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What are my chances at Harvard?

sawyermosssawyermoss Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
Hello. I understand that this isn’t the perfect way to calculate my chances, however it’d be nice if someone had a similar situation and could perhaps relate.

Cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale: 3.8
SAT: 1600
I attend an online school that doesn’t offer AP, IB, or honors courses. I’m not well rounded in extracurriculars due to the expenses nor does the school offer them.

My GPA at a point was 4.0 until there was a drop in grades for one semester as I was battling an anxiety disorder and depression. I’ve been clinically diagnosed and am on meds. However, all other semesters were completely As.

I’m afraid that even my high SAT scores will not make up for the drop in my GPA. I’m also not sure if ivy colleges will understand if I wrote about it in the additional information column. Additionally, I’m sure that attending an online school could deeply affect my chances.


Replies to: What are my chances at Harvard?

  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,112 Senior Member
    edited January 24
    The issue isn't whether or not you you have a 3.8 instead of a perfect gpa. The 1600 is of course excellent but Harvard isn't looking for scores. Aside from legacy/Development admits, it's looking for students who have achieved in such a way as to suggest they will be assets to the college community while attending and are likely to be doing great things, that maybe we'll hear or read about, in a decade or two. True most of the students have high scores and grades but that isn't usually the reason they are selected to attend Harvard (or any of these super difficult schools to gain entry to). For the top 1% of colleges you must be among the 1% students-not just in terms of GPA and scores but actual achievements.

    You don't mention your year in school or where you live (US or international). And, you have not posted things like SAT2 scores. Based just on what you've posted, Harvard is unlikely-but not because your grades aren't good enough. I'm sure there are many students at Harvard with grades and scores below those you listed.

    Another issue is why the focus on Harvard? I'd say that about any student who zones in on it-because the odds are overwhelmingly against most applicants. But if you have a history of depression and anxiety, it seems like it would make far more sense to consider more nurturing schools. Seems like applying to very competitive schools (not just Harvard but others known to be very competitive) is a recipe for disaster. Why not choose schools that are known to be more supportive, those that place a premium on having a very supportive community?

    It isn't that Ivy schools won't understand. The issue is which students will make the best use of attending Harvard and which will Harvard benefit most from accepting.

    Are you among the top/highest achieving students in your county (if in the US) or in your country (if international)? That is what Harvard is looking for.

    Happily there are literally hundreds of schools looking for different things. And that is what most of us offer-most of us are not among the top intellects or among the highest achieving students in the world and that's ok. Many schools will welcome a student such as yourself -but Harvard probably won't.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,713 Senior Member
    edited January 24
    The dip to 3.8 from 4.0 is negligible. Don't waste your time writing about what caused that. Focus on keeping your GPA up for the rest of high school.

    Harvard admits something like 5% of its applicants. Most of them have profiles at least as good as yours. If you want to apply, go ahead and do that. But please have at least a couple of places on your list where your chances are in the 50-75% range, and at least one dead-on affordable auto-admit where your admission is assured. And frankly, if you suffer from anxiety and depression, an academic pressure cooker far from your home and your medical team might not be the best plan for a healthy college experience.
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