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Chance Me- Harvard REA 2024

Ruru09Ruru09 22 replies4 threads Junior Member
Hi everyone! I posted this before in August and didn't get much feedback and I have a few updates in this. I'm applying to Harvard REA for the class of 2024 . I would appreciate it if any of you could look at the info I listed below and rate my chances of getting (of course I'm aware that this is not reliable but why this won't hurt). I will omit specific names of programs and locations for things like competitions just for privacy. Any and all feedback/suggestions is also very appreciated. Thanks!
GPA: 94/100 (unweighted, I don't know what it is weighted)
ACT: 26 Composite, 10/12 Writing (Sept 2019) I'm taking it again in October and sending the new score.
Gender: female
I'm applying as a Biomedical Engineering Major
Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
I have taken all AP classes my school has to offer thus far: AP Euro, AP Lang, and APUSH. My senior year courses will consist of AP Macro, AP Lit, and an intro Computer Science class (my school doesn't have AP).
EXTRACURRICULARS:
Founder of a Biotech company and I have a patent pending
Student Govt Representative
Eco Club Founder and President
STEM Club Founder and President
Arab Culture Club President
I am a representative at a citywide budgeting committee for schools
I'm a Youth Councillor at a global institute organization that works to promote dialogue as a tool for addressing global challenges
I was on the advisory council of a history education institute for 3 years
AWARDS/HONORS:
(name of city) Science and Engineering Fair 1st place winner
Conrad Challenge Innovator
Engineering competition at an ivy league school through a summer program 1st place winner
(Citywide teacher's union) Science Scholar
I judged at the ivy league school summer program competition that I mentioned above and won last year.
SUMMER ACTIVITIES:
*wherever it says "ivy league school", I'm talking about the same school.
Global Institute Youth Councillor internship -2017
Biomedical Engineering program at (ivy league school) -2018
Continued prototyping on my device at (ivy league school)-2019
Internship at (ivy league school) and I'm working on finding bio-markers that indicate antibiotic resistance from bacteria as well as indicators of chemotherapy resistance in various cancers (I've honestly been primarily looking into ovarian cancer).

RECOMMENDATION LETTERS
1) My College Bio teacher whom I adore and she has repeatedly said that I'm the greatest student she's had in her years of teaching.
2) My mentor at (ivy league school) who has worked with me since day one of developing my device and the biomedical engineering summer program I did, said that I "raised the bar for future students."
3) My US History teacher for 2 years and student govt adviser since freshman year. He knows me both academically and personally.

-Personal Statement: My AP Lit teacher said it's very unique

BTW all of the individuals above are adults whom I formed very close relationships with because they helped me in many ways during my years in high school and I adore and appreciate each and every one of them. That's honestly the reason why I trusted the fact that asking them would be a good decision. I'm not sending all of these to Harvard, maybe only 2-3.
*I did have a drop in my gpa sophomore year (it was a 90 at the end of the year which isn't like me) because that year in particular was just absolutely terrible for me emotionally. My mother went through a near ovarian cancer diagnosis (the reason why I'm researching ovarian cancer 2 yrs later) and I lost my baby cousin to a hit and run only 3 days before school started. These events happened one after the other and I didn't know how to deal with the grief. This is something I will be mentioning on my Common App as well as have my guidance counselor write in for me as I often spoke to her about it. However, junior year, my end of the year gpa was a 97.72.
Sorry about the long post! I wanted to give as much context as possible. Thanks!!
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Replies to: Chance Me- Harvard REA 2024

  • Ruru09Ruru09 22 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I'd like to add that I'm from NYC
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  • GeekGuruGeekGuru 1 replies0 threads New Member
    If you'd like to share, what high school do you attend in NYC?
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  • jzducoljzducol 778 replies14 threads Member
    "ACT: 26 Composite"

    Unless this is going to be 33+ you will be wasting REA chance.
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  • Ruru09Ruru09 22 replies4 threads Junior Member
    My high school is among the top high schools in NYC. It's not a specialized high school, however, we were admitted based on our grades in middle school.
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  • ImASenior2ImASenior2 16 replies4 threads Junior Member
    26 act hurts, ngl. U rly need that to be 33-34+
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1511 replies8 threads Senior Member
    Less than 5% of 2018 entering freshmen had ACT composites between 24 and 29. You can be assured that those students had some major hook going for them, most likely as athletic recruits. Agree with everyone else, don't waste your EA/ED bullet on Harvard unless you can get your ACT to over at least 33.
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  • Ruru09Ruru09 22 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I see what you're all saying. Hopefully I can get the score up on the 26th. What about my extracurriculars, do they stand out? Also, should I apply RD if my score doesn't increase in October? Thanks!
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  • hurricane314hurricane314 68 replies15 threads Junior Member
    I would suggest applying RD if you need more time to get your ACT score up. Since you're applying for a STEM major, what was the math subscore on your ACT? That will be looked at heavily.
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  • pez1776pez1776 1 replies2 threads New Member
    GPA- excellent
    Extracurriculars- overall good, what really stands out is the patent thing- congrats
    Rec letters- this is a big tossup, nobody knows what actually goes in them but tbh I think you got good ones
    Essay- curious to know what you wrote about. Make sure its something only YOU can talk about (stand out from everyone else)
    ACT- this is your biggest weakness. I'm gonna be honest, if you can craft a knockout essay, ace the interview, and deeply elaborate your extracurriculars, adcom might actually be willing to overlook that test score because of your high GPA, thus increasing acceptance chances, but otherwise the ACT score is your biggest cause for rejection.

