Please only answer if you know what you are talking about

<p>.Okay so I have heard a lot of varying stories on legacy admission and people cant seem to come to a consensus. My question is simple WHAT precisely is a legacy ?</p>

<p>If you parents went to a Harvard Graduate school but not Harvard college are you still a legacy ?</p>

<p>Are legacies only by direct descent ? </p>

<p>Do siblings currently at Harvard count ?</p>

<p>I'm not positive of all of it, but I know that sibling DOES count.</p>

<p>And I know that Harvard Graduate has pull. Of course it does. But not as much as undergraduate, as it's different.</p>

<p>Now what I'm not positive of but pretty sure: Direct legacy has MUCH more pull. They want to keep people in the same chain of line, more people to donate to the college. If you go to harvard, son goes to princeton, daughter goes to Yale, you don't donate as much to harvard. But if your uncle went to harvard and your dad went to yale, of course admissions sees you as more likely to donate if you go to Yale, as opposed to you go to harvard and your dad went to yale. Now you have split decisions in the family: which way does the money go? 50/50? Less than 100%.</p>

<p>Now this one is a complete guess: Of course there's always the chance that no one in your family ever went to college but your uncle went to Harvard and that's it. Then they'll look at it as: this family is 100% Harvard. Everybody in it has gone to there if they went to college. Let's keep it at that, this kid will not only stay with an extended family legacy, but start a legacy, and money will not be split anywhere as that is the only college his father/son/daughter/whatever the heck you want went to because your the only one who ever went to college.</p>

<p>I really wanted to make this as grammatically difficult for you as possible. I know you wanted only 100% positive responses but I knew the first ocuple</p>

<p>Take it from Harvard itself:</p>

<p>Harvard</a> College Admissions Office: frequently asked questions</p>

<p>" Are a student's chances of admission enhanced if a relative has attended Harvard?
The application process is the same for all candidates. Among a group of similarly distinguished applicants, the daughters and sons of College alumni/ae may receive an additional look. "</p>

<p>So if your parent(s) went to Harvard College (no mention of grad school or other relatives) you get "an extra look."</p>

<p>If you parents went to a Harvard Graduate school but not Harvard college are you still a legacy ?</p>

<p>No, only Harvard College</p>

<p>Are legacies only by direct descent ? </p>

<p>Yes, Father/Mother/Siblings</p>

<p>Do siblings currently at Harvard count ?</p>


<p>Omg I am going to cry and go commit suicide. I just realized that I am not a legacy even though I thought I was one all along (My dad worked in the admissions office and was a fellow but he only attended graduate school not college ... but still that's got to count for something ? What's that I hear ? Not even a bit ? Nada ? WAAA !) . Hopefully I will be able to get into Harvard regardless.:)</p>

<p>well, how does harvard even know if youre a legacy? the supplement doesnt ask.</p>

<p>The common application does ask where your parents went to college and graduate school program.</p>

<p>your dad has worked in the admission office? then why do you ask us, the amateurs, when you have your dad, the professional?</p>

<p>aww that sucks. yale and princeton at least allow you to put extended relatives D:</p>

<p>Because I knew the answer to the question already I just wanted to see how reliable people on CC were. That's why I made the title "only answer if you know what you are talking about".</p>

<p>Most of us don't consider CC to be absolute truth. It seems rather unkind to take up others' time and thoughtful responses just to test the reliability of a website you seem not to even need. Please be respectful of your fellow students who don't happen to have a parent who is a Harvard admissions officer! We are here to help each other to the best of our ability ~ and occasional inaccurate posts are inevitable.
I do hope, though, that you will be gracious enough to aid the CC community with your informed position in the future.</p>

<p>I'm sorry, okay i'll make it up to you though i dont live with my dad (and therefore it'll be somewhat difficult to talk to him) if you have a question or so to ask me to ask him I will. But he was in the admissions office in the mid 80s so it might not be the same things have changed but i can tell you for instance how they make cuts etc..</p>

<p>Then you could contact Harvard admission office directly.
Anyway, the fact the your dad has worked in the admission office and is a graduate from Harvard would put you at an advantage than us who are not legacy at all.</p>

<p>kafkareborn ~ how do they make cuts?</p>

<p>Thank you kafkareborn. I look forward to your valuable input in the future,
and pray you much success for your college applications this year.</p>

<p>Okay guys, please don't flame me if I am wrong remember this info is over 20 years old. Anyways here it goes:</p>

<p>First a secretary arranges the applications according to SAT scores and summarizes the info on the apps. (Every app is read by the admissions committee but they do tend to rely on the clerks summary as well remember they are over 20 thousand apps) </p>

<p>Then based on academic standing people who the college thinks cannot handle the academic rigor at Harvard based on Class rank - Rank is King remember that (VERY IMPORTANT especially for URMS) GPA's and very low SAT scores are cut. Teacher Recommendations are also VERY important at this stage and later on in the process. </p>

<p>*Applicants with an extremely moving personal story - ie I survived genocide or something along those lines MAY be moved onto the next stage. </p>

<p>Then with the remaining applicants all of whom could be successful at Harvard when admitted are considered. Normally no less then half of the applicants are in this pile.</p>

