Benefits of a Peer Reference

<p>Hey guys, would just like to throw this general question out: What are the benefits of having a peer reference (from a fellow student) included in your application along with those of your teachers? And what type of student would benefit from this?</p>

<p>On a specific note: there seems to be two of us in my year who stand out in our respective fields and have presented ourselves as candidates for acceptance at Harvard. Both of us are very good friends, yet we worry that if one of us is accepted, that would be to the detriment of the other one's chances at being accepted as well, with Harvard not wanting two people from the same school (our school consistently sends kids to Harvard, but rarely more than one a year). Could both of us peer referencing each other turn that "competition" perhaps into a strength, as it might push those reading our applications, even slightly, to contemplate the idea of accepting us both (buy 1, take 1?). I'm concerned I may be reading too deeply into this, but at the same time, think it might add a nice dimension to our applications that would turn what could be a reason against us into one for us.</p>

<p>Thanks guys, and looking forward to your responses. :)</p>

<p>I don't know about the peer reference, but I think the fear people have about multiple people from their school being accepted is overblown.</p>

<p>It seems to me it wouldn't be rational for Harvard to say "look, we have two fantastic applicants who are both worthy of admission. Too bad they're from the same school." My guess is that if you guys both get denied or both get waitlisted or only one of you gets accepted or waitlisted, it will be more based on your stats and ECs than the fact that you go to the same school.</p>

<p>I think you're getting ahead of yourself. You'll be evaluated on your own merits. A peer reference would not carry any weight. Every high school has top students who are good friends with one another; this is just par for the course.</p>

<p>I don't think that one of you being accepted will decrease the chances of acceptance for the other.
Harvard took 5 people from my school this year - a large, public, good but not famous school.
They are definitely not averse to taking more than one per school.
Good luck!</p>

<p>I don't think attaching a peer reference would confer any kind of benefit unless there is some extraordinary reason that I can't imagine right now. Though Dartmouth requires one.</p>

<p>And like others have said, you aren't competing against your classmates any more than you're competing against someone from across the country.</p>

<p>I feel like a peer recommendation would be unnecessary. Stick to what Harvard asks from you. Going overboard probably won't do you that much good - keep in mind that they have to work through 30,000 applicants. I'm sure that Harvard has accepted people who attach pages-long extracurricular resum</p>

<p>As for you and your friend applying to the same school - personal anecdote: that was the exact situation with me and one of my friends last year. We attend a school where almost no one is accepted to very selective schools, yet both of us wanted to apply to MIT, Cornell, etc. Like you, we both assumed that our apps would be compared, perhaps even unintentionally, since we were the only ones from our high schools applying to colleges like MIT and we've been in almost all the same classes and had almost the exact same extracurricular interests. Decision time: both of us were accepted - and this is coming from a high schools where people are rarely accepted to the more selective schools. So, like others already said, the fact that someone else from your school is applying has little impact on your application. </p>

<p>
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Could both of us peer referencing each other turn that "competition" perhaps into a strength, as it might push those reading our applications, even slightly, to contemplate the idea of accepting us both (buy 1, take 1?).

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<p>Wait, do you mean you want the "peer reference" to come from the friend that you referenced before? But, if you write a reference for him/her and he writes one for you, then that kind of defeats the purpose of any peer recommendation...</p>