that applying to Harvard as a CS concentrator would not make OP as special as they were hoping.
  • DrGoogleDrGoogle Registered User Posts: 11,047 Senior Member
    I agree and it's Harvard, I think you can switch major easily like most private schools.
This discussion has been closed.