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What are my Chances at Harvard?

cadenstockwellcadenstockwell 0 replies1 threads New Member
Demographics:
Mixed Race - white and black
Male
I live in Los Angeles, California
I go to a small public high school

Scores:
3.95 GPA unweighted
1550 SAT
4's and 5's on AP tests, only one 3
My high school does not do class ranks

Coursework:
12 AP classes
Besides one math course Freshman year, all of my non-AP classes were honors classes.
I also had really good relationships with many of my teachers

Extracurriculars:
Theater for all 4 years of high school
I had a restaurant job all 4 years of high school
I did cross country for 1 semester
I did peer counseling for 2 years
I wrote various short stories that were published in many literary magazines
I took singing lessons for 3 years

Additional Information:
I have a strong legacy at Harvard, my father and both my grandparents went
I am a very strong writer
I come from a very wealthy neighborhood

What are my chances at Harvard?
8 replies
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Replies to: What are my Chances at Harvard?

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6431 replies1 threads Senior Member
    If you want to attend, then I definitely think that it is worth applying in your case. My guess (which is only a guess) is that your chances are a little bit better than the overall acceptance rate.

    However, you of course should consider it a reach and apply to match and safety schools.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82836 replies738 threads Senior Member
    Are those literary magazines well known such that being published in them looks nationally impressive?

    Harvard should generally be considered a reach. Be sure to have safeties that you like and can afford.
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  • zbrown01zbrown01 109 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Your stats are, of course, great. For Harvard, they are just as acceptable as anyone else's that make it in. Your ECs are decent - but nothing really stands out besides the short stories.

    However, the legacy bit helps - a lot. A significant percentage of every Harvard class is legacies, some who aren't even really qualified. Because of this, I would say you definitely have a better than average shot. I can't give an exact percentage, but better than the overall 4.5 percent admit rate by a good margin.

    Show them who you are and why you belong there. This goes for both what you write for them and what you say to your interviewer and how you choose to present yourself to them.

    Best of Luck! PM me if you have more questions/want more help with this.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35365 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Agree the unknown is how they'll react to the lighter array of ECs. Especially as a legacy.

    What major? And what ECs relate to that?

    Careful that "why you belong there" isn't entitlement.
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  • gibbygibby 10537 replies246 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    @lookingforward wrote "Agree the unknown is how they'll react to the lighter array of ECs."

    Would you say the same thing if the OP played varsity football or basketball for all 4 years of high school but was NOT applying as an athletic recruit? FWIW: A student heavily involved in theater, doing 3 or 4 plays/musicals per year, spends about 15 to 20 hours per week in rehearsal and performance -- probably the same time (or MORE) than a student heavily involved in varsity sports. All of that commitment, and devotion leaves very little time during the school year to devote to additional extra curricular activities -- and I think AO's understand and appreciate that fact.
    edited June 2019
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35365 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Yes, I would.
    OP did more than theater. But the tipppy tops will look at depth and breadth. (And some sense of responsibilities taken on.) Few high schools run 3 or 4 plays/musicals per year, not all ask for 15-20 hours/week. Few kids who played a sport for 4 years will list only that on their apps.

    He or she has one other school or organized activity: peer counseling. The job is likely fine. Writing and taking singing lessons may not compare with what other applicants have done. With peers, serving the community and more.

    We can tell kids all day long that just doing a few things you want is enough. But when a college wants to see various activities, as a hint the kid will engage and expand in college, the safer bet is to have that variety (of the sort meaningful to the college.)

    What major? If we have no context, it means folks are basing this on stats and legacy. It takes more.
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  • compmomcompmom 11570 replies81 threads Senior Member
    What literary magazines (or were they national?) Have you performed singing, or do you want to?

    I don't think your EC's need to be varied, but they need to show you are developing them and that you will be able to contribute to the mix on campus as a result.

    I know young people who did not claim legacy because they wanted to get in on their own merits, believe it or not.
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1775 replies14 threads Senior Member
    You have legacy and URM: two strong hooks for Harvard. Your stats are great and your EC is impressive. Considering you are a good writer, your essays will be good too. I have no idea what your chance for Harvard is, but congratulations on a stellar HS experience. Good luck!
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