Any unhooked applicants accepted w/o top 5%?

<p>Completely disregarding ECs, recommendations, essays etc, is it possible for someone outside of the top 5% to get in? (Not just Harvard, but top schools in general)</p>

<p>My school only does unweighted ranking and my 6 APs this year really hurt me, since most seniors don't take as many.</p>

<p>After first semester senior year, I'm looking at a rank of 40/550 - barely within the top 10%. After looking at chance/decision threads, I realize that this type of ranking is virtually unseen on CC.</p>

<p>So my question is, do I still have a chance?</p>

<p>Every year, Harvard (and other top schools) reject students ranked in the top 5% of their class with 2400 SAT's. Why? Because something else was missing -- their recommendations were not stellar, their essays were lacking, their EC's ordinary, their "character" questionable. You cannot completely disregard any aspect of the process with holistic admissions. Do you still have a chance? Sure! How much of a chance depends on everything you are asking us to disregard. Make sense?</p>

<p>Thanks for the input! I disregarded the other aspects in this question because I heard that even if they are solid, a bad rank can lead to a low academic index, which will instantly leave a bad impression. (?)</p>

<p>Academic indexes are calculated for every student to make sure that an ATHLETIC RECRUIT is never one deviation away from the average non-athletic recruit. </p>

<p>See: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/sports/before-athletic-recruiting-in-the-ivy-league-some-math.html?pagewanted=all%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/sports/before-athletic-recruiting-in-the-ivy-league-some-math.html?pagewanted=all&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>"Class rank was once part of the formula, with grade-point average used only if class rank was not available. But because many high schools stopped reporting class rankings in recent years, it was eliminated over the summer. "</p>

<p>It is not impossible, and Harvard puts class rank and GPA in perspective with class rigor and school difficulty. But it will probably hurt you that 39 people in your class have better grades than you.</p>

<p>I'd say about 30 of them would have lower weighted GPAs than me (a lot of regular class takers at our school), but that still leaves around 9 people ahead of me. Oh well...</p>

<p>princess -- in all sincerity, may I offer this advice? You've asked the same question on several Ivy fora -- ones I presume you've applied. You're a second semester Senior with, no doubt, a very successful HS career. Whichever college eventually confers its degree to you will be honored. Since it's out of your hands now, why aren't you leaving CC behind forever and moving on with a fantastic senior year -- results be d**med? </p>

<p>You are much more than what school you attend in Sept. Don't let worries/insecurities take you away from really enjoying the rest of your HS career. Go for it and leave no regrets. I went out with a bang -- knocked out a 4.0 for only the 2nd or 3rd time, while having the single most rigorous schedule in my HS. Asked out girls I previously was afraid to -- why not, right? No regrets. Had a blast. Had a great summer.</p>

<p>Go and do likewise -- whatever your app results may be.</p>

<p>Amen, T26E4.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Every year, Harvard (and other top schools) reject students ranked in the top 5% of their class with 2400 SAT's. Why? Because something else was missing -- their recommendations were not stellar, their essays were lacking, their EC's ordinary, their "character" questionable.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Would you say that every single thing could affect your admission chance? What if there's an applicant whose essays were "lacking," and EC's ordinary; however all other aspects about him is good. Or an applicant whose all other aspects are stellar with regards to his circumstances, but has a weak senior schedule. Do you think they would turn them from accept to reject?</p>

<p>Yes, every single aspect of your application package matters! Harvard, and other selective colleges, receive so many applications that they afford to be ultra picky and select candidates that are strong in every category.</p>

<p>definemyself wrote: "Would you say that every single thing could affect your admission chance? What if there's an applicant whose essays were "lacking," and EC's ordinary; however all other aspects about him is good. Or an applicant whose all other aspects are stellar with regards to his circumstances, but has a weak senior schedule. Do you think they would turn them from accept to reject?"</p>

<p>When you go to the grocery store and are picking apples, do you just grab the first 5 or 6 on top of the pile? Or do you do a cursory glance to see if there are any blemishes? What do you do with the bruised/blemished ones normally?</p>

<p>Do schools like Harvard reject applicants w/small deficiencies? Yes. Do they accept students w/small deficiencies? Yes. Look. It's not a scientific process -- it's art, not science. They clearly state as much. But it's clearly in the student's favor to have as few deficiencies as possible -- especially when they are but one apple in a 34,000+ pile of other, seemingly bruise-free apples.</p>

<p>If they only take the top, then would the class have no diversity at all?</p>

<p>You don't think there's diversity among the students who write good essays?</p>

<p>Of course there is. Mine was merely a hyperbole.
The point I'm trying to make here is, if Harvard only accepts the top/ perfect students, then there would not be much of a diversity in term of race and socio-economic status.</p>

<p>
[quote]
When you go to the grocery store and are picking apples, do you just grab the first 5 or 6 on top of the pile? Or do you do a cursory glance to see if there are any blemishes? What do you do with the bruised/blemished ones normally?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I don't think you and I agree on the definition of "blemish." To me, and, pretty sure, T2, "boring" and "bad essay" are as big blemishes--if not much bigger--than "SAT score below average." I certainly wasn't perfect.</p>

<p>Oh I agree. Boring = reject pile 99% of the time.</p>

<p>Anyone hoping to move to the next round must have credible academics and something exciting about them.</p>

<p>"and?"
I have seen students with 1800 SAT scores and 600s SAT II got in. They were URM but nevertheless.</p>

<p>What makes an applicant "boring"?</p>

<p>I didnt't even apply to H but I'm just curious.</p>

<p>"What makes an applicant 'boring'?" It's all about context. I'm sure practically every applicant has something interesting. But if you look at them as a forest of high achievers, who stands out?</p>

<p>The Friday night karaoke superstar sounds different on the American Idol audition stage, no?</p>

<p>I would maybe propose the word "unimpressive" instead of "boring." Splitting hairs maybe but avoiding "boring" kind of suggests every applicant has to present something quirky and exciting, or even original. There are 1600 incoming freshmen and many of them did debate and model UN, they did biology research or were in some kind of national science competition. These things are tried and true. But maybe Debater A succeeds over Debater B because he built up a pitiful team to state level and his recommender lauds him for it; maybe researcher A studied a dry subject and made it come alive in his essay.</p>

<p>Applicants should know that what you do is only the beginning. Consider how you do it and how you present it in your application.</p>