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Chance at Harvard? What do you think..

Neem47Neem47 1 replies1 threads New Member
I would like your honest and real opinion on my chances on getting into Harvard. Harvard is a dream university to me because of its rigorous courses; I believe they will challenge me and make college hopefully more interesting than high school. I will apply to other universities as back up but would appreciate all advice on the matter.
academics:-
I am an international student doing my A-levels on Math, Business and Economics with A's currently. I have taken some other subjects that were challenging to me, like Chemistry, where I got an F (a grade on the boundary of failing but not yet there) at the beginning of the year. I studied hard and put in effort and ended up with an A by the end of the year without external help.
Pratice SAT: 1300 but this was my first try and SAT's a different curriculum so I believe I can improve with practice. I aim to get above 1500.
EC's:-
basketball
online courses (many without certification due to financial reasons)
Learning French ( developed a lot from my B in GCSE's, where I didnt know how to say welcome, to befriending people online and having conversations.)
family responsibilities
Art: sketching
All these activities I do without involvement in clubs due to lack of time, considering that going to and from school takes me about 12 hours.
About me:-
I like challenging myself academically or otherwise, and learning but found most of high school relatively less challenging. I believe taking a challenging course in Chemistry and French shows that. I am willing to step out of my comfort zone, like the time I did an interview that was shown on international TV regardless of my initial discomfort and hesitation.
Thanks for reading all that. I appreciate any kind of constructive criticism and your opinions of my chances as I am a realist and am already well aware but would like another unbiased opinion. Thanks again!
12 replies
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Replies to: Chance at Harvard? What do you think..

  • vonlostvonlost 19289 replies15863 threads Super Moderator
    edited August 2019
    If you want rigor, consider UChicago, Swarthmore and Reed, can be easier for admittance.
    edited August 2019
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3522 replies81 threads Senior Member
    Harvard does not have quite as rigorous classes as some other colleges. In fact, it is said to be harder to flunk out of Harvard than it is to get in! So you might want to do more research if that is your only reason for wanting to attend.

    Your chances are not very good, both from a low SAT standpoint and a lack of ECs and awards. I wouldn't let that stop you from trying. If you are spending 12 hours a week getting to and from school and can send Harvard a link to that internationally televised interview, then you might have a compelling back story to tell. Realistically you would have to be among the top handful of students from your country (an exceptional student) to get an acceptance.
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  • Neem47Neem47 1 replies1 threads New Member
    I chose to apply to Harvard after considering many factors that included rigorousness, but there are many other reasons. Thanks for your honesty and for the other university options, I think you not addressing my chances at Harvard in itself is an answer, but thanks anyway.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10457 replies124 threads Senior Member
    Chances for international students are very, very low. 1/2 of what they are for domestic students. You will need to get your standardized test scores about 1500 (better yet 1550) to be even slightly competitive.
    Wanting to be challenge is not a reason to apply to Harvard, hundreds and hundreds of colleges will challenge you!
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35421 replies399 threads Senior Member
    "Harvard is a dream university to me because of its rigorous courses..."

    Harvard knows it's not the only college with rigor. This is what can be called a "generic" reason. I.e., fits almost any good college.
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  • apparently22apparently22 90 replies0 threads Junior Member
    It's important to never forget that Harvard knows exactly what it can do and what it can offer its students. The application process is trying to figure out what the applicant can do and/or bring to the rest of the Harvard community if they were to be admitted. What is it about you that would make you compelling at Harvard? It's not clear from what you've written so far. You're asking if you have a "chance at Harvard". The facts are that your chance is 0% if you do not apply and 4.5% if you do apply with a very strong compelling application. So, no matter what, it remains a 95% no, at best. On the more optimistic end students get admitted to Harvard and have been for hundreds of years. The applicant pool is over filled and over flowing with academically qualified people. Know why you're compelling.
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  • jzducoljzducol 813 replies15 threads Member
    "I would like your honest and real opinion on my chances on getting into Harvard. "
    "I am an international student....like Chemistry, where I got an F.....Practice SAT: 1300...."

    I think OP has to be realistic----unless you are a celebrity, a rare talent in something, or belong to a prominent family in your country, your chance will be very low, lower than the average 4.5%.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6673 replies2 threads Senior Member
    I agree with others that your chances at Harvard are not very good. Admissions to Harvard is very, very competitive, and even more competitive for international students. I don't think that we have enough information to know whether it is worth applying. For example your actual SAT score would be helpful, as would a better understanding of your overall grades throughout high school.

    When did you get the F? The reason that I ask is that with your starting to learn French, and your desire to attend an academically rigorous university, I am wondering about McGill as an option. McGill doesn't care about freshman year grades.
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  • avgsopho1223avgsopho1223 39 replies15 threads Junior Member
    from the information you've disclosed, it's very unlikely that you will be accepted. harvard's acceptance rate is 4.5% and that's for US students - for international students it's much lower. thousands of US students get rejected with 1580 sat scores and straight A+s in their courses. i'm assuming you're from the UK? if you are looking for rigor, then i don't understand why oxford, cambridge, or the plethora of other amazing schools wouldn't interest you first.

    millions of people lead very successful and intellectually rewarding lives without attending Harvard. most of your desire to go there is probably from hype generated by pop culture. you'll be fine.
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  • avgsopho1223avgsopho1223 39 replies15 threads Junior Member
    it would be helpful to know what grade level you are in. if you still have a couple of years to develop your ECs, then you may have a chance at dozens of others of very challenging schools in the US. focus on developing unique interests and leadership.
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  • compmomcompmom 11896 replies82 threads Senior Member
    Are you going into senior year?
    Many international students want to go to Harvard because it is the only college they know about in the US.

    Countless colleges will offer you rigor and interesting classes.

    Go ahead and apply but please don't stress about getting in.


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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35421 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Half the battle is understanding whether you match- and how. Right now, you aren't showing us this. It's more than staying active, somehow. Or taking a few challenging courses most kids also take.

    Sorry, but lots of kids travel quite far to their hs and still get involved in the ways that matter to a US tippy top. And, have top scores and no low grades.
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