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Early Action v. Regular Decision

rapmasternickyzrapmasternickyz Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
edited September 2012 in Harvard University
Hi guys, I just have a couple questions heading into the application process. First, some basic information about me:

UW GPA: 4.0. (Don't know how to calculate weighted, as I've never had to) This makes puts me at 1st out of ~400 students in my class.

I've taken 4 AP classes, plan on finishing with 10 (1 sophomore year, 3 junior year, as well as 6 for senior year) With the AP scores, I've also earned "AP Scholar with Honor," although I'm not sure of the specifics of that award.

I took the ACT (I live in the Midwest) for the first time back when I was 13, and got a 29. I took it again last fall and got a 33. I plan on taking it one more time this fall (why not, right?).

My SAT, however, wasn't as great. I took it once cold turkey this past June and only got a 2070, with a 630 (yikes!) in writing. I do NOT plan on submitting this score. I plan on going with the ACT/SAT II option. I have yet to take my SAT subject tests.

I have standard, run-of-the-mill extra-curriculars, such as president of student council, and I am very involved in and outside of my school. Mock Trial, Forensics, Golf, Powerlifting, German Club, GSA, Political Discussion Club, NHS, etc.

I think my main strength, though, is my passion for politics.

At the age of 14, I first started volunteering on a local congressional campaign (one that, unfortunately, came up a bit short in 2010). Since then, I have successfully campaigned with my town's current 24-year-old mayor and my assembly district's current candidate for state assembly. I am also currently in the middle of a fellowship with Organizing for America to reelect President Obama (I am, in fact, the youngest fellow in my state). This requires a minimum of 15 hours a week from me, unpaid, to be in charge of organizing my community for the President's campaign. At 16 years old, I know it is rather uncommon to be this passionate and involved in politics and therefore I think it would be cool to base my essays and such off of my experiences.

Finally, I started a small, local polling firm in my community. I'm still in the process of getting my first contract and making my first sale, but I'm very close on a couple of fronts. I think would be especially great because it directly ties in with my passion for politics, seeing as much of the polling we will be doing is for local political races that, otherwise, do not have the opportunity to be locally polled.

1. If I'm positive that Harvard is my #1 choice, is it worth it for me to apply Early Action?

2. Am I qualified for Harvard in general? I feel a little undermanned against some of the 2400 SATs and 36 ACTs I've seen, but I don't think my general strength lies in my test scores. Should a 33 ACT and good SAT IIs be "good enough" to get past the test score hurdle?

3. Any general advice you would give me?

Thank you!
Post edited by rapmasternickyz on

Replies to: Early Action v. Regular Decision

  • just2helpjust2help Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Your gpa is great! Hopefully, you can get at least a 34 or 35 or ACT and 2200+ on SAT! If you manage that, your objective scores seem to be good enough! As for your extra curriculars, that is a pretty interesting approach! However, why didn't you go after more established clubs on politics like JSA? or joined in on debate competitions, etc? That action could have definitely strengthened your position in interest of politics. However, I do think it is worth it for you to apply Early Action. Why shouldn't you?
  • rapmasternickyzrapmasternickyz Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I hope to get that 34 or 35, but I will not have the opportunity to take the SAT I again before EA deadline because I have to get my SAT IIs in there. Because of that, I would just submit my ACT score with the subject test scores. If I were to apply regular decision, of course, I would have time to improve my SAT I score. It's all of a matter of whether a 2200+ SAT would really matter when I would already have a 33+ ACT score.

    I lobbied as hard as I could for the return of debate at my school, but the old coach simply didn't have the time anymore. I joined her with Forensics in the category of extemp (next best thing I suppose) instead.

    Honestly, I have never heard of the JSA until now. I guess it was a matter of who got in contact with me first. I know back in 2010 that I just signed up for some basic volunteer shifts at the country office, because I was 14 and wasn't exactly sure of the best way to get involved. I've had more extensive opportunities this election cycle with my OFA internship, and it's definitely been exciting.

    There are a couple reasons why it may make more sense to wait until RD:

    1. I would have time to improve my SAT I score to the point where I would choose to submit it. This only matters if the ACT score itself would present an issue.

    2. My business hasn't expanded into much of anything yet, and waiting a couple more months would surely yield more impressive results that I could include in my application and most likely my essay as well.

    It all depends on whether applying EA would disadvantage myself for those reasons.
  • angelsndemonsangelsndemons Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    apply EA if you think your ACT iwll go to at least 32
This discussion has been closed.