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3 months ago
Harvard prospective students
[edited]

International students from casual public school.
Answered

Hi!

I'm an international student from Russia. I am from a very average russian school, do I even have chances to get into Harvard? Every person that got into Harvard seems to attend some international school (e.g. IB Diploma).

We don't have IB, honors or AP, but we do have 15-16 regular classes every semester.

I don't have any impressive international recognitions besides one debate tournament, so it's sad. But I have some national ones.

Can my ECs compensate my poor school? Do you even now someone that got into such good university from average school?

I feel really unsertain right now, so should I even try? Or should I just concentrate on getting to a less competetive university?

P.S. I don't have ACT results yet.

P.P.S. Does every student that got into Harvard have some immense international recognition? Because when I watch YouTube videos, every single one was in their country’s Math or Physics Olympiad team.

May be I’d sound stupid… but is it the only type of student that can get in?

2026
ahh!
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Accepted Answer
3 months ago

This is a great question - you definitely don't sound stupid!! Students from "average" public high schools without huge international recognition and awards do get into Harvard all the time. As long as you both take the most challenging courses your school offers (and do well and them) and build a strong extracurricular resume, then you have a chance. A good ACT or SAT score will help as well.

While I was at Harvard, I did meet many students who (like me) went to public school and who (like me) hadn't won international awards or anything like that. And Harvard claims it considers international and domestic applicants equally, so according to them, you shouldn't have any less of a chance of admission just because you're applying from outside the USA. If you're getting national-level awards and recognition, that's already great! Best of luck.

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