For many Australians, no other school defines higher-education success than getting into the prestigious Harvard University. However, like most Ivy League schools, it still has one of the lowest admission rates in the United States. In 2019, for example, only 4.7% of the applicants received an offer from the uni.
What does it take to increase your success of getting into Harvard? These pointers will help you immensely:
1. Highlight Your Character
Do grades matter in your Harvard application? The answer is yes, and we’ll get more into that later. But according to the school itself, your grades can only get you so far in the process. It also values a person’s character:
- Do you have potential?
- What are your goals within the next five years?
- What positive traits do you possess?
- Are you a leader?
- How mature are you?
- What are your struggles, and how do you overcome them?
- What is your level of self-confidence?
- Do you get along with other people?
Making your character vital in the application process is a win-win for both the university and you. You are more likely to survive the rigorous training, while the school can produce high-quality graduates who will make it big in their industry.
But how do you show all these traits? Here are a few ideas:
- Sign up for paid gap-year programs. It helps develop your interpersonal skills, boosts your leadership abilities, and even gives you extra points for extracurricular activities.
- Showcase your hardships in the essay. Harvard University will require you to write an essay, and it’s the best platform to talk about your challenges and how you’ve thrived and beat them.
- Participate in your school’s activities. Join clubs and, better yet, get roles in the organization.
2. Strive to Get a Higher-than-Average Score in Standard Tests
Harvard and most US universities accept either of the two standard tests: SAT and ACT. Both have significant differences, so choose which one you prefer. Fortunately, no exam is better than the other when it comes to enhancing your odds of getting into Harvard.
How about minimum acceptable test scores? The school doesn’t set any since it considers numbers as a ‘rough yardstick’ of what the applicant or student learned while in school.
However, you are less likely to end up at the bottom of the list if you get higher-than-average scores. The figures can change from time to time. For example, if you plan to take the SAT now, you are better off in the 75th percentile, with a composite score of not less than 1580.
3. Be a Diligent Student
All those late nights poring over books and answering quizzes and taking projects seriously will pay off if you dream of going to Harvard. All of these can give you an excellent GPA.
Based on the data in 2018, most of the accepted students were in the 10% of their high school class. The average GPA was 4.18. That’s a seven on the Australian GPA scale, which means it’s high. Meanwhile, none of the students belonged to the lower bottom of the ranks.
The Harvard University application committee usually includes 30 people, so the process is long and tedious. There will be plenty of waiting, and you might not eventually get in. But you also want to give yourself the best shot, and these ideas will provide you with a competitive advantage.