Please chance me for Harvard Early Action

Hi!
I’ve written about my situation before, but I would like to ask specifically about my chances for Harvard 2025.
I’m an international student from Uruguay. I graduated last year (different calendar here) and I was at the 5 percent of my class. While I honestly don’t think my grades are perfect, considering the rigor of my institution-a public high school-it’s not bad either.
I didn’t present either SAT or ACT (I am totally blind and have been told that it was almost impossible to get accommodations because of covid).
I have had to do a lot of independent study, especially in the first few years, because many of my teachers refused to adapt the materials or even told me that I shouldn’t be there because I couldn’t see. I talked about that in the additional information section. I am the first person in my family to graduate from high school, and also to go to college.
Ecs: since February I have been reporting and writing essays and op-eds for US and UK news outlets (think: Huffpost, Business Insider, The Telegraph etc). I founded a nationally recognized non-profit(from grades 10th to present), I volunteered as the marketing manager and communications officer (grades 9 and 10) for one of the most recognized organizations in my region, also run by students - I had to leave it because of my commitments to my own Org.
I also participated as a country delegate at the UNESCO International Model(9-10) I give talks and workshops on disability accessibility and so on (I recently gave one at the International Youth Foundation for example), I founded the acapella group of my school, and I participated, among other things, in the HS choir.
This year I had to take a gap year because of Covid- my parents lost their source of income and I covered all the household bills, from electricity to food. I have done a lot of activism with UNICEF Uruguay (I have spoken in parliament and also presented ideas to companies stakeolders etc), and I have also been selected among thousands of people to create content for UNICEF international platforms.
I don’t have any awards, really, other than a regional spelling bee where I was a finalist and a high school competition where I won the best research paper in political science.

Essays: the one in the common app I talked about that time when my first big article was published in an internationally recognized magazine, I gave examples and that article also was quite striking because it was highlighted by universities and embassies, and also was featured in one of the biggest newspapers in my country.
Supplemental: I talked about my disability, how it is perceived in society-in a negative way basically-and how I perceive it differently and apply the lessons that living with it gave me to create positive change (I also give concrete examples about how I plan to apply that during my college years.
Short answer: I talked about my interest in history, how I followed a US homeschool curriculum out of personal interest, and how this translates into a journalistic book that I am researching and writing.

The recommendations I think were all pretty good, I even have one from an editor of a prominent international magazine- the same of the Common App essay.

I really don’t want to bring my hopes up, because I know my chances are slim, but I’d appreciate an opinion.

Sorry for the length of the post.

“at the 5 percent of my class”
“I am totally blind”

This is very impressive.

Your situation is unique enough that I do not know how any of us would rate your chances. I think that it is worth an application.

The one thing that I can say about your application is that it caught my interest, because of all the things that you have done, in spite of being blind.

And so yes, I think it is worth your throwing in an application. They will at least pay attention to it.

Thank you all for responding! Do you think it would show a lack of commitment if I only started writing for international news outlets in January of this year? I graduated from high school last year in November, and at the time I didn’t even think I could apply to an American university, so I never paid attention to that - and I started journalism because I really felt I wanted to. but I’m applying with an interest in history and government, and I don’t know if it’s going to be frowned upon…now that I’ve applied, I feel like there’s a lot of things I could have done differently. I also mentioned, although I don’t know if it will be OK(on the list of activities) the time I spent taking care of my brother when my parents had financial problems (for about like three years- I basically prepared lunch, breakfast, helped him with his homework…) and now I feel maybe, since really is not an ec and is not…well, I’ve not seen it listed here in any chance me thread, so I’m really worried. Thanks again!

So you did apply?

Why are you now hesitating? It’s ten months since January and you pursued legit experiences. In your other thread, you mentioned high school activities. (I hope you did include them.) Your back story shows determination and courage. And maturity. You say your academics were strong. These are all good things.

You have every right to appply.

As for your brother, lots of US and international applicants have home responsibilities. They do mention it. Adcoms will understand.

Let us know when you get your results.

It is a plus to mention taking care of your brother and also any efforts by you to support your family. Disabilities are viewed as contributing to diversity on campus. Character and overcoming obstacles are criteria mentioned by admissions in various contexts.

You have already submitted your application so there is no use in commenting otherwise. It is good that you stopped one activity to focus on your own organization. The danger for high achievers like you is spreading yourself too thin (and resulting stress).

If you do get in, you will have to figure out how to access helpful accommodations at Harvard, which isn’t always straightforward. You register at the Office of Disabilities and they give you letters for your professors. Your disability is not invisible, which helps. Deans, doctors and other professionals will be important in gaining appropriate accommodations, especially deans, who can advocate for you with professors. They may house you in the freshman dorms set aside for those with disabilities (dorms with wheelchair access for instance).

Good luck…

I got an email from an admissions officer asking me for an interview… there are no interviews available in my country. Is that a good sign? The interview is tomorrow and I am really, really nervous.

The interview is necessary for admission but not sufficient, don’t get your hopes too high and do your best.

Good luck!

It helps to have the attitude that you are also interviewing them. Don’t be nervous. It is unlikely that the interview will affect your chances. Try to enjoy the chance to ask questions and learn more.

From your posts, I think you’ll do fine. Most interviewers are looking for bright, engaged kids who handle life well. That’s you. Maybe imagine it’s someone you want to write for, calling to talk. My own advice is also not to overdo the family responsibilities. They want to know you’re ready for this leap to college life.
You can do it. Let us know how it goes.

It’s common to do phone interviews for applicants in places with no local alum.

You seem like a strong candidate. Hope your interview went well!

Hi! Thanks all for your support! The interview was great - more than an interview, it felt like a conversation. We started talking about an article that I mentioned to him (he asked me what I had been doing and I told him that I was transcribing an interview with the head of communications at UNHCR for a story that will be published these days) and the conversation flowed from there. I really think it went well and at one point we even got to talk about services available to people with disabilities and my interviewer assured me how much Harvard was trying to improve in that area. I was able to tell him about other projects that I didn’t mention in the application (a mentoring program that we are creating with blind people from many countries, for example) and…I don’t know, I feel that even though my chances are minimal, at least I did my best, and I never thought that I would even be offered an interview.

??? Wonderful. And a new experience that you gained.

Best wishes as you move forward.

Querida hermana latina! I really hope with all my heart you got in or will get in tomorrow! You deserve it! Please keep us updated.