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Chance of getting into Harvard

ivyleaguegangivyleaguegang 0 replies1 threads New Member
Don't need any support/optimism, but rather a reality check.

1. Low GPA (3.2 out of 4)
2. High SAT (1580), haven't taken subject tests yet, but I expect around 750
3. Student Council Vice President (2 years)
4. Soccer club (no awards whatsoever, just a part of the team as a hobby)
5. Legacy Status (father)
6. Zero volunteer work whatsoever. (will start if I have a shot)
7. Decently wealthy family (enough to afford full price of tuition, but not enough to make any contributions/donations to school)

Race: White & Asian (American+Japanese passports)
Location: Japan

Can provide other information as well, if I'm missing anything.
Could really use some input from you guys!



5 replies
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Replies to: Chance of getting into Harvard

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7468 replies76 threads Senior Member
    edited March 20
    1. Why do you want Harvard? honest question. Obviously the name is a big deal, and your Dad may want you to have the same experience he did, but why do **you** want to go there?

    The kids I know who get into Harvard (and thrive there- I know a couple who left as well) are highly self-motivated. and ambitious. Whatever they do, they do it with conviction. They tend to be stars in their school, both with faculty and fellow students. Is that you?

    2. Why would Harvard want you? again, honest question- not being mean. What do you bring to the community? Students with a 3.2 GPA have gotten into Harvard- in fact, 0.33% of admitted students have a GPA between 3.0 and 3.3. But I am willing to bet that they had something else to their story- and that it was more than just legacy status. It is true that legacy admits are much higher (apparently 33% v 6%)- but note that 1) that still means that 67% of legacy applicants are turned down and 2) legacy admits are very likely to have been raised to be academic achievers (nature/nurture/both), so are likely to have strong applications in their own right. So, what do you add?

    edited March 20
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10171 replies564 threads Senior Member


    Barring some incredible life story with mitigating circumstances (you were the breadwinner for your family of five, which explains your GPA... you had an illness which destroyed your GPA for a year and managed to come back with straight A’s, etc...) you have no chance. Sorry. GPA is the single most important factor, even at a school like Harvard. A mega donor with millions to hand over might help, but maybe not even then.
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  • qhql2020qhql2020 49 replies11 threads Junior Member
    High SAT is a plus. Low GPA kills the application, as that's the most important thing at most, if not all selective (and non-selective) colleges. No ECs besides participation in soccer.

    Apply if you would like, but here's the reality check you asked for: no, you won't get in.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9203 replies93 threads Senior Member
    Just a note - your GPA is low for a domestic student but what is the grading scale like in your school in Japan? Do you know where you rank in your class with your GPA? If you are in the top 10% of your class, that would give more context of your GPA.
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  • apparently22apparently22 71 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Students who perform well on a standardized test but underperform in actual classes are orange flags (combo of yellow and red). What you do every day at school and in course work is much more telling as to one's work ethic and motivation than a standardized test.
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