What's considered a Harvard hook?

<p>I'm not legacy, or an athletic recruit, or a donor but is having a letter of recommendation from a former Harvard professor considered a hook?</p>

<p>No, I don't think so.</p>

<p>Actually being Liam Neeson is a hook. :)</p>

<p>^ If he's not an imposter :D. </p>

<p>But I guess if you have a rec from a former Harvard professor you might "receive an additional look in a group of similarly distinguished applicants." (Harvard FAQ Website) ;) (And yes. I used their wording from the website. I cited my reference though, so it's not plagiarism.) </p>

<p>Honestly, at the vastly distinguished pool of applicants Harvard has, I really am not sure what a 'hook' is nowadays. Virtually all of their applicants are geniuses. Good luck though, Liam Neeson! :)</p>

<p>Son/daughter of professor, recruit, parent legacy college, parent legacy grad school, urm.</p>

<p>Nothing else is a hook.</p>

<p>Your rec from the prof is most likely positive. Did you give him something to write about?</p>

<p>Good question. </p>

<p>Be yourself. YOU are the hook. Don't try to insert some artificial quirk... if you're like 100% of everyone else, you have plenty of organic quirks. Transmit them as truthfully as is possible through your application.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Actually being Liam Neeson is a hook.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Ugh I was gonna say that</p>

<p>grad school legacy doesn't matter--not a hook. </p>

<p>Winning a major national or international competition is the biggest hook--a gold medal from IMO will get you in, for example--not that it is something one can easily get. haha</p>

<p>According to the terminology on this forum, winning IMO is an accomplishment, not a hook. Hooks are the personal qualities you can't change that might make a difference between candidates with equivalently good applications. Sports recruiting is also included. It seems to me like it belongs in a different category than legacy/donor/first gen college student/faculty brat/URM/being Liam Neeson, but together they represent the sum total of things this forum calls "hooks." (Some colleges include graduate school legacy, but Harvard doesn't.) The letter might help, but won't likely help any more than if it were written by a professor at Yale. Letters of recommendation matter almost entirely by content rather than by recommenders' credentials (which is why the answer when people are like "will a vague letter of banal good things about me from my congressman help?" is always "nope"); a professor who'd once worked at a top college might be able to more convincingly argue that you're going to be a great college student, based on what he's seen of other great college students, than a high school teacher, but that his experience with great college students was at Harvard, not Stanford, is unlikely to make them view it all that much more favorably. Maybe a little, but not a ton.</p>

<p>Yes usually a hook, at least from my time, is something that you haven't done yourself that will give you a slight boost, especially if you meet what the officers are looking for.</p>

<p>I put parent grad school legacy followed by urm because they are hooks, but hardly hardly so, given grad is not the college and given the big numbers of urm's now.</p>