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GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: ski_racer, a high-achiever in high school, was rejected by some of the elite schools she applied to. This rejection was the best thing that happened to her as she got to choose her own path. Learn how she fell in love with her safety school, ASK HER ANYTHING!
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chances?

arl803arl803 6 replies3 threads New Member
edited July 9 in Harvard University
applying to Harvard SCEA!! know it’s a long shot for anyone but still curious to hear someone else’s input

intended concentrations in government and medieval studies
stats:
SAT: 1580 (790 each section)
SAT IIs: 800 world history, 740 french, hopefully will get to take US history + Physics this October
GPA: 4.61 weighted, all As
APs: will graduate with 18 total, 5s on all I've done so far
currently sitting at #7/70 in my class, was ranked higher before our district made a change in rank policy in the middle of my junior year rip (my counselor will mention this in her letter)
i go to a highly-ranked public magnet!

ECs:
was chosen to be a senate page this summer but it got cancelled bc of COVID
student volunteer coordinator + fellow on a local school board campaign
interned for a state rep and volunteered for his mayoral race
co-founder and leader of a community service program where we teach ballet biweekly to kindergarteners at a local, disadvantaged elementary school
co-founder and president of LD debate
mock trial all four years (will be captain next year, gone to state twice)
co-founder and VP of french club, also TA'd for a French III class to tutor students
co-president for activism of a political discussion group at my school
NHS president
active member of Girl Up chapter at my school
interned last summer at my church (did mostly community service work, also started initiative to get more teens to visit our library)

i feel good ab my teacher recs: one will me from my history/psych teacher who was also my mock trial advisor, the other is from my English teacher/ debate coach/thesis advisor, they can both write about me personally as they know me well and can talk ab the research I did in their courses
my grandad went to HBS if that counts for any legacy status
i also feel good ab my essays!! Common app is about a historical concept that I studied in multiple ways and that frames how I look at my other academic interests/ECs/personal life, Harvard specific essay will be about my experiences working in my state rep’s office and on campaigns, supplements will be about the volunteer ballet class I lead and my learning and practicing french
edited July 9
11 replies
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Replies to: chances?

  • MWolfMWolf 2763 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited July 9
    You have about as much chance as any highly achieving, non-hooked applicants - somewhere around 5%-15%. In short, it's a high reach, but not out-of-reach or a lottery ticket.

    Normally I ask "why Harvard?", but for "concentrations in government and medieval studies", Harvard would indeed be a top choice.

    What are you other reaches, matches and, most importantly, safety?

    As for SCEA, I would say that, if it is your very top choice, and you don't have another top choice for which applying ED would move your chances from reach to match or match to safety, then apply SCEA to Harvard.
    edited July 9
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  • arl803arl803 6 replies3 threads New Member
    my other schools are Vanderbilt, Georgetown (SFS), Duke, UT (Plan II / History), UNC, UVA, American University, William and Mary, Yale, and Columbia. For all of these schools, my SAT scores are at or above their 75th percentile- but still, not a safety when the acceptance rates are that low. Georgetown is my other top choice, but their acceptance rates for the early round are exactly the same as regular round, so I might as well stick with Harvard SCEA. i’m close to the top 7% for my school but not quite in it so I don’t get auto-admit to UT, sadly :( any other recommendations for safer schools?
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10989 replies592 threads Super Moderator
    edited July 10
    UNC CH? Are you out of state? If so, that’s a reach. UVA and W&M are also reaches if OOS. Are you in Texas? You have a LOT of reaches and one match, American. One safety that I see, UT, if instate.
    edited July 10
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  • arl803arl803 6 replies3 threads New Member
    yes, I am in TX! i should hopefully get national merit so I’ll likely end up applying to some big southern state schools if I don’t get into UT, UNC, or UVA in the early round- those would be safeties for me. My school has a history of getting a huge number (almost all who apply) into UT, many in competitive major programs.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10989 replies592 threads Super Moderator
    UNCCH, UVA and W&M are NOT safeties for any out of state student. They are not matches. They are reaches.
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  • arl803arl803 6 replies3 threads New Member
    i hear what you’re saying about them not being safe, but with my SAT scores being above their middle 50%, a strong GPA and challenging course load, and lots of EC involvement, shouldn’t I at least be a match? A match is supposed to be a school where it’s not certain, but I’d be a reasonable applicant for them to admit. If I felt certain I’d be admitted it’d be a safety. If I weren’t qualified or if it were one like Harvard with insanely low acceptance rates it’d be a reach. Right? That’s what all my counselors have told me.
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  • RealityCheck13RealityCheck13 62 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited July 10
    Even though someone with such excellent grades and test scores would certainly be extremely competitive for admission to almost any school (including UT), an applicant who is not an auto-admit to UT-Austin should NEVER consider it a "safety".

    It is a shame that any student with such impressive stats should have to think twice about being admitted to his/her own in-state flagship, but that is the reality in the State of Texas. In recent years there have been many (non-auto-admit) Texas residents who have been denied admission to UT-Austin but were offered admission to Ivy League schools, Duke, Stanford, etc.
    edited July 10
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  • ballista1ballista1 18 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Are you intending on declaring your major when applying to Harvard?
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  • compmomcompmom 11870 replies82 threads Senior Member
    You declare a major ("concentration") at the end of sophomore year.

    Grandfather at HBS does not mean you are a legacy.

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  • LindagafLindagaf 10989 replies592 threads Super Moderator
    @arl803 , no, you can’t at least consider those schools a match because you are out of state. Prestigious public universities admit very low numbers of out of state students, such as UVA, who admits only 15%. That’s not in the match range, IMO.

    What’s your UW GPA? That’s what those schools will care about. And your SAT score is great, but who knows if it will continue to be important. So many schools are either not requiring them now, or abandoning them altogether. Yes, you are a strong applicant, but unless you are perhaps Malala Yousafzai, you cannot assume anything.



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  • arl803arl803 6 replies3 threads New Member
    Sorry, I realized I misphrased one of my earlier comments- I meant that those southern state schools with big national merit awards like OU, etc were my safeties- NOT UVA, UNC, or UT. My UW GPA is something like a 98 or a 99 on a 100 point scale (basically haven’t had a six weeks grade below 97 for all of high school in any class).

    I’ll be listing government and medieval studies as academic interests when applying to Harvard, but wouldn’t declare either one as a concentration. And, I’m not surprised a grandfather at HBS doesn’t count as legacy, but you never know what could help!

    Thanks to everyone for your input!
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