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Is it possible that I can be accepted to Harvard?

fbnfkdgbffbnfkdgbf Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
Hello everyone! Recently I just submitted my common app to Harvard and I felt a little bit impatient about it. I just want to know your opinion of my academic strength so that I don't have to have high hope for the application. Thank you!
GPA: 3.98 (unweighted) out of 4.0; 4.65 (weighted) out of 5.0
Top 3% of the class
SAT Score: 1500 (710 RW / 790 Math / Essay: 5-analysis, 6-reading, 6-writing)
Taking IB classes: art HL, eng HL, math HL, bio HL, economics SL, history HL, Spanish IV SL, chem SL, TOK. I'm still waiting for the tests in May but I score a 5 for Spanish IV SL during junior year.
No AP classes or scores
Extracurriculars: participant of Mu Alpha Theta (9th and 10th), participant of Key Club (11th and 12th), participant of Business Professionals of America (12th), participant of HOSA (12th), girl scout (9th and 10th), Math UIL (9th-11th)
*I attended two high schools during my four years and has to quit girl scout and Mu Alpha Theta since I can't participate in the two clubs/organization at my new place.
Awards: honor roll (9th), Fourth Place Award for District’s Calculator Applications of Math UIL (10th and 11th), Second Place Award for Continental Mathematics League (9th), Questbridge finalist.
Interests: biological sciences
Common app essay: I chose to submit my own prompt. I wrote about my thought process when I think of the idea of individuality and the cultural/environment. I answered the question: "To what extent does the environment shape the character/thoughts or the personality of an individual?"
Harvard essay: I also chose to submit my own prompt. I wrote about the role of momentary triviality in a world that is lacking the motivation for creative endeavor.
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Replies to: Is it possible that I can be accepted to Harvard?

  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,036 Senior Member
    I don't think anyone should get their hopes up about getting into Harvard-except perhaps legacy and development prospects. As I am sure you know, Harvard looks for the most outstanding students and students who have significant achievements/skills/ abilities. Looks like you have a great academic record but you have not really posted anything suggesting sustained interest and outstanding achievement in ECs (at a national level), sports or music. Looks like you have participated in math related team events but have not progressed in a way that would suggest extraordinary math achievement/ability-no national prizes such as USAMO, etc. You don't mention what you plan to major in nor whether you have legacy status or are a possible development admit. Naturally I don't know much about your academic history or letters or other application material but based on what you've posted, I'd not put too much hope into the application to Harvard. Yet, there are tons of schools that would be delighted to have you as an applicant.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,654 Senior Member
    You don't need national involvement or awards. Even at H, most kids won't have that. The 710 SAT is on the lower side.

    But "the role of momentary triviality in a world that is lacking the motivation for creative endeavor" may intrigue. It depends on what you wrote and attributes it showed. And what do you feel makes you a great bio applicant? What health related activities, besides HOSA? Is this about pre-med?
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,061 Senior Member
    There were some writing glitches in your post. And not sure you meant you were "impatient" after submitting your application. Did you mean "anxious"?
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,449 Senior Member
    While your numbers make you a competitive applicant, I worry about the lack of clarity of thought reflected in your self created essay prompt: "Role of Momentary Triviality In A World That Is Lacking The Motivation For Creative Endeavor".
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,584 Senior Member
    ^^ I agree. The title sounds as though it's a paper written for a high school class rather than a college essay. Will Admissions Officers learn who you are and get a good sense of your personality through your essay?
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,036 Senior Member
    "You don't need national involvement or awards. Even at H, most kids won't have that"

