Harvard SCEA Class of 2020 Applicant Thread

@verizonwireless Well that makes more sense :slight_smile: No, November testing will not put you at a disadvantage. Personally, I find the dates too close for comfort and wouldn’t risk it, but YMMV.

Harvard is definitely my first-choice college! I’m not sure about whether to apply SCEA though if it doesn’t offer any advantage to applying RD. Would it make more sense to apply EA to Yale/Stanford/Princeton?

A few thoughts:

When Harvard went back to SCEA, their early admit rate was pretty comparable to YPS – and it was easy to accept their explanation that your chances in the SCEA round were no different than the RD round.

However, for the class of 2018, Harvard took more than half their class in the early round (895 students) – that’s 246 more students than Yale took SCEA, 198 more students than Princeton took SCEA and 170 more students than Stanford took SCEA.

Class of 2018 SCEA Acceptance Rates:
Stanford = 10.77%
Yale = 15.47%
Princeton = 18.53%
Harvard = 21.24%

By taking so many more applicants in the SCEA round than their peers – both in sheer numbers and percentage wise – Harvard was “tipping their hat.” They were letting student’s know that if you really wanted Harvard, your chances are better applying in the early round.

However, for the class of 2019, Harvard scaled back their SCEA acceptances, while Princeton ramped up theirs

Class of 2019 SCEA Acceptance Rates:
Stanford = 10.2%
Yale = 16%
Princeton = 19.9%
Harvard = 16.5%

Keep in mind that HYP admit most of their recruited athletes in the SCEA round – that’s about 200 to 240 students per school, which is one reason why HYP’s SCEA acceptance rate is higher than Stanford’s. Also, HYP defers more students in the SCEA round than they could ever hope to admit in the RD round (and that’s not including those student’s that apply in the RD round). Stanford does not do this.

For the class of 2020, it’s really anyone’s guess which school will accept more students in the SCEA round. So, rather than try to second-guess the issue, student’s should apply to the school they like the best, and let the chips fall where they may.

@sansculottes If Harvard is your first choice, I would say go for the SCEA.

Thanks! xx

Hey! I’m an international from India and I’m applying to Harvard SCEA too. It has been my top choice for as long as I can remember. I don’t visit CC frequently so is there a Facebook group for applicants? I’d love to keep in touch with fellow applicants

The reason that Harvard’s SCEA acceptance rate dropped from 21.2% to 16.5% had much more to do with the number of applications increasing by a whopping 26.2% or 1,227 (5,919 vs. 4,692) than Harvard “scaling back” their acceptances. (They took 15 students less than the year before - 977 vs. 992.)

Total applications for the class of 2019 also increased from 34,295 to 37,305. Harvard has been really stepping up their targeted outreach to low-income and minority students which is resulting in increased applications from students who would have never considered Harvard a possibility before. International applications are also on the rise.

**Official Harvard SCEA and RD statistics for the Class of 2016/b:

In the SCEA round, Harvard accepted 772 out of the 4,231 applicants who applied, with an acceptance rate of 18.2%. Out of the 4,231 applicants, 2,838 were deferred and 621 were rejected. The regular decision rate was 3.8%. Harvard accepted 2,032 students total out of an applicant pool of 34,285.

African-Americans comprised 10.2% of those accepted; Latinos comprised 11.2%.

Around 10% of accepted students were international.


**Official Harvard SCEA and RD statistics for the Class of 2017/b:

In the SCEA round, Harvard accepted 895 out of the 4,856 applicants who applied, with an acceptance rate of 18.4%. Out of the 4,856 applicants, 3,196 were deferred and 651 were rejected. The regular decision rate was 3.8%. Harvard accepted 2,029 students total out of an applicant pool of 35,023.

African-Americans comprised 11.5% of those accepted, Latinos comprised 11.5%, Asian-Americans comprised 19.9%, Native Americans comprised 2.2%, and Native Hawaiians comprised 0.5% of the class.

Around 20% of accepted students were international or dual citizens.


**Official Harvard SCEA and RD statistics for the Class of 2018/b:

In the SCEA round, Harvard accepted 992 out of the 4,692 applicants who applied, with an acceptance rate of 21.1%. Out of the 4,692 applicants, 3,197 were deferred, 366 were rejected, 18 withdrew, and 119 had incomplete files. The regular decision rate was 3.5%. Harvard accepted 2,023 students total out of an applicant pool of 34,295.

23% of those attending were from the Mid-Atlantic, 17% were from New England, 17% were from the South, 10% were from the Midwest, 11% were from the US territories, and 11.5% were international. 7.7% were US citizens from other countries.

55% of those accepted were male, and 45% were female.

African-Americans comprised 11.9% of those accepted, Latinos comprised 13%, Asian-Americans comprised 19.7%, and Native Americans and Hawaiians comprised 1.9% of the class.

