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What are my chances at Bowdoin and Harvard?

skisoph06skisoph06 0 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
I'm a rising senior (class of 2020) and I was curious if anyone had any input regarding my likelihood of getting in to Harvard or Bowdoin. I know these two schools are both incredibly hard to get into in the first place, so just based off of acceptance rates I know admission would be tricky. I'm a white/caucasian female from Utah and my parents both attended grad school. I do attend a fairly prestigious college prep school (idk if that helps or hurts my application?). I want to ski in college, but for me it's more about making the team then getting recruited (I'm not going to get very much pull in the admissions process from coaches). Anyways here are my stats:
GPA: 3.99 (weighted, my school doesn't calculate unweighted)
ACT: 34, Sci: 34, Reading: 34, Math: 33, English: 35.
Rank: NA
Senior courses: AP Lit, AP Bio, AP BC Calc, AP Phycology, political science, dance company (+second trimester of heath but I feel like that's not important)
AP European History: 5
AP AB Calc: 4
AP US History: 4
AP Lang: 4
Taking SAT subject tests this August
Intended major: Neuroscience
Nordic ski racing: all 4 years
Dance: all 4 years, highest dance company junior + senior year
Track: all 4 years
Soccer: first 3 years, quit this year to focus on nordic skiing
Work: I've worked at a local coffee shop on the weekends for the past two years (and will continue to do so my senior year). I'm given a lot of responsibility; closing+ opening the shop by myself, handling money, etc.
Volunteering with a national climate organization, I've been to D.C. the last 5 summers for a week to lobby my members of congress+ attend the national conference. I've been interviewed a couple times on my local radio station about the organization. I've also been on a couple of panels to talk about youth climate activism. I helped start the local chapter of said organization + I run the social media for my chapter.
I also had an internship the summer before my junior year with a cardiologist at my local hospital. I didn't do my own research but I got to observe a lot of patient consultations and research.
I've also written two articles (one op-ed and one guest article) for a local newspaper (newspaper covers the state capitol which is a fairly big city).
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Replies to: What are my chances at Bowdoin and Harvard?

  • merc81merc81 10163 replies151 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think your chances to at least one of these schools might improve with an ED application to Bowdoin, should you reach the point at which you would want to make that commitment. With acceptances to both schools, you might want to consider the top-quality LAC in any case, as would be supported by a candid response included in the below interview.

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  • MWolfMWolf 1283 replies8 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Harvard is a very high reach, and, by next year, the acceptance rates, even for top below 10%qualified kids, will be even more abysmal. Acceptance rates at Bowdoin last year were under 10%, so it will be a high reach as well. However, as @merc81 wrote, applying ED will help your chances, and, in all honesty, your profile seems to match a LAC more than a large research university.

    So Harvard - super high reach, Bowdoin, high reach/reach. As for every LAC, demonstrated interest goes a long way.

    Now that you have two reaches, start finding your matches and your safety.

    PS. would your family be able to afford Harvard, Bowdoin, or any other popular private college?
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  • alum88alum88 126 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    It will depend on who else is applying from Utah. That is your cohort for admissions purposes. Both schools want geographic diversity. If you are among the best candidates from Utah in the application pool you stand a chance, especially at Bowdoin where there will be fewer applicants from Utah.
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  • joecollege44joecollege44 54 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    ED at Bowdoin seems like a really good idea and you would have a decent chance. If you go the RD route your chances go way down, but it's not impossible, just unlikely. But if you like Bowdoin, might as well go for Bates, Colby, Colgate, Hamilton- all are a bit safer (but not safeties). Harvard is ridiculous for anyone.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7598 replies79 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Strong candidate for Bowdoin College. Best to apply ED.

    Have you considered Dartmouth College ?
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  • happy1happy1 22659 replies2223 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    You look to be a competitive applicant with academics and ECs that should get you a serious look. The rest will depend on things we can't see such as your essays, LORs, etc.

    Any elite college (with acceptance rates often in the single digits) should be considered a reach for any unhooked applicant. Be sure to take the time to search out a group of match and safety schools that appear affordable (run net price calculators) and that you would be excited to attend.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5272 replies1 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    What is your budget? Are you and your parents fine with being full pay or are you fine with the results of the Net Price Calculator?

    I think that both are worth an application, but both are reaches. You need to make sure that you have two safeties on your list. UVM might be a very good university that would be a lot closer to a safety and also closer to ski hills. However, getting there from Utah would be a bit awkward since it is not all that close to either Boston or Montreal airports.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5487 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you have a reasonable shot at Bowdoin, but it's so selective that a lot will depend on factors none of us can predict.

    Harvard seems less likely -- not impossible, but I am not sure that you would stand out in that pool.

    I agree that if you want to ski, you should look at Middlebury, Dartmouth, Colby, and Bates.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3391 replies49 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 15
    What is your unweighted GPA? What is your class rank? You can calculate the unweighted yourself. Even if your HS doesn't rank, the colleges can estimate based on previous applications.

    This is probably the most important part of your application. The colleges will generally ignore the weighted GPA and focus on unweighted instead, so you should have a good idea where you stand.
    edited August 15
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