    Really Lookingforward? That surprises me. I would not expect that legacy or development admits would necessarily have national involvement or awards but I'd think most of the other successful applicants would have such awards or involvements in areas that they plan to pursue-such as having a national ranking in a sport, or for STEM-competing in ARMl, AIME, making it to nationals in one or more of the individual science or math Olympiads or being a team member that makes it to nationals for Science Olympiad, winning awards from Mu Alpha Theta, or having submitted (or being on a submission) a research paper to a national journal. For humanities, I'd expect that successful applicants to Harvard would have published a paper or successfully submitted to student writing competitions. In music I'd expect, for example, performances at All-State, national music conferences or participation in other music related activities that demand a very high level performance. Given that each 1st year class is only about 1600 I'd think that a good number of them (nearly all that are not legacy or development admits) would have such activities under their belt.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 39,579 Super Moderator
    edited January 3
    Really Lookingforward?
    Yes, really. Walking around my campus, I can point out several students who have one (or more) of those items, but I can point out many many more who do not. In fact, every day, if I look in the mirror, I see one more example of one without those credentials.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,762 Senior Member
    No one should have high hopes for a Harvard acceptance unless you are a recruited athlete or your family has donated buildings to the university. Hopefully you have applied to match and safety schools as well.
  • jzducoljzducol Registered User Posts: 582 Member
    I wouldn't be too pessimistic on OP's chances. OP is a Questbridge finalist and that can be a big deal. The reality is that admissions at top college like Harvard are done by cohorts. And in the cohort of first gen/low income, OP's accomplishments in math and others may stand out. As Fitzsimmon mentioned only about a third of Harvard College class are admitted purely on academic prowess. And I imagine among those vast majority will possess some national level awards; in fact for many, that will not be enough.
    I wonder if OP was matched somewhere in early round.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,584 Senior Member
    edited January 3
    OP is a Questbridge finalist.

    FWIW: Harvard doesn't participate in Questbridge (https://www.questbridge.org/college-partners)
  • jzducoljzducol Registered User Posts: 582 Member
    True, Harvard is an exception among top schools that don't participate in QB match, but QB finalists still receive a substantial boost in RD as FG/LI, from what I have seen in the past.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,654 Senior Member
    edited January 3
    QB is not a hook. Where it helps is the understanding of the app process (if the student takes advantage of that) and the fact more info is provided in a QB app.

    Lostaccount, it's easy to slip into hierarchical thinking- more awards, higher awards, better. But it's holistic. And "by cohorts" can mislead. The 710 can be an issue. And the shortage of stem activities. Hosa is a club to encourage health occupations, any level.
  • jzducoljzducol Registered User Posts: 582 Member
    QB is not a hook.
    Perhaps not at a community college, but Questbridge demographic is highly sought after at the tippy tops these days. To say QB finalists not having a hook in admissions at schools like Harvard is just plain falsehood.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,584 Senior Member
    edited January 3
    @jzducol & @lookingforward: While the Questbridge demographic is highly sought after at tippy top colleges, Harvard doesn't participate in the program. As such, QB Finalists apply to other colleges early and are required to attend the highest-ranked school that admits them. Those QB finalists not accepted in the early round can apply to Harvard in the RD round, and some of those QB finalist rejects are accepted to Harvard, but it would seem that Harvard "misses out" on the best-of-the-best QB finalists. Here's an article on the topic: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2008/10/15/overlooking-questbridge-applicants-merema-m-ahmed/
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,036 Senior Member
    edited January 3
    SkiEurope, looking forward--Yes it would surprise me if there were many Harvard admits with scores such as those listed above (very good but not stellar) who are not legacy/development admits and who have not been involved in any national activities (ranked player in a sport, academic competitions, music performances, publishing, etc) or have won national awards of some sort. (I'm not talking about winning a Pulitzer Prize, by the way). Since there are so many students who have that level of involvement along with stronger grades/scores, I wonder what the basis for the acceptance was. SkiEurope, did you attend Harvard recently? I'd think most students would have either stellar scores or other things that distinguish them above local and regional activities-except legacy and development admits. I know more students who've attended that other school down Mass Ave and most of them certainly have such credentials; and the same has been true for students I've known at Harvard. I'm surprise that it's not true for most students at Harvard. Not all. And maybe not a while ago. But now.

    She does list Math UIL-but I don't believe involvement necessitates any particular strength in math-although the score might. And she does list involvement in some other math competitions but she appears not to have had sustained involvement in any. She is a very strong candidate for most schools in the US-but she should certainly not count on Harvard.
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