    PS: APPLY WITH CONFIDENCE!!! Please do not let that bad ACT score discourage you from applying. Put your best foot forward and leave the rest :)
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  • Ruru09Ruru09 22 replies4 threads Junior Member
    edited October 2019
    Thank you for your detailed response! I'm hoping that when I take the ACT again I can raise that score because to be honest, my issue was timing and not the questions themselves and I feel like I got that down now. My teacher said that my essay has interesting content. I'm also very comfortable with interviews, I'm actually looking forward to being interviewed (I know that's weird).
    edited October 2019
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35230 replies399 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    The essay isn't where you mention emotional strains. If you meant in Addl Info, it's still risky. Consider leaving it only to the GC.

    Your ECs are fine but understand the real competition for H will have similar lists, incl research. Many will have summer programs. And that founding things isn't a tip in itself.

    Make sure you're comfortable you have an idea what H looks for. Try for higher scores and decide on which app date.

    But it's not just Composite, the subscores matter. And they'll review the transcript, not just gpa.
    edited October 2019
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  • tdy123tdy123 1037 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    @Ruru09 It is true that at both Columbia (you're dream school according to one of you previous threads) and Harvard - as well as at many of the most selective schools in the country - ECs can play a decisive role in admissions decisions.

    But, only as a deciding factor to help the admissions committee differentiate between all the other outstanding applicants with outstanding stats.

    At schools that require standardized testing and have single digit acceptance rates a 26 ACT (you also didn't break out your math and science subscores, both very important for a STEM applicant) is very unlikely to put you anywhere close to the level where your ECs and potentially stellar recomendations could put you over the top.

    A better use of your early application option might be to apply to a test optional school like UChicago, which might give you a much higher chance of admissions success.
    edited October 2019
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  • Ruru09Ruru09 22 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Would applying RD and raising my test scores (both SAT IIs and ACT) give me a better shot? I'm considering sending the application today but I've also been thinking of possibly having a better shot in RD if my scores go up. Otherwise, I'm pretty confident about my essays and LORs (of course the AOs have the final say about that). I'm worried that my October ACT score won't come out in time because ACT released an update saying that October scores are coming out between Nov 12-Dec 30 and I know people who took it in September and still haven't gotten their scores. What do you all think? Should I cancel my EA plan and go forward with crafting a stronger RD application?
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  • tdy123tdy123 1037 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Ruru09 wrote: »
    Would applying RD and raising my test scores (both SAT IIs and ACT) give me a better shot? I'm considering sending the application today but I've also been thinking of possibly having a better shot in RD if my scores go up. Otherwise, I'm pretty confident about my essays and LORs (of course the AOs have the final say about that). I'm worried that my October ACT score won't come out in time because ACT released an update saying that October scores are coming out between Nov 12-Dec 30 and I know people who took it in September and still haven't gotten their scores. What do you all think? Should I cancel my EA plan and go forward with crafting a stronger RD application?

    At son's NYC Public non-specialized HS where students were admitted in 7th grade (you should be able to figure out which school) Naviance data for Harvard showed higher test/GPA scores for EA v RD.

    Going in SCEA with scores in the bottom 5% of accepted students while competing against a tougher pool filled with kids with a)much higher scores; b)legacies; c)recruited athletes; and d)donors, is not a recipe for success.

    With a 26, your chances are still very, very, low in RD, but at least you'll have a chance of bringing your scores up, which might help if you could raise your scores substantially.

    Along with everything else, Harvard is looking for kids who will succeed at Harvard. Their STEM classes aren't easy, and their tests aren't easy - if you haven't demonstrated that you can excel at taking STEM related tests, why would they think you could succeed at Harvard?

    A STEM kid with low ACT would need absolutely superb SATII Math and Science scores to have even a remote shot.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35230 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Good post, @tdy123. The competition for tippy tops is ridiculously fierce. First, there are basics to meet: stats, rigor, the right depth and breadth in ECs. Then, how you actually self present, and how that reflects your thinking, awareness, the consideration you gave to your match (what they look for,) and personal traits.

    ECs aren't just a tiebreaker or some icing. They show your choices (what you chose to do in hs, what you chose to present in the app, what that shows about you as a candidate- in the ways they want to see.)

    Succeeding at H also means outside classes. With peers. Not just founding or a title or research or a patent (some of that isn't tip,) but the engagement and openness. Likeable, make a good study partner or roommate. As engineering is collaborative, they want to see that sort of math-sci activity in the hs. Not just outside (good, but not a replacement.)

    They do not need to pull in kids with lower stats and a "dream," when they have thousands of highly qualified kids.

    Not meant to discourage you, but it's a lot more than the shiny parts of your ECs and then great concern about the test score.
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  • Ruru09Ruru09 22 replies4 threads Junior Member
    If I end up applying RD (i probably will) what should I do to increase my chances? I've already registered for the ACT and I'm taking two SAT subject tests (US History and Math II). Is there anything else I should do? I'm pretty sure that with enough practice I can get my scores up. Would that help my chances in RD?
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  • tdy123tdy123 1037 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    Ruru09 wrote: »
    If I end up applying RD (i probably will) what should I do to increase my chances? I've already registered for the ACT and I'm taking two SAT subject tests (US History and Math II). Is there anything else I should do? I'm pretty sure that with enough practice I can get my scores up. Would that help my chances in RD?

    Much, much higher ACT or SAT scores. 75th percentile would help (Harvard 75th) .
    Applying as a STEM kid with a bio focus? Math 2 and a science, not math 2 and USH.
    edited October 2019
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35230 replies399 threads Senior Member
    OP, I think you're missing the recent points.
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  • tdy123tdy123 1037 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    OP, I think you're missing the recent points.

    I think that's illustrative of part of the answer to the question: Why does Harvard get ~42,000 applications for ~1600 spots?
    edited November 2019
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  • lane0805lane0805 3 replies4 threads New Member
    Did you get in?
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