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Will building connections with alumni, faculty, etc. help my chances of getting into Harvard?

fieldhockeylvrfieldhockeylvr 5 replies3 postsRegistered User New Member
Wondering If I were to seek out alumni, faculty and other people related to Harvard if it would build my application? Even if they are not blood related to me. Thanks!
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Replies to: Will building connections with alumni, faculty, etc. help my chances of getting into Harvard?

  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 21
    Someone on youtube posted a video last year saying they were accepted to Harvard by doing exactly what you suggest. I watched the video, as did 600,000+ other people -- and I imagine Admissions Officers watched it too. My guess is that AO's are probably on the alert for students who are trying to piggy-back or copy-cat on that approach.

    Bottom line: Your application should be able to stand on its own. If you think you need a boost from alumni, faculty or administrators to build on your app, you're not really what Harvard (or YPSM) is looking for.
    edited June 21
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28790 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes. Give it a try. Depends on who you know and how much weight they have with admissions and how much effort they want to put forth for you. It’s done all of the time, but not everyone with a connection has one strong enough that it makes a difference.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33132 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 21
    Nah, won't make your app golden. What do you expect those contacts to do for you? Will they know your work?

    OP is a rising soph, so miles to go.
    edited June 21
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  • compmomcompmom 10629 replies76 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Honestly, this is just plain sad.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8761 replies322 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    What reason would you give for contacting them? People connected to Harvard are likely both very busy and very smart. They won't appreciate feeling used.
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  • fieldhockeylvrfieldhockeylvr 5 replies3 postsRegistered User New Member
    Posted this question not necessarily for myself as I haven't reached applying to colleges just yet. This was meant to be a general post wondering if there can be a connection between accepted applicants and faculty, alumni, etc. Haven't heard much about this happening, probably for good reason since according to @compmom it is plain sad.
    Anyway, I know that legacy status is a thing, but what about non-blood related connections? Like knowing a certain professor, etc.
    In no way am I saying I'm going to go out and find a list of random Harvard Alumni/Donors or Faculty and contact them to get me into Harvard and what not.
    I was just simply wondering if successful alumni that you had a connection to, per say a family friend, holds the same amount of weight that being a legacy would. That's all.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38541 replies6747 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited July 1
    I was just simply wondering if successful alumni that you had a connection to, per say a family friend, holds the same amount of weight that being a legacy would.
    No. Not even close.

    Colleges often give admissions bumps to students they need. They need athletes for their teams. They need (or at least strongly want) to have ethnic diversity. They need legacy who will continue the family tradition of annual giving. They don't need a friend.

    That said, a supplemental rec from a Harvard professor that can add something different than your other recs may be helpful. But so may a supplemental rec from someone with no Harvard affiliation. But a rec that basically says"This is the kid of my golf buddy (or someone who called me out of the blue) and s/he seems like a nice kid" will be accorded the weight warranted - none.
    edited July 1
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