Chance Me for Harvard + Other Ivies (Canadian student with no real point of reference)

Hi friends, first time on here so please move this if I put it in the wrong section!

First off, I’m Canadian :slight_smile:

Rigor of secondary school record: I took Full IB but dropped Social IB for my final year. I would probably be ranked at 2nd most rigorous load by my counsellor.

Academic GPA: 3.80 (unweighted), all my courses are IB except Social.

Class rank: My counsellor wrote top 5% in Alberta. I go to the top public high school in Alberta, which was ranked in the most recent issue of Maclean’s covering high schools as the top public high school for academics in Canada.

Recommendations: Laundry-list like. Not especially strong.

Standardized test scores: SAT I 2320 (single sitting). Math II 790, Lit 760 (single sitting).

Awards (context given as I’m Canadian):
-National Book Award, University of Toronto: Awarded for superior academic performance, original & creative thought, and exceptional achievement in a broad context. 1 student/high school.
-Featured soloist in Concert, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra/Edmonton Youth Orchestra/Edmonton Philharmonic:
Collaborated as the youngest paid soloist for educational, headliner, nonprofit, and year-end concerts
-Top 6 Finalist, New York United Nations Speech Competition: Advanced to finals out of 300 contestants in preliminaries 2015
-Margaret T. Stevenson Talented Young Writer Award, Edmonton Public School Board
-3rd place Overall at Sanofi BioGENEius Alberta
-3rd place at Leder School of Business

Essays: Strong, I showed them to 4 of my teachers and I got comments ranging from “beautiful”, “works of art”, “moving”, and “intellectually stimulating”.

Interview: I WAS NOT CONTACTED FOR ONE :frowning:

Extracurricular activities:
-Speech and Debate Executive Union, Governor: taught 40+ students in Old Scona school course Speech and Debate! I was in charge of curriculum creation as well.
-Junior Team Canada, International Ambassador: Very selective nation-wide program (25 selected from age 16-25).
Acted as a paid liason and representative between corporations and Chinese gov’t/corporations on a trade mission to China.
Raised $6000+ in corporate sponsorships, networking to support Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan
-City of Edmonton Youth Council, Councillor and Vice Chair of Social Equity

-Graduation Council, President

-Young Blood for Life (Canadian Blood Services), Youth Development Champion: super generic, I know, but this is something I really care about LOL (recruiting high school blood donors)

-University lab, Intern Researcher: created a project proposal to treat stress, placed 3rd at prestigious Alberta science competition

  • variety of clubs that I did not list on my Common App bc meh. World Issues Club, GSA, etc.

Talent / ability:
3rd nationally at piano (Canadian Music Competition)
2nd provincially at Alberta Music Festival
1st (with my trio) at Alberta Music Festival
ARCT and LRCM for piano (undergrad-level certificates)

Speech Arts:
3x medallist for Speech Arts (Royal Conservatory of Music) for highest marks in Alberta
Youngest ever Student of the Year at my speech school.
1st place at Churchill Speech and Debate Tournament (tabbed)

I’ve won loads of scholarships/accolades for both.

Character / personal qualities: Uh, I’m a happy person? I’m pretty vibrant :slight_smile:
Alumni/ae relation: NOpe LMAO
Geographical residence: Canada…
Minority status: I’m Asian, so rip.

Volunteer work:
Canadian Blood Services (pretty generic)
Featured soloist with a local orchestra for nonprofit concerts.

Work experience:
I’ve taught piano since Grade 8, both at a music school and at home.
I’m the youngest ever teacher at my speech studio.

First generation college student: Nope
Level of Applicant’s Interest: ?!?!?
Financial Aid: Yes

Field of Interest: I applied indicating an interest in Social Sciences (oops)

I applied to Harvard SCEA, and am looking at for RD:
UPenn (Wharton/Huntsman)

Help would REALLY be appreciated, and what could I improve on?

New items I have taken on that I may add for RD:
Endpoverty Edmonton Ambassador
Sustainable Youth Canada VP Secretary
GreenLearning Program Curriculum Consultant

First off, you need to understand that your chances as a Canadian are not the same as a US student. See:

There are currently 147 Canadians studying at Harvard who are freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. That means, on average, Harvard admits about 44 Canadian students every year (with an 82% yield that brings the average total down to 36 matriculated students per year) – and I imagine a good number of those students are going to be athletic recruits on the skiing and ice hockey teams. While Harvard doesn’t disclose the number of Canadians applying for those 44 slots, I would imagine the total is north of 5,000 students.

Secondly, for Harvard and the other schools on your list, GPA and test sores are a minimum threshold – everyone’s got to have that. Then Admissions will read your teacher recommendations, guidance counselor’s Secondary School Report (SSR), essays, interview report and EC’s trying to scrutinize your “character.” That’s an old fashioned word; it means the way you develop your inner qualities: intellectual passion, maturity, social conscience, concern for community, tolerance, inclusiveness and love of learning. Colleges learn of those things by comments made from your teachers and guidance counselor, as well as what your choose to write about in your essays and the “tone” and content of what you say.

The most anyone can say about a chance thread is that your GPA and test scores indicate you are a qualified applicant, but so are most student’s who will ultimately be rejected. You’re new here, so possibly you haven’t read this thread; It’s written by an MIT Admissions Director, but everything in it holds true for Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Yale, Brown and Stanford as well:

Best of luck to you!