<p>From this pile the committee starts to look at ECAs for community involvement, ecas, sports recruitment, leadership and other things like this to distinguish between candidates. Here the secretaries summary is very important because they are the ones that pick up the ones that stand out to them in terms of ECAs etc which makes it more likely for an admission officer to take a closer look at that particular file. Additional cuts are made here whittling it down to candidates with brilliant academic standing and ecas. (This stage is pretty tricky - one year like this year for instance they may want to expand the arts at harvard so people with a strong background in the arts will be admitted in a greater proportion than the rest. They also try to get people who excel in different areas to make a well rounded CLASS not necessarily a well rounded individual. So if you are a debater you compete against other debaters for that position for instance. If you are bland, boring and stereotypical this is where you may get cut despite your awesome academic achievements. It is not uncommon for people with perfect scores to be cut at this stage while people with lower scores go through because they are different and stand out. At this stage AA for URMs and legacy and developmental cases kick in and give you a boost.
A very strong teacher recommendation and an interview recommendation can save you at this point from getting cut. </p>

<p>Finally the essays come into play to whittle down the playing field even more. For instance if they are two individuals who are equally distinguished academically and ECA wise the essay will be the deciding factor between the two. Here Harvard looks for unique experiences that will enrich student life on campus. Individuality is key here. If you get rejected from Harvard with a perfect 2400 look no further than your weak essay followed or alternatively superbly weak ecas. </p>

<p>And then the remaining apps are put to a vote in the committee a majority is necessary for admission ! Though everyone denies it my father believes there is some luck involved depending on where in the pile you fall. For instance you may come right after some amazing kid and that is what costs you the one vote you needed its human nature. But they claim this does not happen but i am pretty sure it does matter. </p>

<p>And if you get the majority then you will get a letter in the mail with the familiar line:</p>

<p>" I am delighted to inform you that the committee on admission and financial aid has voted to offer you a place in Harvard Class of 2014. Please accept my personal congratulations for your outstanding achievements" with a certificate of admission to Harvard enclosed. </p>

<p>Well I hope this helps reduce stress and all that. Like I said my dad was there AGES ago so this info is out of date and possibly not correct but I did my best to get as close to reality as possible. Good luck everybody hopefully God willing I'll meet you at Harvard College. I hope I get in, hopefully god has got my back. </p>

<p>Well later people, I hope this helps ! Good luck again! </p>

<p>VERITAS !</p>

<p>Whether out of date or not, I find these details interesting. I guess what I have never envisioned was the role of staff like the secretaries and clerks. I am also guessing that some of the details may apply to the process at other colleges/universities.</p>

<p>How much weight does an interview have, except for maybe saving you at the 2nd cut? It seems like they should really pay attention to former students, as they would probably know what kind of student is right for Harvard.</p>

<p>Sure an good interview is important, if you have a very bad interview then you are likely to get cut but having a good interview wont push you over either because so many people have great interviews. Interviews are there for Harvard students to tell Harvard about any red flags and to judge if a student is really passionate about what he says he is or not. Unless your interviewer thinks you are so great that he drives down to Harvard to highlight you specifically then it isn't going to be as huge of a pull as you think. Remember most people who have interviews are rejected even though the interviewer thinks they are great because they are judging them against themselves when standards have shot up astronomically. So its very rare to have a VERY scathing interview report. </p>

<p>Young</a>, Gifted and Not Getting Into Harvard - News Blog -</p>

<p>BUT it is important to have a good interview because so many people do have great interviews it often acts like the feather on the scales at the second cut. But at the end of the day Harvard turns to your voice to make its final cut. Teacher recommendations are also important ! Particularly if you come from a prestigious prep school then a good teacher recommendation is taken very seriously. For instance my adviser happens to be a big shot at Harvard so his recommendation will carry a LOT of weight in the admissions committee because they know who he is. In instances like (and to some degree in all instances) this a teacher recommendation far outweighs an interview. However if an interviewer says that a student with a brilliant teacher recommendation is terrible then that will raise some eyes in the admissions committee because it would suggest that the standards at your school are low. The interview is just Harvard's safety net to root out the weeds who look awesome on paper but have no substance. </p>

<p>In very rare instances interviewers and teacher recommendations will use phrases like ""he is the best student I have interviewed in my career or he is the best student I have had in my 20 years of teaching" NOW THAT can get you in. However if they say "he is a good and active student who participates in class" then that is so boring to Harvard's committee they have seen it a million times before. For these things to push you over other students you have to be exceptional if they are just good they only serve to stop you getting cut. </p>

<p>Also teacher interviewers can give insights into your grades for instance. Say you are on an A+ average in science or something but the teacher knows that that is only because you cram the material and you are not creative and do not understand the topic then if they right that down in your recommendation then you are probably a goner. </p>

<p>So make good friends with your teachers ! And make sure you have a good interview research a lot about harvard's professors etc to show you are actually interested in Harvard not just a name. That will filter back to the admissions committee through the interview. Also demonstrate your passion instead of trying to list of all of your accomplishments that they have heard a million times before. For instance if you love politics then tlk about that or try to bring it up and make it a conversation.</p>

<p>I realize that an interview probably won't make or break my admission, but it seems to me like interviewers would be the most qualified to judge a candidate. Interviewers are people who attended Harvard, who lived there for years and took classes and met other Harvard students...obviously. A previous student would know what kind of applicant would fit at Harvard and who wouldn't. If I ran a college, I would make interviews very important, because the adcoms don't get to meet applicants (usually) and only looking at someone on paper doesn't seem like it would really understand how a person's personality would fit on campus.<br>
But, I'm not an adcom or a president of a university, so I don't get to make the rules. Maybe I'm just bitter because my test scores aren't perfect, but I think my interview will go really well because I'm better at talking to people than I am at writing essays and primping my application. <em>sigh</em> harvard was a long shot anyway.</p>