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My Dad Wants Me To Apply To Harvard

CosmologicalCosmological 779 replies60 threads Member
I'm making this thread hoping to get a lot of constructive comments so that I can send it to my dad and educate him.

SAT: 2190 (670 CR 800 M 720 W 10 E)
GPA: 3.4 UW Freshman Year: 3.0 Soph: 3.51 Junior: 3.61 Senior 1st semester: Probably 3.7. My school does 100 point, but I'm just converting. School doesn't weight. For UW, I'm top 30%, if my school weighted, I'd probably be top 20%
SAT Subject Tests: 800 Physics, 730 Math 2 (Retaking)
APs: Junior Year APUSH (5), Senior year AP Physics 1, AP Calc AB, AP US Gov, AP Comp Gov
Honors courses: Freshman year: English 9 H, Physics 1 H, Global 9 H, Algebra 1 H
Soph: Biology H, English 10 H
Senior: Chem H

I want to major in Physics and Mathematics

All graphs I look at show nobody with my GPA getting in. The only people who get in with my GPA are recruited athletes. On my school's Naviance, 1 out of 70 kids got in in the past 10 years, and he had a 96.61 GPA (Mine is an 89).

I don't have very outstanding extracurriculars, let alone ones that would mitigate my GPA.

Varsity Band 4 years
JROTC 4 years
Elected President of New York State Science Honor Society chapter at my school
NHS
Architecture club 4 years (I'm kind of president but not really)
Philosophy Club 2 years
Cross Country 1 season freshman year
3 Courses at Museum of Natural History in Stellar Physics, Geology, and the Solar System
Service trip to Camden, New Jersey
Not sure how many community service hours, probably 100.

Legacy not anything significant, not parents, just an aunt and an uncle.

Applying to Harvard would take a lot of effort for a result that is close to a 100% probability going to be a rejection.
I would like to spend a lot of time on the applications that really matter to me, like Reed College, a school I really really like. The reachiest school I am applying to is UChicago, but my main hope rests on the high emphasis on the essay. I have a good range of schools, from safeties to reaches, and I love them all, so I don't see why my Dad is bent on having me apply to Harvard.

This is also kind of a surprise because my dad never really pushed me academically as a kid, but now he wants me to apply to one of the most selective schools in the country. He doesn't even know that much about Harvard. I also asked him that if I got into both Caltech and Harvard, which school would he want me to go to, and he said Harvard (When Caltech would be a bit better for Physics and Math).
16 replies
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Replies to: My Dad Wants Me To Apply To Harvard

  • WasatchWriterWasatchWriter 2432 replies96 threads Senior Member
    I hate to rule anybody out who is on the fringe, but you are almost certainly right. There's nothing distinctive enough in your extracurriculars to balance out that GPA. If doing the H supplement will cost you time and anxiety that you really can't afford, you'd be better off investing your time in colleges where you have a better chance.
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  • gibbygibby 10541 replies249 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    Applying to Harvard would take a lot of effort
    Harvard's application is actually one of the easiest out there, as opposed to colleges like UChicago -- so that's just an excuse from someone that really doesn't want to apply. You don't have to submit the supplement, or you could submit a supplement from another college. The only other essay, besides the Common App personal statement you need, is about an EC, and it's a short 150 word essay.
    On my school's Naviance, 1 out of 70 kids got in in the past 10 years, and he had a 96.61 GPA (Mine is an 89).
    That is very telling. May I suggest you enlist the help of your guidance counselor. Maybe you and your dad can have a meeting with your GC to talk about more appropriate colleges than Harvard.
    edited November 2014
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  • IxnayBobIxnayBob 4528 replies42 threads Senior Member
    I don't know why your father is pushing this. You have a sense that it's not a good fit, and you are unlikely to be accepted. An aunt and uncle legacy, absent their being very active, does not trump what Naviance is telling you.

    The suggestion to have a meeting with Dad and GC is a good one.

    Has your father expressed why he wants you to apply to H? Is he looking at you with (what the Irish call) loving eyes? Does he realize the odds? Does he understand what floats your boat? Does he understand the limited clout of the legacy hook?

