In for the win: how to get into Harvard

Recorded Thursday, June 3 at 09:00 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.
2:37@Paneerkasamosa:When will it start
2:42@nicolehattonn:The live stream isn’t up for me
2:52@Anonymous8:About scholarships
2:55@Anonymous8:What happens if you get something from Nshss?
3:31@nicolehattonn:it's working now!
3:38@Paneerkasamosa:Please tell about how to increase chances for getting admission in computer science for international students
5:55@Catcatcat:Hiiiii :D
6:06@goldenretriever1:Whats the least popular majors at H
14:02@goldenretriever1:Cannot hear u
17:05@username1025:is there a bs/md program
17:11@goldenretriever1:Is there an equivalent of questbridge for students not meeting questbridge criteria
17:52@Lunemoon:Does Harvard have a good architecture program?
18:28@SiriusApollo:s there an equivalent of questbridge for students not meeting questbridge financial criteria
19:11@goldenretriever1:is it just me? still cannot hear. refreshed pages
19:23@Paneerkasamosa:Do we need to take the sat exam
19:29@SiriusApollo:can i have ur email lol
19:30@nicolehattonn:where do we find your email btw?
19:47@Omenma:Is there a premed track at Harvard?
19:52@nicolehattonn:try refreshing
20:14@SiriusApollo:@goldenretriever1 try opening on another browser
20:20@Anonymous8:Open it on another web browser, Goldenretriever.
20:26@nicolehattonn:or tap the screen or open on another browser
20:29@saruhhh:Hi again! Could you talk about what it's like to be an arts student at Harvard?
20:36@Anonymous3:Can u tell us the different places to apply for full rides
21:14@Anonymous3:thank u!
22:22@Lunemoon:Is 3.8 a low GPA for Harvard? I’m interested in Theater or film
26:30@saruhhh:what if you are a minority but well-off?
27:54@username1025:what if you are asian but from a low income family
36:49@Harini:Hate this!!!
37:12@Harini:Can you please answer my questions?!!!
40:09@nicolehattonn:do they look at unweighted gpa or just weighted
40:20@saruhhh:what is 3.8 on a scale of 100?
41:13@Harini:Yea it’s a B
41:15@username1025:does harvard superscore
41:21@Catcatcat:Are AP test scores a big factor for applicants? (I graduate 2022)
41:39@goldenretriever1:does H look at AP scores
41:45@Omenma:Would you recommend sending an SAT score less than 1400?
41:55@Omenma:How many fields can you major in at Harvard?
42:00@harvard:do medical schools consider a harvard pre-med candidate more favorably than a non-ivy undergrad with the same mcat scores?
42:55@Paneerkasamosa:Tips to increase gpa for international students
43:06@Alicia.Justin:Hello, does Harvard accept dual enrollment if the dual courses are accredited?
44:06@Harini:Can you double major in Harvard or will they check certain things before?
44:49@Harini:What about economics and computer science?
45:05@goldenretriever1:is thesis required at H to graduate
45:21@harvard:is it easier to get into harvard if you express an interest in majoring in one major vs another? and can you change major later?
45:56@username1025:does a ib diploma gives you a boost for admission
46:03@Anonymous8:How many Ap classes should you take?
46:21@nicolehattonn:should we take a foreign language all 4 years
46:32@Harini:I was just asking you to answer the questions, I wasn’t trying to be mean. It’s like 3:30 am here so I was just hoping you could answer atleast one of my questions.
46:44@Harini:As an international student. We have different curriculums compared to US and our scores and how hard they are vary. So our GPAs might be different compared to US. So. How will they compare us to other students
47:34@harvard:I meant is admission to Harvard easier with some majors
48:44@goldenretriever1:is sibling considered legacy
49:10@Harini:I did an Indian syllabus for grades 9th and 10th but from my junior year this year, I’m doing IB the last two years of high school. Is that okay? And it’s kinda hard to check my GPA
49:47@nicolehattonn:do colleges prefer if we take physics? i don't think i'll have room in my schedule and would rather do a different science class on something i'm more interested in
50:03@carolinewebb123:If I apply test optional will that hurt my chances of getting in ?
