The Ultimate Guide to Harvard

Recorded Friday, January 29 at 11:00 PM

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About this livestream

School information

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Learn what it takes to get into Harvard University and what it's like to attend.

Join Elias, a recent Harvard graduate, as he covers topics like the school's campus culture, academic requirements, extracurricular opportunities, housing options, and much more. He will also share admissions information and tips that will help you maximize your chances of an acceptance.

School information

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
0:00@anonymous0101011:Love your livestreams!!
0:00@mimi:Could you please send out a message when you actually start the session? The livestream sometimes works incorrectly due to various reasons. Thank you.
0:00@anonymous:Hi !
0:00@Sodetou:me too, I was here yesterday
1:04@mimi:Thank you for letting us know.
3:54@J8II:Which is better between Top University and Honor college in a state University?
4:31@anonymous:how long is this stream?
12:07@mimi:What does SEAS stand for?
13:06@anonymous0101011:where does CollegeVine gets its data?
20:23@anonymous0101011:Is Texas considered the south?
25:01@anonymous0101011:Hey priya what's the breakdown of the states/regions?
25:30@dinchz99:Hello, I completed high school 15 years ago but I have not done university. If I had a disability and did not do well in high school because of it, how can I get in as freshman to Harvard?
27:03@anonymous0101011:I've heard some ppl get into Harvard but not Cornell....can you explain why that may be?
27:41@anonymous0101011:is Harvard more cutthroat than Wharton
27:54@anonymous:Which one is better for a CS major, Harvard or Stanford
28:18@Ayush:Is coming from Illinois a disadvantage?
28:36@anonymous0101011:is coming from Texas a disadvantage?
28:54@dinchz99:Hello, I completed high school 15 years ago but I have not done university. If I had a disability and did not do well in high school because of it, how can I get in as freshman to Harvard?
30:19@anonymous:If you don’t match through QuestBridge with Harvard, can you still apply early action/regular decision?
30:54@anonymous:is coming from California a disadvantage?
30:59@anonymous0101011:When do we apply for quest bridge
31:07@anonymous:witch one would you consider is better for an extensive writing course or journalism classes, Harvard, Yale or Columbia?
31:19@anonymous0101011:is coming from Mars a disadvantage?
31:31@anonymous:what does harvard look for on a resume?
32:15@anonymous:wait Mars like the planet
32:28@dinchz99:Can we do Harvard Extension classes online?
32:47@Ayush:What might be a spike in CS?
33:15@anonymous:are relationships in high school worth it
33:34@anonymous0101011:is getting into Harvard as a music major harder than a normal major
35:35@anonymous0101011:what do you mean by your office hours?
49:50@Ayush:So you are saying we can have do a joint degree in Economics and CS?
50:19@anonymous0101011:cut the smooth talk.... how can I get into Harvard as an Econ major? JK love you btw!
52:06@anonymous:my cat just applied to harvard, we’re awaiting her decision
52:21@anonymous:can i go in undeclared?
52:35@Sodetou:What might be a spike in Pre-med
52:59@dinchz99:Will the admissions commitee overlook my low gpa if was unable to perform well because of illness?
53:47@anonymous0101011:if you can change your concentration after you get in, can't you just apply as a music major then change to something tougher
54:12@Ayush:Is 3.78 a ok GPA for sem 1 of Freshman year?
54:29@anonymous:Can i take my cat to harvard
54:35@sidney:Spike for economics?
76:44@Ayush:Which house is the nicest?
79:05@anonymous:do you get to rank your choices for houses or is it completely random?
79:29@anonymous0101011:why are you talking about Harvard like we already got in
80:04@anonymous:Any houses with wendys nearby?
81:35@anonymous:is there boba?
83:35@stemcurious:Any vegan options?
84:56@anonymous0101011:does each dorm get a dining hall
85:03@anonymous:is there good indian food
86:19@Oyinkansola678:Any Afrikan food?
87:10@anonymous:can we cook in dorms/houses?
87:42@anonymous0101011:how do you remember this stuff
88:02@anonymous:are there grocery markets to buy goods like maggi and noodles
103:15@anonymous:i wann be a doctor, what are good courses to set me up
105:23@Ayush:What are the normal prompts?
105:49@anonymous:Would an essay about being bullied and how that allowed you to break barriers and achieve your full potential be standout?
106:11@anonymous:how much do you think pre-college classes or online edx help me get in?
106:45@Oyinkansola678:Is 3.1 for 1s semester freshman year okay and 4.0 sophomore?
107:15@anonymous:what personality traits is harvard looking for?
107:48@dinchz99:If did not do well i high school the first time due to illness can I redo high school as an adult in adult high school?
108:23@Sodetou:So I go to a medical based highschool would that count as being goal-oriented and how would harvard view that?
108:53@anonymous:Is a 3.85 gpa unweighted and 4.28 weighted not competitive enough
109:10@anonymous:How do I find research opportunities in my area
109:27@sidney:I wanna major in economics, but my spike woud be enviromental, business.... Do I necessarily need to have economics related activities?
