Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHigher Education (University +) · 6 months ago

Can I get into Harvard?

Be brutally honest please :) 

I'm applying Early Decision.I have a 3.9 unweighted gpa out of a 4.0 scale. I have a 4.33 weighted gpa on a 5.0 scale.My SAT score is 1500.I do three extracurriculars: Mock Trial Team, Track and Field, and Debate team. I won a few awards in Debate. I've been doing these activities since sophomore year.I have 500 hours of community service - I volunteered at some non-profit organizations that help bring food to those in need. I have also volunteered at our school's annual veteran's day assembly.- My friend and I have made a blog about human rights issues. We have raised over $1000 for fundraising.I've also been a tutor at my school since junior year. I am applying for an English and Philosophy double major (pre-law schopl). Does this seem like enough to get possibly get accepted? Can you guys offer any advice if not?

12 Answers

  • 6 months ago

    Maybe you should do 2 years in the peace corps before applying, helping out in poor countries will really help you stand out, also volunteering at your local democrat hq might help 

  • Lili
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    I went to Yale and earned my PhD at Penn. My husband worked for Princeton, and I am personally acquainted with the Yale, Penn, and Harvard deans of admission.  I've known the current Harvard dean since I was 17 years old, and I am now 63. So, I'm going to be brutally honest, as you asked.

    You are not a standout, and that's what the Ivies want. You look like a hell of lot of other Ivy applicants.  There's nothing particularly distinctive or different about you. Your activities and volunteer work are pretty standard, and a lot of applicants will have GPAs and test scores just as good as yours or better.  (Admissions officers do not care about weighted GPAs, though they do want to see that you've taken challenging courses.)

    And your major plans: admissions staff don't take those very seriously, because so many people change their minds. I did.  Just so you know: there's no such thing as "pre-law," and saying you want to go to law school is rather boring anyway.

    My advice to you is to find some way to stand out from the crowd, to make an admissions officer sit up and take notice, because right now, you look pretty run-of-the-mill as Ivy applicants go.  I got into Yale partly because my background was unusual as compared with those of other Yale applicants from my high school.  I had absolutely no doubt that it was my "hook," and I was right.  You need one of your own.

  • 6 months ago


    The average GPA at Harvard is 4.18. This makes Harvard Extremely Competitive for GPAs. With a GPA of 4.18, Harvard requires you to be at the top of your class. You'll need nearly straight A's in all your classes to compete with other applicants.

    SAT: Reading and Writing 730-790, Math 730-800

    And of course, just about all the applicants will have that.  So what you'll need to set you above them is a stellar history of extracurricular activities in the academic discipline you are applying for at Harvard.

    Both your GPA and SAT would be on the low-end of the Harvard admissions criteria.  Your extracurricular activities sound good if you're applying for pre-law or similar.

    And Northwestern is an excellent school.  It's always good to have a backup.

    Source(s): A wife and son, both are lawyers. Son is actually a partner in a San Francisco law firm. I put both of them through law school.
  • 6 months ago

    You need to look up the requirements. Just the SAT I is not enough. You need to take the subject tests as well, which are SATII. I think they require 3 SATII tests. You also need to be in the top 10% of your graduating class. Also have some AP courses under your belt. It's not that easy to get into Harvard. The application is $75, so you might want to rethink your decision.

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  • edward
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    You can contact the admissions office and check to see what kind of students they normally accept

  • 6 months ago

    I do alumni interviews for an Ivy League university that is not as selective as Harvard.

    The last person I interviewed that was accepted had a full schedule of IB classes in high school (seven periods), plus took three AP classes on line, plus took four classes at the community college, per semester. They received a Congressional award and created an online student assistance program that was picked up by school districts in several states. 

    I interviewed many other applicants, some #1 in their class with high SAT scores, who were waitlisted or rejected outright. 

    So, to be brutally honest (you asked for it) your chance of being accepted to Harvard is not good, even if you are #1 in your class (which you don't appear to be). You're not unqualified, so if it's really your dream school, then go ahead and apply early, but do consider it a dream school and not even a "reach." 

    I wouldn't waste your early admission preference on Harvard if your second favorite is also a reach, especially if you're a legacy there. Here's a secret: there is no legacy admission preference unless you apply binding early admission, if available. 

  • 6 months ago

    It is impossible to guess.  Really. Last year Harvard received over 43,000 applications and admitted only 2,000. What does that tell you?  

    You have a great resume and are clearly very smart, ambitious, and engaged.  So are all the kids who apply to the most selective and elite universities.  These schools are not only looking for the "best and the brightest," they are filling niches to create a diverse study body.  If you are a while male from an upper middle class family, you're chances of admission are much lower than even the average 5-10% admissions rate.  This is because more applicants are while males. If you are a Native American female, your chances are probably much, much higher.  

    In addition, a recent study showed that of white students admitted to Harvard, 43% where legacy, athletes, and or related to donors or staff.  That would suggest that a white applicant that doesn't fall into those categories is vying for an even smaller number or openings against a very large pool of applicants. 

  • drip
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    I don’t think you have a chance. Although you do have one leadership positions in fund raising you have  nothing really outstanding or unique. The acceptance rate is now under 5%.  

    You could get a good academic scholarship at another school with this application. Get your undergrad degree with as a little debt as possible. You can still get into a good law school.

  • 6 months ago

    It is not likely, but it is possible. The big question is, did you do anything to stand out in the other activities. Did your blog make a difference? Did your Mock Trial team win nationals? Did you lead in your volunteering and personally expand the program? Those are the things to highlight. Participation is great and all and certainly personally beneficial but to stand out amongst the very best competition you need to go above and beyond.

  • 6 months ago

    You can certainly apply for admission & compete with the other applicants. However, exceptional schools seek students with truly exceptional achievements in & out of the classroom. Without that, your chances of acceptance are about the same as all the others applying there for admission - about 5%. Remember practically every applicant to Ivies & other extremely competitive schools is their high school's valedictorian (maybe salutatorian), scores at or above 98th percentile on SAT/ACT, with extensive extracurriculars & awards of various distinctions.

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