    Reed is a wonderful school; good luck! Do you talk to your father about why Reed resonates with you?
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  • MelissawilliamsMelissawilliams 203 replies47 threads Junior Member
    In all honesty, I'd say submit the app. My dad made both of my siblings (who had better ECs, URM status, great GPAs, but bad SATs) apply to Harvard. He also thought Harvard was basically the best school on the planet for anyone, despite not knowing too much about it. Anyway, they both were rejected.

    Applying isn't that much effort if your heart isn't into it. You could skip the optional supplement. You'd basically only need to fill the app part out since it's on Common App and do the 150 word EC response. All told, the process would take 2 hours max. And when the rejection comes, so what? It's his $80, and you get to continue on to the college you want to go to. As long as he's not making you apply REA or anything, I see no problem with pandering to his delusions.
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  • CosmologicalCosmological 779 replies60 threads Member
    edited November 2014
    @Gibby My Dad would want me to do the interview, and that takes some time. I wouldn't want to go in unprepared just for the sake of dignity if not for getting in. I have had conversations with my GC about my list and he likes it a lot. He thinks it fits my personality and goals pretty well. Also, the UChicago supplement is really fun, so I don't really consider it "work".

    @IxnayBob I have had the conversation with my Dad and he said I can go to Reed if I get in, so it just confuses me that he wants me to apply to Harvard when I basically have no chance.

    I would have definitely applied to Harvard if I had anything around a 3.7 or above, because it is a wonderful school, I just don't have the grades to get in.
    edited November 2014
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  • MelissawilliamsMelissawilliams 203 replies47 threads Junior Member
    You aren't guaranteed an interview. If you get one, it takes 1-2 hours max of your time. No prep work is needed; it's literally a conversation.
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  • CosmologicalCosmological 779 replies60 threads Member
    @Melissawilliams Ok, I see. I guess it isn't too much work to apply.

    Since it isn't too much work to apply, I guess that wouldn't contribute much stress, but I have gotten a lot of stress from him yelling about it. I also just feel bad about spending money wastefully. Well, I might apply.
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  • CosmologicalCosmological 779 replies60 threads Member
    Well, my Dad won't relent, so I guess I will apply. It is just so illogical...
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  • MelissawilliamsMelissawilliams 203 replies47 threads Junior Member
    I definitely can relate to that. When a parent is as unreasonable as our dads seem to be, i think the best thing is to just go with the flow and do whatever it takes to avoid arguments. My sister learned that after all the yelling and arguments over having my brother apply, so she submitted hers without complaint (and spent a grand total of one hour on it). It's his money anyhow, let him waste it if he wants.
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  • GreatKidGreatKid 628 replies16 threads Member
    There is a consideration for family wishes sometimes although I agree with you in that it likely is not the best use of your time. The only thing that I ever pressed for was having to have some financial safety schools in the mix.
    You sound like a sensible young person with a clear focus, good luck to you!
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  • isl4ndsurf3risl4ndsurf3r 152 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Ur gpa is atrocious!
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  • WasatchWriterWasatchWriter 2432 replies96 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2015
    @isl4ndsurf3r What is up with that? This thread has been dead for two months. OP's GPA has been thoroughly commented on, and the application deadline passed a month ago. There was no reason to post on this thread at all, and even less reason to be snarky about it.
    edited February 2015
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  • CosmologicalCosmological 779 replies60 threads Member
    edited February 2015
    I didn't apply, my Dad said it was okay, and my GPA is what it is, although with a good upward trend and honors and AP courses.
    edited February 2015
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  • isl4ndsurf3risl4ndsurf3r 152 replies12 threads Junior Member
    edited February 2015
    @WasatchWriter‌ I am entitled to my personal opinion regardless of when the post was created. The OP did ask for judgment so I gave him my opinion. I am a straight forward person and I really do not care that I was "snarky" about it.
    edited February 2015
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  • gibbygibby 10541 replies249 threads Senior Member
    ^^ Actually @isl4ndsurf3r posters are asked NOT to resurrect old threads, but only use them for reference. When a poster resurrects an old thread, a CC Admin usually closes the thread. Isn't that correct @skiEurope?
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  • skieuropeskieurope 42310 replies8428 threads Super Moderator
    Well, 2 months is not exactly resurrecting the dead, but since this thread, by virtue of OP not applying, has reached its conclusion, I am closing it.
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