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RonaldP66RonaldP66 44 replies25 threads Junior Member
Without SAT or ACT requirements what do people think will be the biggest factor in getting accepted ? I know it's still a 5% chance but will it be grades, ECs, LOC, or other factors. Does anyone really know ? We visited Harvard last year and took a tour. I asked the student guides why they think they got accepted and no one really had a good answer.
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Replies to: Harvard

  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3421 replies77 threads Senior Member
    As always, it will be the applicant's fit and match to Harvard's mission and current needs.

    Grades, test scores, and course rigor were pretty much baselines.
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  • happy1happy1 23994 replies2407 threads Super Moderator
    If there was a simple formula somebody would be bottling and selling it.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1639 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited June 24
    The only applicants with any level of predictability are recruited athletes, kids of major donors and perhaps students with well known and widely respected national/international levels of accomplishments or notoriety.
    edited June 24
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  • compmomcompmom 11731 replies81 threads Senior Member
    You can't really guess at acceptance potential. Harvard admissions is "holistic" even with test scores as a benchmark. Admissions is really about assembling an interesting mix of a class and what you can contribute on campus. I also think they like to admit students who will continue Harvard's reputation after graduation.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 2113 replies15 threads Senior Member
    Just because scores are optional does not mean that thousands of applicants won’t have them and submit them. These are some of the best and brightest students and many have already taken standard tests. Even those who haven’t might be NMF ( a large % of Harvard students are). Since PSATs were taken last Fall there’s no Corona virus gap. Don’t think many Harvard kids won’t have these scores. ( Even if not used NMF and semi finalist scores give Harvard a window into likelySAT scores. You are in the top tier or not.
    Not much will change. They’ll go a little easier on EC’s which were canceled and might have slightly less applicants due to cost and fewer internationals applying.
    But basically it will be tge same admissions cycle.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2543 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Standardized testing wasn't the biggest factor before this either.

    If you look at Harvard's CDS, they have absolutely nothing at all in the "Very Important" and "Important" columns. Everything else is under "Considered", except "Class Rank", "State residency", Religion, and Interest.

    The higher a person ranked (based on Harvard's ranking system) on any of those factors, the more likely they were to be accepted. The more factors for which a person was ranked high, the more likely they are to be accepted. There are a few factors which more discrete, like legacy status, recruited athlete status, or URM status, but the rest are more continuous.

    Basically, they will continue to accept the students who they consider will best help the Harvard brand, and removing one of the fifteen factors which they use to determine this will not have a very strong effect. For high academic achievement, they still have GPA, rigor, and academic awards/achievements, so "losing" test scores isn't too much of a blow.
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