3,400 applicants were ranked first in their classes.


**Official Harvard SCEA and RD statistics for the Class of 2019/b:

In the SCEA round, Harvard accepted 977 out of the 5,919 applicants who applied, with an acceptance rate of 16.5%. Out of the 5,919 applicants, 4,292 were deferred, 541 were rejected, 19 withdrew, and 90 had incomplete files. The regular decision rate was 3.2%. Harvard accepted 1,990 students total out of an applicant pool of 37,305.

52% of those accepted were male, and 48% were female.

African-Americans comprised 10.3% of those accepted, Latinos comprised 11.4%, Asian-Americans comprised 22.7%, Native Americans comprised 1.2%, and Native Hawaiians comprised 0.3% of the class.

10.8% of accepted students were international.


  1. I am absolutely sure that Harvard is my top choice. The guy I am working under at the Clinic is a Harvard alumnus and has been encouraging me to apply EA.

  2. I visited while I was in Boston, and I fell in love with the campus and the housing system. I also love that a language citation is an option and that there are a ton of opportunities to get involved in research.

  3. The opportunities you get from going there, Harvard’s history, and its location. On a more personal note, while we’ve sent kids to Yale and Princeton, no one from my high school has gone to Harvard.

  4. Brown, Penn, Hopkins, Case, Ohio State.

  5. I have a good GPA and took the most rigorous course load available. In a stroke of luck, I got a 36 on the ACT, and I have a handful of ECs that I have pursued in depth (leadership positions, local/state recognition).

  6. I was a counselor at a string camp at the very beginning of the summer. I’m also working as a lab assistant at the Cleveland Clinic and have a mini-internship at the ACLU. On the weekends, I work as a cashier at Burger King.

  7. Chemistry

  8. Violin takes most of my time (concertmaster at school, local auditioned orchestra, pit orchestra, a chamber music group I started, and teaching lessons). I’m also involved in science club (VP), student government (school board rep), YDA (president), and volunteering (at the Clinic and NHS).

  9. You will hear it endlessly, but scores and grades are not everything. Harvard’s website even says, “There is no single academic path we expect all students to follow…” Spend time on your essays. Write several drafts, and have people read them over. Most importantly, know that it really is a crapshoot, and don’t get your hopes up. You may be 100% qualified to attend Harvard and not get in.

^^ I particularly like this quote from one of Harvard’s webpages

What that means is that a student could be academically well prepared for college, but get rejected because they lack “future promise to society.” College’s learn about an applicant’s future promise or their potential to make a contribution to our world through their teacher recommendations, which is why, IMHO, after a student’s transcript, GPA and test scores, the next most important element of a student’s file are their teacher recommendations. If your teachers don’t go to bat for you, then your chances are significantly reduced – so student’s need to choose their teachers wisely!

I’ll take a stab at the questions. Someone should seriously consider making an FB group. Please let me know if anyone ever makes one and I’ll join.

  1. Harvard is, and has been my top choice for as long as I can remember. If at all I do manage to get in, I will save a lot of time on the applications and my time and energy can be better spent on studying for the state level final examinations.

  2. Everything! The atmosphere on the campus, the housing system… everything. I find it hard to dislike even a single thing.

  3. Its history, the culture and the opportunities available to Harvard students/alumni. For me, the math program at Harvard is top notch. It cannot really get any better than that. And the cut-throat competitive environment is something that I believe I will thrive in.

  4. The usual - Ivies, MIT, Stanford, Williams, UChicago, Harvey Mudd and a few safeties. But if I get into Harvard, I will not be applying anywhere else (maybe except MIT).

  5. Good standardised test scores, near perfect grades, unique and not to brag, but amazing ECs. I think that my entire package as a whole is what sets me apart.

  6. I carried out research with a PhD candidate at a top 5 university (in the US) in math. I’ll work on that paper and send it for publication. I’ll also continue expanding the reach of my non-profit and I’m working on developing a certain product that is in stealth mode for now. I’ll also work on my essays and prepare for the informatics olympiad :slight_smile:

  7. Applied math. I would also like to study economics or classics.

  8. card magic, learning languages, developing games, reading Cyanide and Happiness and Xkcd comics :-p

  9. I love this phrase - ‘ex nihilo nihil fit’. You can use it as a reminder that hard work is always required in order to achieve something. Also, believe in yourself no matter what everyone else says.

@mumbai98 I think there is already a 2020 harvard applicant Facebook group

I can’t find the Facebook group for 2020. Do you have a link?

@Academic07 I will message you the link since it isn’t working in the main thread

Has Harvard released its supplementary essays?

My friend is going to finish his ALs in Sri Lanka this August and the results will only be released in the end of December or the start of January.He wants to apply for the 2020 batch but can he send the results after the deadline?

Does Harvard give one the opportunity to double major?