Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Hey Lady and Gents. Just a question.

RoncharlespattonRoncharlespatton Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
edited July 2011 in Harvard University
First off, I'd like to personally thank anyone who takes the time out of their day to read and potentially answer or give guidance to me. This is my first post on this forum, and I'm not very good in the literacy department.

Ok, my question. At age 15 (will be 16 in December 30th) I am going into my Sophomore year in High-School. I'm going to be straight forward and honest. The last 4-5 years I've been screwing around in school; by that I mean B's and C's and below. I have never failed a class or been held back. So, basically I've been doing enough just to get by. My mother always told me I was smart. She is a psychotherapist. So I mean I assume I have the brain power. Maybe not to get into Harvard (even though she believes so). But nonetheless a good school.

But, this year I want it to be different. I'm going to work hard. I'm going to get good grades. Basically what I am asking is. If I work hard how plausible is it for me to get into not just Harvard but an Ivy League School. Of course Harvard being the numero uno. Last year during freshman year I didn't blow off school but I didn't work to my full potential. I am wondering does that automatically take me out of the running for admission. This year (including first semester of last year) I am returning to my boarding school. Called the Linsly School. Please wait... I am hoping that this will give me a little bit of an edge. Here is the catch. My mother is a single parent (parents divorced) my dad doesn't help out much. My mother will be financing my stay at the school until graduation and my sisters (she is in 8th grade this year) My mother told me. "Now if I send you back to this school I want an Ivy League education out of you. If your going to have a normal job like a teacher or something, even though I am not taking anything away from teachers go to the school down the street." My local public school is excellent for a public school.

Heres my dilemma, I want to know how possible is it for me to get into Harvard or any Ivy League but primarily Harvard. I have no EC's and this year will be big for me. I have started to study for PSATS already. I am trying to take the initiative. I just want to know from Future, Present, and/or Past Harvard alumni how plausible it is. I don't want my mother to invest over 75,000 dollars on me with no Ivy League education.

Here is a little about me:

-African American
-Mother psychotherapist
-Father Retired High School Superintendent 30 years
-Step-Father Lawyer

Not much but. My friend Justin Parker created a basketball league in my neighborhood subdivision. Here is the website YouthSBL - Sandalwood Basketball League®. I am a Staff member Employed. Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to retain this job if I do attend my boarding school.

other than that i have no clue.

So what should I do. Or better yet what do I have to do. Obviously I have to have all A's. Thats a given. Although I read somewhere you have to be in your top 10% of class and 2200 SAT. To even get looked at. I know my question is kind of impossible to answer. I'll take any input. Criticism is wanted if needed.

1st post ever!
Post edited by Roncharlespatton on

Replies to: Hey Lady and Gents. Just a question.

  • powerbombpowerbomb Registered User Posts: 3,364 Senior Member
    so.. basically you're asking for chances as a rising sophomore...we're gonna need a bit more than your mother/father's occupation and your friend's basketball business.
  • RoncharlespattonRoncharlespatton Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    I am more of a "you tell me what you want Ill give it or get it for you" if you can tell me what you want to know. I'd be more than welcome to give best answer.
  • RoncharlespattonRoncharlespatton Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    thanks for the answers so far. any questions i could answer.
  • Techy233Techy233 Registered User Posts: 604 Member
    I think what he's asking is if his poor grades notwithstanding, he can still go to Harvard. The answer is, yes, you can. But you've got to show Harvard they should take a student who's received Bs and Cs. I sympathize with your domestic situation, but there are students who face more troubling circumstances and still pull off A's, and 2250s. Such students will be your competition. Focus on getting those grades up to par for sophomore year and do what you love. Don't underestimate the value of sincerity; and don't overestimate the value of the Harvard brand name, either.
  • RoncharlespattonRoncharlespatton Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    Thanks techy233 for your reply. I know i can work harder if I am motivated. which I am but I'm not doing this for Harvard I'm doing this for myself. its kinda said actually. i have been on this Earth for 15 almost 16 years and really I don't know what I am capable of. B's C's are ok. But I know i can do better. Another question though. Is it true it helps about my ethnicity. Someone told me that and i just want it clarified.
  • caiacscaiacs Registered User Posts: 485 Member
    Yes it is true that your ethnicities helps loads . . . . perhaps not as much as a 10 mil donation, but acceptance rate is definitely higher and standards definitely lower.

    I have one comment, and it regards ec's. In my opnion, 10th grade is a bit late to start on ec's unless you have a high level of talent or interest. Harvard admitants usually have at least two ec's at the state or national level. Tenth grade is a little late to start. That's just my opnion.
  • olgitaolgita Registered User Posts: 505 Member
    It's never too late to start. Awards are often about your ability, not necessarily commitment, so if you are talented in anything (writing, or science, perhaps) you can get awards in it all through your high school career.
  • PoisonousPoisonous Registered User Posts: 580 Member
    To be completely honest, because you're black, and because your father is in the education industry, you will get a boost in the admissions office. But, that aside, you need straight A's from now on in the most rigorous classes, and a VERY high SAT score (2300+) to be competitive. Diversify your EC's and become passionate about a subject, and I thnk you will have a shot.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    "because your father is in the education industry, you will get a boost in the admissions office"

    Not true. In fact, it would hurt you because the college knows that your having highly educated parents who are very sophisticated about education gave you advantages that students with less educated parents lacked.

    Could you get to Harvard? Perhaps. But you'd have to greatly increase your grades, have excellent scores and some achievements that would be impressive in a highly competitive admission pool.
  • PoisonousPoisonous Registered User Posts: 580 Member
    I disagree, a family background in teaching or public service is always a plus because it shows that the parents are community oriented and can instill strong values in their child. Pick up a copy of the former senior Harvard Admissions Officer, Chuck Hughes', book on getting into the Ivy Leagues and read case study 2. Yes, if his father instead worked 14 hours a day in a sweat shop as an immigrant that might be a stronger tip, but the education background is a good boost none the less.
  • DocTDocT Registered User Posts: 7,279 Senior Member
    Two students who are equal academically etc- the one who comes from the more disadvantaged background (educationally, income wise) has a significant advantage in getting into Harvard.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,152 Senior Member
    Your chances of going to a good college (even if it's not Harvard) are greatly increased by buckling down now. Getting involved in ECs, getting good grades, studying for the PSATs - all that's going to be good for you no matter what. There are certainly plenty of examples of kids who get very good admissions results after a dismal freshman high school year - some schools like Stanford - don't even consider freshman grades. Just keep in mind that Harvard is a reach for nearly every one - even underrepresented minorities.
  • rm1234rm1234 Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    You are definitely still in the running and have a long way to go in your high-school career. My best advice is just to demonstrate your full potential now. There's still a great chance you won't get into Harvard, but even if you don't, it's not the end of the world. After all, Harvard is just another school and there are plenty of other schools that offer that same quality of education. So if you fall short but you tried your best, odds are that you'll get into a pretty good safety school. Harvard's not the only means of success.
  • RoncharlespattonRoncharlespatton Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    I just went back into all my old post, and wow have I changed! Definitely for the better.
  • exultationsyexultationsy Registered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    Haha, how old are you now? A senior? How have you changed? I'm curious
This discussion has been closed.