50:23@the1:What is the most common major thats is applied to? Do you think applying with a common major will decrease your chances of getting accepted?
51:00@Omenma:Can Harvard see if you take a dual enrollment class or should we indicate it separately in our application?
51:18@Harini:If I want to major in economics, will it affect my application if I didn’t do that great in chemistry?
51:40@Paneerkasamosa:What extra co-curricular activities are considered is coding considered
57:19@goldenretriever1:is national level award considered a spike
57:52@username1025:what if i did poorly for math in 9th grade but improved for 10th and 11th
58:22@nicolehattonn:will an interview make or break your application?
58:26@Lunemoon:Do you interview Harvard prospects?
58:39@goldenretriever1:did u take it easy in your senior year (ie. less AP etc) :)))
59:13@Catcatcat:Is attending a state science governor's program a good spike for stem?
59:24@nicolehattonn:when should class of 2023 prepare for sat/act
59:53@catilina:is classics typically a popular major at harvard
60:20@goldenretriever1:how important is summer camp? are there some camps that r hooks
70:41@saruhhh:yesss please read!
71:07@nicolehattonn:if i'm asian but don't really come from an asian culture since i'm adopted will they take that into account
71:19@Anonymous8:yeah pls read it.
71:21@Omenma:Yes I would love to hear your essay!
71:27@Omenma:I do a lot of work with kids, like I work at a pediatrics office as well as volunteer with children at libraries and churches, can this be considered a spike?
72:55@username1025:what if most of my extracurricular activities were canceled due to covid 19
73:22@J8II:Is top 3 in state writing competition a spike?
73:54@harvard:does Harvard practice grade deflation? is it almost extremely hard to get As in all courses
74:33@J8II:Excellent seminar! Thank you very much!
75:00@goldenretriever1:for common app awards section, is it just academic awards? do voice competition award account
75:17@J8II:Overall, Are students from low income family easier get in than students from wealthy families?
77:34@goldenretriever1:yep super helpful. put it again and u get 100 5!!!
77:43@Omenma:I also enjoyed your live stream! It was super informative!
77:45@nicolehattonn:it's ok you're doing great bestie
77:50@Learner:Yes! You did very well!
77:56@Anonymous8:what time is it there?
78:06@goldenretriever1:what activities come off as from affluent families
78:25@Anonymous8:yeah you are doing great
79:11@Lunemoon:How can you have a spike if extras were cancelled?
79:35@Angelina611:Wonderful presentation!
80:44@Omenma:Will we get to hear your college essay today? :)
80:47@goldenretriever1:did u fill out all 10 activities in common app
80:53@Catcatcat:Thank you! :)
89:22@Anonymous8:It was very good.
91:37@Lunemoon:Were you writing this as an older transfer student or incoming freshman?
91:51@Omenma:I enjoyed your essay
91:54@Learner:Thank you!!!
91:58@nicolehattonn:why did you apply to harvard and other top schools
93:10@Omenma:If you don’t mind me asking which school did you transfer from?
93:14@Lunemoon:If extracurriculars were cancelled should you mention that in supplemental essays?
93:24@goldenretriever1:shall i compete in some voice competition which i never heard of
94:09@goldenretriever1:where r you H friends/classmates now
95:13@goldenretriever1:for voice portfolios, shall i just sing opera or broadway ok
95:23@J8II:It is long hours in mid night! I really really appreciate your live stream!
95:45@Alicia.Justin:Thank you, this was very informative.
95:51@nicolehattonn:thank you for working so hard and even staying up late to answer more questions!
95:54@Lunemoon:You’re 5 stars!
97:14@goldenretriever1:u r a super star!!!
97:19@J8II:have some quality sleep!
97:26@goldenretriever1:r u on discord?
97:37@Anonymous8:Thanks for all ur help!
97:48@Catcatcat:5 STARS HIGH QUALITY
99:45@nicolehattonn:im getting 2nd dose tomorrow!


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