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Chances at Harvard?

ethanbmccethanbmcc 0 replies1 threads New Member
I'm currently a junior. Too early for this posts, yeah, I know, but I'm bored. Anyway, here we go:

Basic info/demographics: white male, live in MA, fairly good public HS, high income household

Plan on applying EA
Intended major: something biology related

Tips: dad was undergrad at Harvard and student lecturer, and is a donor (~$25,000 total)

GPA: 3.98 (A- freshman year history if it matters)
SAT: 1580 (780 reading, 800 math)
ACT: 35
SAT Subjects: 800 Biology, 800 Math 2, 800 Chemistry, 790 US History, 790 World History, 780 French w/ Listening
APs by graduation: 9
Current AP scores: Calc BC (5), Music Theory (5) (both as sophomore, usually classes only open to juniors/seniors)


Varsity track team captain (for next season), top 15 in the state at certain events (if it matters)
President of quiz bowl, math team, science team, and NHS
Co-president of chamber music club
Founder of the Magic the gathering club and the biotech club
Class treasurer, advisor to town school committee
1st chair oboe in regional youth orchestra
1st oboe at all-states/district festivals, English horn soloist
Have performed at Boston's symphony hall as a featured soloist
Study Baroque harpsichord at conservatory
Done lab work/activities, including at Biogen
Harvard summer school
Done research with a professor, research is in the process of being published
STEM summer camp counselor
AIME qualifier
Biology Olympiad semifinalist

Recs are from my chem teacher and bio teacher (not sure on bio, it was freshman year, maybe something more recent?) No worries at all, super confident in them
Essays obviously too soon to tell'

Chances? And what can I improve before app time? Thank you so much.
7 replies
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Replies to: Chances at Harvard?

  • Bill MarshBill Marsh 500 replies5 threads Member
    Your chances are better than most, but still it’s a reach. Harvard accepted fewer than 2000 applicants this year from more than 40,000 applications. That’s an acceptance rate of less than 5%.

    Since the vast majority of those who apply are top of their class or close to it, many of those rejected look just like you. I know a kid with straight A’s, perfect test scores, and a legacy. Wait listed.

    So, take a shot, but know that it’s a long shot (10%?) and have a backup plan.
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  • Bill MarshBill Marsh 500 replies5 threads Member
    edited April 27
    I thought that the linked article, “Schools Similar to Harvard”, might be helpful to you in developing a backup plan. I would add Rice University to the list in the article.

    edited April 27
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  • compmomcompmom 11547 replies81 threads Senior Member
    edited April 28
    You have a good chance but make sure there are other schools to love.

    I would definitely suggest submitting a music supplement with a recording of solo work (or video, check they might prefer video), a music resume, and letter or two from teachers or directors. Things like work ethic are important as well as talent.

    It really is all about what you can contribute on campus and to the mix of the class. Congratulations on all the things you do and enjoy high school!

    ps Are you interested in the double degree with NEC? Would you be doing track in college? If biology is your intended major the answer is probably no to both but just wondering.
    edited April 28
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2885 replies8 threads Senior Member
    You should just give up now and start a career as a taxi driver :) Just kidding. It's always a long shot, as you're hopefully well aware. Harvard isn't the same school as it was 25 years ago. It's a lot more hyper-competitive. 25 years ago, a perfect SAT would make the news. Now, any above average kid can do it. Don't compare yourself to others. Make a good list of affordable target and safety schools.
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  • k789bhk789bh 13 replies1 threads New Member
    I think everyone above is underestimating the value of being a legacy at Harvard. It's considered a tie breaker between qualified applicants (which you are) and is definitely a serious hook. If you apply ED, especially, you have a very good chance
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  • flamingogirlflamingogirl 25 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I think you have a very good chance at Harvard perhaps consider an additional recommendation letter from some-one besides a teacher to give an insight into your personality.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2389 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited May 23
    k789bh wrote: »
    I think everyone above is underestimating the value of being a legacy at Harvard. It's considered a tie breaker between qualified applicants (which you are) and is definitely a serious hook. If you apply ED, especially, you have a very good chance

    Not a tiebreaker, but far more than that. Legacy status more than quadruples the chances of admission of high stats White applicants like the OP.

    @Bill Marsh based on the Harvard lawsuit documents, the admission rates of legacies and donors in the top academic deciles is above 56%-60%. It may not be that high now, but with his profile, @ethanbmcc's chance, as a primary legacy, puts him in the match/high match range, not the reach or high reach ranges.

    However, it is not a safety, and a match still has even chances of being rejected...

    edited May 23
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