Early Action: better chance with Stanford or Harvard?

I applied once to Stanford. I took a gap year and I am now applying again. I also want to apply to Harvard for the first time. I want to apply early to Harvard, but feel like my chances are lower than Stanford (because I already applied before). Does this make sense?

Are you a competitive candidate whether early or regular?

If not- save some $ and a bunch of time and come up with a realistic list! If your only hope of getting in is your perception that EA is “easier”- you are mistaken.

If you were rejected from Stanford before, why would you think your chances are greater than Harvard? What’s changed since your last application?
Both of these schools are ultra reaches. Early is not going to have much of a strategy impact with them, especially if you are unhooked. Choose the school you’d more want to attend, apply to the other RD and make sure you have enough realistic schools on your list as well.

I am still a good candidate, but looking back now, my Common App essay when I applied put me in the worst light. Long story short I wrote explicitly about my eating disorder. For a college application it is quite harsh, and I cringe reading only the first sentences.

I am also applying for a different major. Now I have an entirely different message I want to get across. I feel like my application is quite different now.

Thank you for your comment. I understand what you mean. I don’t think it’s easier, but to any school I want to apply as early as possible. Somewhere in my mind I thought my persistence is seen more at Stanford than at Harvard because I would be applying twice to Stanford. I think I will choose EA for Harvard though. Just need to do some more research.

Thank you.

Persistence is an asset when viewed in the context of your life- training hard in athletics, working to master the cello, working overtime in the studio on a piece of sculpture. Persistence as measured by applying to the same college twice- with tiny odds of admissions each time-- does not tell the same story about you.

What are your more “realistic” college picks?

it is highly unlikely that you did not get into Stanford because of your essay. What colleges accepted you the last round? That is the more reasonable range for you to consider unless you achieved something major in your gap year. Sure throw in a high reach or two, but temper your expectations accordingly.

And it is also highly unlikely that Stanford rejected you as Classics major but is going to admit you as an engineering major (or fill in the blanks).