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Deferred from Harvard. Bother to apply to other Ivy's?

collegeinfo1994collegeinfo1994 Registered User Posts: 733 Member
edited December 2011 in Harvard University
Not that I was ever expecting an acceptance, but a deferral from Harvard suddenly made college apps so real. After some research, I've come up with the conclusion that Harvard is the Ivy League that cares least about scores, the weakness of my application. I've heard of many people who were rejected by other top Ivy's and accepted to attend Harvard, but not the other way around. So I've come here for advice on whether I should bother with other Ivy's, or if it's just not going to happen based on my scores.
(In case this helps: ACT-31. Subject tests-770&770)

Thanks for the input. This question has been eating me alive for days now.
Post edited by collegeinfo1994 on

Replies to: Deferred from Harvard. Bother to apply to other Ivy's?

  • mistergmisterg Registered User Posts: 318 Member
    Yes. I was deferred from Yale SCEA with a 2260 and SAT IIs at 780 and 650 (later retook, but still). Then I applied to Harvard. Didn't get into Yale in the end, but hell, I would have chosen Harvard anyway. So yes. Definitely.
  • collegeinfo1994collegeinfo1994 Registered User Posts: 733 Member
    ^That's my point, exactly. I've heard of people who have been accepted to Harvard, but not other top Ivy's. Never heard of the opposite happening. :(
  • collegeinfo1994collegeinfo1994 Registered User Posts: 733 Member
  • OpensecretOpensecret Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    Deferred means that Harvard sees you as someone they could happily accept -- and would, if there weren't so many other very talented applicants.

    For any one of H, Y, P and S, there are people who got in, but were rejected at the others. And there are people who were accepted to any two, but rejected at the rest. The RD odds are low at any of those schools (in another post, I put the RD chances this year at 3.9% H, 4.7% P, and 5.8% Y). From an applicant point of view, the decisions are so hard to predict that you are essentially buying a lottery ticket at each school, and hoping at least one of them draws your number.
  • JayshaJaysha Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    I got deferred as well, I am kind of heartbroken, because everything I have read says it is as good as a rejection. and I really loved Harvard, but I just got a B so any inkling of a chance I did have is gone. I have no clue if it would be worth it to apply to other Ivies now...I have been told Cornell would be a good choice...?
  • FBItomboy007FBItomboy007 Registered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    To provide a story for the other situation:

    I was accepted to Princeton and Dartmouth and wait listed by Harvard, Yale, and Brown (didn't stay on any of the wait lists because Dartmouth was my first choice so I can't tell you how it worked out in the end). So yes, it does happen the other way. All the Ivies are looking for different things and Princeton and Dartmouth were certainly the best fits for me. It all works out in the end.
  • OpensecretOpensecret Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    There are definite differences among the Ivies. The raw admit rate for class of ’15 varied from 6.3% at Harvard to 12% at Penn and 16% at Cornell. (At Cornell, though, chances vary by the specific school you apply to; Arts and Sciences is the toughest. I haven’t seen more recent data, but you can find admissions by individual school for class of ’11 at Ivy League Admission Statistics for Class of 2011 Hernandez College Consulting, Inc. and Ivy League Admission Help.)

    Assuming you’re within range for a given school, a lot depends how you fit with what they’re looking for when they consider your application, which is a major reason that these decisions are so hard to predict if you look only at the numbers.
  • collegeinfo1994collegeinfo1994 Registered User Posts: 733 Member
    Oh, Jaysha. It's almost scary how much our lives parallel, ever since we "met" on Harvard threads in the summer. I also received my first B in an Organic Chem course at the community college. Needless to say, the last week has been extremely depressing.

    Opensecrets, why such sharp drops in acceptance rates?! What a nightmare!

    FBITomboy, thank you for the reply. Princeton is currently my second choice(tied with Stanford), so that definitely sheds some light on my fate.
  • CountMonteCristoCountMonteCristo Registered User Posts: 504 Member
    While the deferral is discouraging, you should not allow it to stop you from applying to any school that you truly want to attend.
  • sebeliussebelius Registered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    I don't think that being deferred from Harvard should prevent anyone from applying to any school they would be happy at. As much as anyone can tell, save for some people on Brattle Street, no one know why you were deferred or rejected. As long as you have hope in your application, nothing is preventing you from be accepted.
  • OpensecretOpensecret Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    Opensecrets, why such sharp drops in acceptance rates?! What a nightmare!

    The reason for the lower RD rate is the impact of early admits. Harvard accepted 18%, or 772 students, early and only denied 546, deferring about 2400 to RD. If they admit a total of 2110 (same as last year), they've already filled more than a third of the slots. So they have room for another 1340 students from an RD pool that's likely to be 34,000 or higher (assuming no major change in the size of the total pool from last year). That's an admit rate slightly below 4%.

    The adcom will have less room to maneuver with fewer slots, but it's hard to know how much this changes the chances for any given applicant. The early admits were presumably at the high end of the pool -- likely letter recipients and others who probably would have been accepted anyway even if Harvard didn't do early admission.
  • popoagiepopoagie Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I promise you that every year kids who get into top schools get deferred, waitlisted or rejected from others. You should apply to several other top schools and a few safeties. Pay close attention to your essays and make the most of any experience or personal traits and accomplishments because communication skills and unique qualities as well as potential for contribution really count more than most kids realize. Also, pay very close attention to school fit. It can be hard to judge without visiting, but ne aware that you should visit your top 3 to 4 schools you're admitted to before accepting, and bring your parents as an extra set of eyes and ears. You'd be surprised at how much that helps. Fear not, senior. Go forth with confidence and optimism, trusting that you don't get accepted in the end go schools that are not right for you. While you're at it, apply to a couple of schools in great weather locations. It can make a difference in quality of life.
  • tarakn12tarakn12 Registered User Posts: 115 Junior Member
    I would still apply. I had worse stats than you and I got into Harvard. Just write the best essays possible :)
  • collegeinfo1994collegeinfo1994 Registered User Posts: 733 Member
    Yes, but you have a hook: first-generation student.

    Warm congrats, by the way! You deserve it. Seeing your acceptance post made me smile because I remembered your concerned "chance me" threads a few months ago :)
  • collegeinfo1994collegeinfo1994 Registered User Posts: 733 Member
    Thank you for the replies, everyone. I would normally agree with the general consensus that deferral from one school shouldn't affect the decision to apply to others, but my low stats put me in a weird situation...
This discussion has been closed.