Is My GPA High Enough for Harvard as an Undergrad?
Harvard is one of the most widely recognized academic institutions worldwide. Its reputation makes it a pride to be selected to study there, but also a unique opportunity to be schooled in one of the best universities in the world. However, this also means that the college admissions process for getting into Harvard is extremely competitive.
Getting into Harvard doesn’t have to be an impossible dream though. Yes, everyone knows that getting into this school is extremely difficult, but it is definitely doable. Every year, about 2,000 students receives the happiest letter of their lives – a college acceptance letter to Harvard.
Who says you can’t be one of the lucky 2,000?
Applying to Harvard
Admission rate statistics are less than satisfactory for those who apply to Harvard’s programs – a mere 6 percent. This statistic makes Harvard the second most selective academic institution in the US, making not only your college admissions essays, but also your GPA and SAT scores all vital elements for getting into at least the first round of applicants.
In most cases, Harvard will require its applicants to take a place in the limited 1 percent of all SAT test-takers. Their scale for acceptance is usually around 1480 to 1600, and while you can get admitted with a lower score, it’s much more difficult. In fact, estimates say that students who have an SAT score of 1420 can still be admitted if they possess the skills and traits Harvard looks for in applicants.
But a lower score still needs to be offset with great grades to get into Harvard. The average GPA of an admitted applicant at this University is 4.04, meaning that the primary choices of Harvard are A+ students.
The ideal combination is a high score on the SAT and a high GPA. In fact, the safest candidates are those in the 75th percentile, i.e. have an SAT score that equals or is over 1540, as well as a 4.1 GPA or higher. Of course, there are exceptions for those who write brilliant personal essays and have amazing referrals.
Whatever your grades, you need to ensure you ace your college application. While the essay is optional, your chances at getting accepted are much greater when you leverage this opportunity.
Getting into Harvard
Even if you weren’t the best student, or have significantly less in your resume than some other impressive applicants, you can still get into your dream school. When it comes to Harvard, there are some things that can be done to strengthen your profile as an applicant and impress the admission board.
There is no guarantee that an applicant with all required qualities will get accepted, same as there is no guarantee that you won’t be accepted if you aren’t one.
So, what’s the trick for getting into Harvard?
The big secret lies in understanding what Harvard wants. And while you can find a whole list of questions you might be asked during an interview, you won’t find what the admissions board expects in your answers.
First, the board will review your application by looking at the markers of successful high school performance. These include your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and awards. If you did well, these will make you a competitive applicant, but it is far from sufficient for getting accepted.
The acceptance choices go beyond GPA and awards, so do not give up just because your scores are at Harvard’s minimum. Harvard strives to accept students who have personal qualities that can benefit the school and maintain their high reputation, both of which can be seen during the interview, in your admission essay, and in your recommendation, extracurricular activities, experience, etc.
Seeing that Harvard is second when it comes to most selective colleges in the US, just after Stanford University, acceptance is much more challenging and with it, much more celebrated as a grand accomplishment. To earn admission, you need to stand out in the big crowd. Demonstrating something interesting, unique, and special to the board is what most influences your chances of being accepted.
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