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Can someone give me brutal advice on my chances?

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Replies to: Can someone give me brutal advice on my chances?

  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,663 Senior Member
    since you asked for "brutal" i would advise you to not spend the app fee since the chance is essentially zero. Without an obvious hook, both your GPA* and test scores are very low for a highly selective school. *is the 3.7 even top decile of your HS?
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 1,775 Senior Member
    I am not really sure the point of this thread but if applying to Harvard is your one reach you want to waste your money on then go for it. I personally don't see a lot that stands out in your application. Writing a supplement on how hard you work compared to others and other things you stated make it seem you think a lot about yourself. The essays need to be personal, unique and interesting. The game thing is kinda cool. It is evident your into political science or the like. I would concentrate on upping the Sat or take the Act. You need a 33/34 Act or equivalent to be competitive. I would also look at colleges you can get into. My son was going to apply to MIT with much better scores then yours and I told him it would be cool to get an rejection letter so he came frame it. He's at Michigan and loving it. Find a school that will be in line with your stats /scores.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,038 Senior Member
    I think that the letter of recommendation from your experience with the state senator will be very helpful with admissions. But you cannot apply to Harvard with any certainty about admission, obviously, so it is time to focus on other schools. I would go ahead and apply to Harvard, but with low expectations.


    Your stats are very good for many schools. Check out the Colleges that Change LIves website.


    If you want a top school, then look at this list of schools that don't require or emphasize scores:
    http://fairtest.org/university/optional

    Many of the "Little Ivies" are on this list (google Little Ivies).

  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,622 Senior Member
    The issue is OP doesn't have an idea what it takes to get into Harvard. That shows. The work with the reps is good, but an admit is more complex than: better person, working harder, or the title of an extra recommender.

    It's more than "density" in one sort of EC. (Narrow can't be breadth.) "Spike" is much more, the way a person stretches in several directions related to the interest (and again, that's not just hard work.. We don;t even know what OPdid in the offices.) He can't cut back on ECs, but others will have more, plus top stats, incl AP scores, letters from two core teachers, etc. The essays will be spot on, showing the attributes/thinking they want.

    It's a fierce and miserable competition. If you want to apply, ok. BUT the suggestion of American and GW are great. Imagine studying government just a mile or two from where it happens.

    So make your wise decisions about what's really your best direction, where to put the right energies, what will build your future.
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,012 Senior Member
    "So, my rec from my State Senator will not help in your opinion? I guess for me to be a “hooked applicant” "

    You can't imagine how much schools hate use of "names" for letters of Rec unless the reason to have asked that person is because the student completed substantial work for that person-in which case the name isn't the focus anyway. As you interned for this person, I would expect that the level of influence of the letter rests on what he/she can say about you rather than the fact that the writer has a recognized name.
  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 583 Member
    edited December 2018
    I don't mean to be negative but is work with a state senator really of all that much interest to colleges? I'm not asking because I want to diminish the work of the OP which may be formidable. But are state politics typically of interest? In my state there are 50 state senators and they have a gajillion interns cycling through. Individually they are not very powerful and the experience may not be very meaningful. I doubt anyone from Harvard would know any state senators outside of Massachusetts. Just curious about the idea of that as a "hook" at all. New Jersey has 40 state senators no one outside of NJ will ever have heard of.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,622 Senior Member
    It's flat out not a hook.

    But it's a nice show of pursuing this interest. And most kids interested in poli sci, govt, or IR don't get out of the high school evironment to experience the milieu. Not even in an election year. It's usually grunt work, but still exposure to the process. Other ways are working with an advocacy group (adult, already established.)

    OP is talking Harvard here. Any tippy top ups the ante. But even asking if it's a hook shows a misunderstanding.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,038 Senior Member
    This is favorable: "-I got a 3rd rec letter from my State Senator that I interned with. He was really great. I worked really hard (I basically became a part-time staff member because I worked so much. Other staffers said that I was basically staff too). I hope this letter goes a long way with Harvard."

    But not a hook. And your scores are probably low for Harvard.

    Why do you want Harvard anyway? There are so many good options out there, some better for your interests.


    Look at Tufts, Wesleyan, Amherst, Williams, Middlebury etc. if you want a tippy top school and many do not even require test scores (check the list I linked). And schools in DC would be a great match.




  • plurispluris Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    If you think Harvard is right for you, you should apply. No harm in trying -- well, besides $75. Statistically, yeah, your SAT isn't strong, but I know students that have gotten in with lower.

    If your academic and extracurricular accomplishments show that you can handle the Harvard workload, your SAT becomes much less relevant.

    Good luck :)
    -H c/o '22
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