a year ago
Admissions Advice

Are these stats enough for Stanford / Harvard?

Assume by the time I'm in 12th and applying for college, these are my stats:

- 4.0 GPA UW | 4.6 GPA W

- 1520 SAT | 1480 PSAT

- 14 APs | 6 Honors | 4 Capstones

- Officer of National Honor Society (11th - 12th)

- Vice President National Math Honor Society (9th - 12th)

- Founder/President of Python Programming Club (11th - 12th)

- Co-Captain of Speech & Debate Team (10th - 12th)

- Have placed top 3 in over 20 state-level debate tournaments.

- Have placed top 5 in 3 national qualifier debate tournaments

- Co-Captain of Club Swim Team (11th - 12th)

- Algebra II Teacher Assistant (240 Hours)

- Administrator of 650+ Member Chess Club on chess.com (9th - 12th)

- 7 Year Spanish Duolingo Streak (5th - 12th)

- Founder/Owner of a website that creates open-source games (9th - 12th)

- Internship at a local tech. company to create machine learning solutions via Python (5 months)

- PCAP Certification in Python (industry-level certification)

- Capstone Project - Created and published a game via C#.

Excluding the essays and teacher recommendations, would this be enough to grant me admission to Stanford or Harvard (my dream schools)? I'm planning to major in computer science.

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6 answers

Accepted Answer
a year ago

What is enough for Harvard/Stanford? Is anything good enough?

With such low acceptance rates, nobody's guaranteed a spot. The only people guaranteed a spot would be celebrities or people whose family has donated in the millions of dollars to the university.

I don't know how many of these extra-curriculars you have completed yet, or will complete, but don't destroy your life in trying to get into Harvard. I would suggest watch some some livestreams by Collegevine to get a better sense of what these admissions officers are looking for. Also, read this article: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-find-your-college-application-spike/

If your goal is CS, you want to have ECs relating to it. You want ECs that have a common theme or an underlying interest. (Remember, you can apply for any major/concentration. It's only once you actually get into college that you actually decide.) Do what you're passionate about and/or good at now, then apply for a major in that to increase your chances of admission.

On the flip side, having national awards might override the concept of a spike, since at this level, being well-rounded or not doesn't matter. (As you will read in the article, being well-rounded is actually not a good thing),

If you have completed, or are on track to complete, these ECs you must consider whether you want to change tracks now or not. Just try to keep your four years of high school thematically consistent because those years are the ones admissions officers look at.

Your GPA and SAT score is excellent for the school. Remember, in 4 years or so, colleges may not regard SAT score's as highly, and with test-optional policies skewing the scores to th higher end, don't worry if your SAT score is below or at average. You should submit it as long as it falls in the class of 2026 range.

14 APs is a lot. Definitely very impressive, but make sure colleges can see personality and character. They want passion because that's the greatest determinant of success, and they would prefer that over somebody who is just academically smart and well-rounded. However, you are also showing commitment and leadership in your EC list which I think is very important.

Use Collegevine's chancing calculator, mess around to see how your chances change.

Remember, essays and letters of rec are very important to demonstrate that character, spike, theme, and passion.

Also, CS is a very competitive major for admissions purposes. As for changing majors and schools, you will need to look into each university's guidelines on the internal-transfer process if they have one. You can change your major within colleges because you do not declare a major until your second year of college anyway.

Overall, I think that if you can't find a spike or it's too late for that, sticking to these ECs will still make for a strong application. But, you still need to show something like that in CS in your essays and letters of rec.

a year ago

Blah blah blah (I barely skimmed that). Lmao a 7-year duolingo streak??? Are you scared that the fricking owl is going to eat your children if you stop? If you want, sure, apply to the circus that you'll only get into if you happen to line up with what Harvard or Stanford will look for during your admission cycle! And they still might fill that quota with other people. By God, you could be valedictorian with a 1600 SAT, president of SGA and three other clubs (one of which you founded), international piano prodigy, and get rejected/deferred from Stanford - I saw this happen to my friend! Who on here cares or can tell you if you're "good enough"... the only way you definitely wouldn't be good enough is if you have a <3.0 GPA, crappy ECs, low test score, can't write a compelling essay. How are we supposed to know if you don't? Rule #3.

a year ago

You sound really impressive!!! Congrats on all of your academic and EC accomplishments. From what I understand the colleges make their admission decisions based on "Holistic" approach. This can be a bit misleading because it makes you feel like grades do not matter - but it can not be farther from the truth. The grades, essays, test scores objectively matter. You will NOT be a strong candidate for colleges whose middle 50% scores are above yours. A stupendous essay, EC achievements or recommendation letters will not overcome grades to test scores (if they are lower then college's typical range). You sound like strong applicant based on the school's freshmen profile. However, there are number of applicants who meet school's criteria on paper, but do not get into the school every year. I think 'Holistic' means the school can do whatever it wants. If their rowing team needs new members, the rowers will get a preference. If their cello player graduated, the next best cellist will get the invitation, etc. They also look at 'Soft' (subjective) assessments like 'Maturity', 'Intellectual Curiosity', 'How you're different from others' (interesting is better then perfect), etc.

With all of this being said, because you're interested in Comp Sci, your coding and programming achievements really make you a competitive candidate as they show not only the breath of activities but the depth of interest in your chosen major. You will do well no matter what school you go to. There is really nothing like real life experience when it comes to comp sci.

a year ago

You should not be asking 'chancing' questions on this forum.

It would be best for you to do some more research into what the actual Harvard and Stanford criteria are. They are not as simple as meeting min. requirements with academics and ECs. CV has some videos about this. There are 96 categories of criteria for Harvard's admission scorecard.

If you are Asian, not an ALDC, and not a hooked applicant, you will see from using the CV profile/chancing engine that your prospects don't look that promising right now.

Good luck.

a year ago

It's enough to have you actually considered for a spot, but none of that will grant you automatic admission into either Stanford or Harvard considering everyone applying there will have similar stats. Your personal essays and teacher recommendations will be what sets you apart and show there's more to you than achievements on a page, but even then having those might not guarantee automatic admission to such prestigious colleges.

If you want to go to an ivy, I recommend applying for all of them. What you have accomplished is impressive and I have no doubt in my mind you will make it into at least one ivy. It might be Standford/Harvard or it might be neither. Even so, you will be just fine dude. Any other school in the country would love to have you.

a year ago

Hey there @nrvignesh08!

You certainly have very impressive ECs! And 14 AP classes/tests is a ton. I can't tell you whether or not you'll get into Harvard or Stanford, since even top students can get rejected. But I think you have a pretty good shot. Your SAT is a little bit below average for those schools, and you didn't provide an ACT score, which tend to be a pretty big part of applications. If you want to see your chances, I recommend using the Chancing Simulator under the 'Schools' tab so you can compare your course load, GPA, ECs, and test scores to admitted students at your choice schools. I'm no expert, but I think that if you provide great recommendation letters and outstanding essays, you should have a pretty high chance to getting into one of your dream schools. Make sure to apply to safeties and targets, though!

Good luck!

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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