Chance me Harvard ‘27!

chance me - harvard (poli sci) RD

upper middle class asian (indian) female

act: 33
gpa: 4.442 (1/360)

6 APs taken, taking 6 more senior year

Ap scores:

  • Euro: 4
  • Apush: 4
  • Gov: 4
  • Lang: 5
  • Psych: 5


  • founded charitable business where i provide art service (5k+ raised and 65+ girls sponsored for period products and sex education in rural india)

  • director of youth engagement for a us senate campaign where i promoted textbanking (reaching 1.5 million ppl)

  • participated in community advocacy where i organized local rallies and started a petition to change a schools mascot (34k+ signatures)

  • founded an activism club at my school

  • part time job (15 hrs a week)

  • diversity club president

  • student teacher for cultural dance group

  • schools mascot

  • graphic design intern for a period accessibility org.

  • regional advocacy director for Girl Up


  • 2nd place International Deca winner

  • deca top 25%

  • presidents volunteer service award (gold)

  • congratulatory resolution from state congress

  • youth tour contest winner (regional)

i still have to write my essays and get letters of rec.
ik my stats aren’t the highest …

I assume you are Intl?

Slim to none at most top schools but If it’s your dream - try ? Y is it your dream - Harvard ??

About a 97% chance of rejection. That doesn’t mean don’t apply, I just think it’s important to be realistic at the most highly rejective schools. The following blog post is very helpful for putting things in context:

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i’m not intl

Congratulations as you are clearly one of the tippy top students at your HS and have great ECs. Has your school typically placed kids at low single digit acceptance schools and specifically Harvard? This would likely be your best indicator but still imperfect. Your essays and LOR will be key assuming all of the others boxes are checked.

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No one from my district has gone to an ivy league in years… and even then it was 1 student from years ago.

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yeah… i heard about this. that is why i’m nervous about being rejected

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I don’t mean to be pessimistic but I think you will be fighting an uphill battle. The significance of class rank is often juxtaposed against perceptions of a schools rigor which are in part a function of familiarity.

I would be talking to your guidance counselor and sharing your ambition as early as possible to see what support they can offer.

I am certainly not minimizing or demeaning all you have achieved and acceptance to Harvard is hardly an appropriate measure of being smart and talented. Most kids who go to Harvard are smart and talented, but not all smart and talented kids are accepted into Harvard.


Would you consider tippy toppy LACs, like Williams, or perhaps Pomona? Just as competitive but it seems that somehow less brutal to ‘people from nowhere’ like most of us.


I think your fears are misplaced.

No one should apply to Harvard ‘assuming’ an acceptance. Only 4% were accepted according to the latest common data set. So that’s where my hesitation would come. Also your ACT, which is OUTSTANDING, doesn’t help as it’s at the 25th percentile. And don’t forget Harvard and so many others are turning down many quality applicants that I’m sure could excel there

Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your best foot forward. Doesn’t mean you can’t get in.

But if you do a chance me, the answer is IMHO unlikely. And that’s the same for many top schools.

But there’s tons of great schools out there, big names and otherwise. Make sure you have a balanced list of reaches, targets and safeties.

Why Harvard ? What appeals about it to you ?Do you need other ideas too ?

Any budget issues ?


With your strong interest in politics and development, wouldn’t you be interested in Georgetown, possibly with American and GW as backups? Seems that your inclination towards politics and development would make you want to be in DC, or at least a state capitol. I think that you have only a very low chance of being accepted at Harvard. Honestly, if you can submit only one private early action/decision, I wouldn’t waste in on Harvard. There will be other applicants to Harvard who have similar interests to yours, but will have perfect test scores, a string of 5’s on APs and more impressive EC achievement/awards. Focus on finding the right matches and reasonable reaches for you, as opposed to an unlikely reach, such as Harvard.

hey! sorry for the confusion. i meant that i was nervous about having a higher chance of being rejected because of my demographics. but yes, i’m going to try to get my act score up as i know that is where i lack heavily. also, does anyone have any ideas on strengthening my ecs? ik that it is sorta late in the game… but any advice?

I think your ECs are more than fine if you have tenure and impact. It seems as if you have impact…founded a charity. You can demonstrate that you raised $5k and helped 65 but did it continue ?

But assuming you have tenure and impact in at least two (maybe your job duties have expanded), I would personally not worry about your ECs. What you don’t want is everything one year and over.

Again Harvard has a 4% acceptance and even with a 35 or 36, the odds are slim. It’s not necessarily you.

Put your best foot forward. Don’t look back.

Not sure your state but Wisconsin and Ohio Stare are strong in Poli sci, in a capital as is South Carolina and it’s top rated Honors College which has Kids who turn down ivies (most flagships do). UGA is well known for Intl Affairs…has a school focused on it.

You may look at a school like W&L and it’s Johnson Scholarship. It places great. And Sewanee, another that places great in DC.

And not sure if you watched all the January 6th stuff and key witnesses. I saw Christopher Newport, Kent State, earlier College of Charleston. These young people have key roles.

Anyway control what you can. You can’t control Harvard. So put your best foot forward. If it happens - great. If not, life goes on. You, not Harvard, will make your success.

Why Harvard ? U still haven’t answered. What about it do u like so we can find like schools to broaden your plan.

  1. yes, it did continue! it is actually ongoing and i plan to keep it going in college. i provide henna services so it is very flexible when it comes to where i can provide it!
  2. i’m not “dead set” on harvard, but more of the ivy leagues. i just chose harvard because i felt like it would get more feedback than if i put other schools. however, like most people, i would LOVE an acceptance. i’ve visited the campus 2x and both times i loved it. the school provides students with so much opportunity and i feel like, because of that, it would be easier to get into contact with people that are now involved in politics that are harvard alums.

yes, i was thinking about georgetown aswell! i’m definitely going to apply :)!

I’m definitely considering it more now!

Got it.

Ok. Yea go see them because they are different.

So a lot are giving you great suggestions - Gtown, Pomona, etc.

Remember - reach, target, safety.

I see a lot of reaches.

Nothing else.

What’s your home state ?

Any budget issues ? Are you full pay ? Do you have need or have your parents given you a’ax spend ?

I’m from the Midwest. My family makes too much for need based financial aid but, if my parents were to pay, they wouldn’t be able to live comfortably.

Also, im applying to about 4 target schools!

You have a very interesting set of extracurriculars and I think you certainly have a chance of acceptance at Harvard. Unfortunately, it’s about a 3-4% chance of acceptance, as that is what Harvard’s acceptance rate is and the vast majority of its applicants are highly qualified.

It’s super important to apply to schools where you are extremely likely to be accepted AND to be able to afford it without anyone taking out any loans AND where you would be happy to attend. Those are the schools you need to find first. Then you can start looking at more selective schools where your chances of admission decrease.

What state are you in? Many states have a reciprocal agreement with others or are part of a consortium to get lower rates in other states.

Your family needs to run the Net Price Calculator (NPC) for Harvard, Georgetown, etc. Find out what they think the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be. Is that EFC affordable for your family, without loans? If so, great, keep looking at the Top 20/Ivy League. If not, then you need to start looking at schools that offer merit aid, and there are many excellent colleges that do.

Once you learn what your budget is, then we can help you find schools that will align with what you want out of a college experience. Also, are you open to attending a women’s college?

Yes, i am open to a womens college! i was actually considering Barnard !