109:54@anonymous:if i did research with a professor at another university would that be bad if I want to go to harvard because its like a competitor...
110:11@anonymous:how common is having a published paper or two among incoming stem freshmen?
110:33@anonymous:Does college vine have a guide to cold calling/emailing?
111:08@dinchz99:Is true that as long as you have not done any university you can apply as freshman? In my country, I have done a diploma in my country in a polytechnic school. Can I get in as a freshman?
111:11@anonymous:yall are saving so many peoples money now we dont even need college counselors
111:44@Ayush:How common is it to make a club?
112:03@anonymous:thank you priya!
112:31@sidney:Economics activities?
113:12@sidney:Unique spike for economics major?
113:29@anonymous:would it be possible for freshmen to do research or is it usually more for upperclassmen?
114:03@anonymous:is community college better than harvard
114:13@anonymous:If I want to go pre-med but I won writing awards will that help me get into Harvard or will it do nothing for my application?
115:13@anonymous:is harvard a community college?
115:18@anonymous:Are niche hobbies considered interesting?
115:27@anonymous:why do people get rejected from umich and get into harvard
116:19@sidney:Would you recommend highlighting marketing/finance habilities without seeming a guy who just wants to make money?
116:48@sidney:The best way to stand out through the essays?
117:23@anonymous:should i make my essays humorous?
117:54@Sodetou:Would doing Academic decathlon for 3 years be considered an extracurricular?
118:05@anonymous:If youre a verified artist on spotify with 13-14 Million monthly listeners but a CS Major would harvard care?
118:34@sidney:I´m very passionate about enviromental protection, business and marketing. Do you recommend highlighting marketing habilities?
118:45@anonymous:omg drop your spotify I want to listen to your music
119:30@dinchz99:Can I get in as freshman if I have not done a university degree but have done a diploma in accounting?
120:10@sidney:What are some unique and exceptional spikes you have ever seen?
120:59@Tatiana_NB:Thank you so much, greetings from Belmont
121:20@anonymous:Do you need to already know you're exact major before you apply to Harvard?
121:41@anonymous:would community college classes in a specific subject be a spike?
122:11@mimi:Is Oklahoma counted as South or Midwest?
122:20@ciza:Is being part of a marching band that participated in the 2020 Rose Parade a spike?
122:50@Ayush: Is 11 AP classes too much?
122:56@sidney:Would you recommend applying for undergrad business schools and economics majors on liberal arts unis? Can I have the fit for both majors?
125:04@Sodetou:does Harvard accept dual credit courses?
125:16@anonymous:how can I show demonstrated interest for harvard?
125:29@mimi:Would you recommend to retake classes at Harvard if I took similar AP classes at high school?
126:36@sidney:Can I have contact with Harvard Alumni when studying there?
126:42@dinchz99:If there has been since a long gap since high school, who will I get the recommendation letters from?
127:21@anonymous:elias do you hve a college decision reaction video? do you recommend making one
131:32@anonymous:where did your brother go to college
132:37@Sodetou:it was awesome, "are you smart?"
132:41@anonymous:are you smart?
132:44@dinchz99:Can I go to Harvard Extension school and get the recommendation letters from professors at Harvard Extension School if I want to apply to Harvard as a freshman?
133:25@anonymous:would you say most people at harvard are smart
133:27@sidney:Just finish this live at 01:00 AM
134:21@anonymous:doordash food
134:27@Ayush:I am down
134:30@anonymous:yes that would be fun!
134:42@ciza:I don't know what I'm doing here I failed Civics
135:57@sidney:Have you ever met a super rich kid at Harvard?
136:25@anonymous:Would you recommend going to harvard to marry rich?
136:56@anonymous:When are you meet and greeting with your fans sir?
137:35@ciza:Like how TF am I supposed to get into Harvard if I failed Civics?
138:02@sidney:Is there a lot of competition on the clubs?
138:11@dinchz99:Can I go to Harvard Extension school and get the recommendation letters from professors at Harvard Extension School if I want to apply to Harvard as a freshman?
138:36@anonymous:Are there zoos in havad
138:55@Sodetou:does Harvard check ALL our classes or do they just look at you GPA?
139:02@sidney:Have you ever met a super famous kid at Harvard?
139:33@anonymous:how is the social life balance and academic balance?
139:40@anonymous:Teach me the parts of a fugue.
141:01@sidney:Obama? hahaha
141:31@Ayush:What if you fail at Harvard?
141:50@mimi:Does Harvard have a specific time/moment to release acceptance decision?
142:00@anonymous:what would you say is the most important factor of the admission process?
142:07@anonymous:what happened to the 10 kids on the facebook who got kicked out at harvard
142:31@mimi:Can you host a session and play music at the same time?
143:05@anonymous:why are you gonna get cut off
143:41@Sodetou:I shall follow collegevine, this website is amazing
144:55@anonymous:elias just tell us if youre tired
144:56@anonymous:i am following cvine
145:00@anonymous:guys he dipped
145:29@Sodetou:Bye, thank you so much
148:37@anonymous:Thanks like always Elias!


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