Chance Me! from Japan

Hi, I am thinking to apply for Harvard.
Here are my stats:

Race : Asian
Gender : Female
Nationality : Japanese
If I get in, I will be the first family member to attend Harvard.

SAT : 1510 (800 math, 710 Reading, No essay)
SAT Physics : 780, Math II : 790
High School : I am in the best public school in my prefecture (=state)
GPA : 3.1/5 in sophomore, 4.0/5 in junior, and 4.8/5 in senior’s first semester.
When I got in to my high school, I was not fluent in English at all, which led to low grades.
I scored 100+ in TOEFL.
I am an IB student, with a predicted grade of 35+/42

I will apply to financial aid.

I took a gold medal in a scientific olympiad, and was chosen in the national team.
I also play an instrument, and I was the finalist of the National Competition of Art and Music.
I was in the first chair in the school orchestra.
I have done many other extracurricular that are, according to my counselor, “stellar” , but I would like to not mention it here, since there are all unique, and I can be easily identified.
I am sure that the teacher’s recommendation letter are good : they all like me.

GPA is my weak point while I am proud of myself being the gold medalist in a scientific olympiad.

Do you think they will reject me because of my GPA? Or will they consider the fact that I did really well in the Olympiad??

It is very difficult to judge these things. The only way to know for sure is for you to apply and see what happens.

I think that your chances are no better than the overall acceptance rate for international students, and are probably lower. Most international applicants to Harvard will have a significantly higher GPA than you do, and will be very strong in other aspects of their application. As a wild guess I would put your chances as at best 1%.

You definitely need to apply to other schools.

Why do you want to attend Harvard?

Consider doing a music supplement to the application, with a recording, music resume, and letter(s) of recommendation from teacher or director. It looks like there are 10 students from Japan at Harvard College. That would come out to 2 or 3 students/year who get in and attend from your country. It is fine to apply but recognize it is a major reach. You will need to seek out additional safety and match level college options that appear affordable and that you would be excited to attend.

You have a shot, especially if you apply REA and submit a music supplement, but keep in mind it’s a very long shot. Build your college list accordingly and include colleges that will provide merit scholarships for your excellent 1510 score (many would be public universities).