Harvard or Yale EA?

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: August 2003 Archive: Harvard or Yale EA?
By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 06:37 pm: Edit

Hey guys...I've been thinking over the last few days about my college admissions strategy in terms of where to apply early. Here's the situation: I know my credentials are strong and that I'd definitely be in the running for acceptance into Harvard if I applied EA. However, a friend of mine, who just happens to be number 2 (I'm number 1), is going to apply to Harvard EA. Academically, my stats are slightly stronger, but not by much (higher SAT I but by only 40 points, higher GPA/rank, and higher AP scores). And if it matters, I've never had anything below an A- on the report card, I have a 4.0 UW GPA, and I believe he's received one B and one B+ during his entire high school career. But as for ECs, the distinction is blurry. He's prez of NHS, treasurer of exec council, co-founder of Habitat for Humanity chapter whereas I'll probably end up being prez of Spanish Honors Society, I'm corresponding secretary of NHS, and I'll probably be able to say "captain" for my debate team. In terms of awards, he's got the RPI medal, Governor's school for science, 2nd place at NJ Chem Olympics (in his event) and some NJ Science League awards. I've earned 1st place JV speaker for my debate league, 6th place varsity speaker, I'll probably be national merit semi-finalist and maybe finalist, I got "Highest Scholastic Honors" from my school last year and will probably get it this year again, I got 5th place in my event in NJ Chem Olympics, and I also have some awards in Science League. Here's the question...assuming that we both have amazing recs and that our essays are comparable, which one of us would probably get in? The chances of Harvard accepting BOTH of us are pretty slim, I think. And at this point, my reasoning is if he stands out as the more qualified candidate, should I try applying EA to Harvard anyway? Or should I try my luck EA at Yale? Any comments would be extremely helpful.

By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 08:45 pm: Edit


By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 10:37 pm: Edit

My guess is that odds are the neither of you will get in EA, which is reserved for candidates extremely stellar -- far above the average ACCEPTED candidate.

Both of you have a chance at regular admission, but I think neither would be guaranteed EA. From what I have seen, HYP EA tends to go to people with stellar national credentials. But good luck, whatever you choose.

By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 10:41 pm: Edit

Hmmm...that's an interesting assertion that I'm unfamiliar with. You're saying that applying EA is NOT a good idea if you're not an extremely strong candidate? I was under the impression that it would act as a semi-hook...

By Purgeofdoors (Purgeofdoors) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 10:48 pm: Edit

Northstarmom, where did you get those stats?

Crunchy has no better chance in RD than in EA.. actually, he probably has less of a chance with RD. EA is NOT reserved for extremely stellar candidates - that is when they let in a lot of their legacies, URMs, and such.

While you are both good (but similar) candidates, the chance of Harvard accepting both of you is fairly slim. I cannot possibly predict which one of you will get in where, as you are both qualified and it depends heavily on what Harvard needs.

My suggestion: Read up on Game Theory and play a few games of the Prisoner's Dillema - because that's what you're in.

By Serene (Serene) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 10:54 pm: Edit

I don't think it really matters if there's another kid from your school applying to the same college, since each kid's app. is reviewed independently and it could be a few days between the two decisions.

If you can so easily go for Yale EA, it seems that Harvard or Yale makes no difference to you, which is pretty bad, since each college is so unique!

By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 11:04 pm: Edit

No, trust me, there's a difference between Yale and Harvard for me. While both have amazing academics, what concerns me primarily is the location. Boston is infinitely more preferable than New Haven. Also, while I love Harvard's campus, I haven't seen Yale's yet. All in all, I would prefer Harvard much more to Yale, but if it ends up that my chances are reduced by my friend's application, I might go for Yale EA instead.

By Purgeofdoors (Purgeofdoors) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 11:09 pm: Edit

In game theory, it's always best to hold out.

If you really want to go to Harvard over Yale, by all means apply to Harvard EA. Serene is right, the effects of 2 good candidates applying probably isn't going to be large enough to make them choose between you.

Good luck!

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 11:16 pm: Edit

I know about EA at Harvard because I am an alumni interviewer and not only have experienced several presentations that the Harvard admissions dean has made to alumni, but I also have seen how candidates in my area are treated.

Applying EA isn't a hook when it comes to Harvard (and presumably to Yale since they have a similar applicant pool and similar policies). Harvard has said very clearly that a higher percentage of EA apps are admitted than are regular applicants because the EA applicants tend to be much stronger.

Harvard uses EA to accept candidates who are at the very top of the applicant pool. This doesn't mean the pool at a particular school, but for a particular region.

As a result, having national awards or a nationally recognized talent is important.

For instance, in my region, a candidate who had achieved state level top recognition in his field didn't get in while someone who had gotten national recognition in his field did. The candidate who was deferred EA was, incidentally, a legacy.

The state recognized candidate did get in regular admission (though a very similar nonlegacycandidate with state level recogniton had applied EA and was deferred EA, and then rejected, ending up at a nonIvy).

Anyway, I think the OP should figure out where he most wants to go, and should apply there first for EA. If he is deferred, then he should expand his pool.

He shouldn't make up his mind based on his friend. The OP can't read the adcoms' minds, and shouldn't try to. For all he knows, the essay as well as the adcom's conversation with his guidance counselor (something I've noticed that seems to be very important when EA applicants are weighed) may lead to his being admitted instead of his friend.

By Chim_Chim (Chim_Chim) on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 12:10 am: Edit

paragraphs are your friend

By Mouse (Mouse) on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 01:12 pm: Edit

What you consider some of the national recognitions to be?

By Roosh (Roosh) on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 05:49 am: Edit

Um....I honestly have zero clue what you all are talking about, 4 people from my school last year got into Harvard, and one got wait-listed.

Before you jump to conclusions, no I do not go to some private school. I go to a public school in Wisconsin. Also, the funny thing is, the valedictorian got rejected.

By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 10:44 am: Edit

Roosh, if 4 people from your school got into Harvard, then your school either has a really good reputation with Harvard, or you just got really lucky this year. However, We've only had 3 kids get into Harvard or Yale over the past 5 years or so, none of them during the same year. We usually get many more kids into schools like Penn, but Harvard and Yale is pretty rare at our school. That's why I'm extremely doubtful that both of us would be accepted, if either of us was at all.

By Roosh (Roosh) on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 04:06 am: Edit

Well it wouldnt hurt to both try, you never know. If I were you, based on what I know of the schools, I would apply EA to Harvard and regular to Yale. Also, why only Yale and Harvard? There are plenty of other awesome schools out there, you shouldn't kill yourself over Ivy. And even if you want Ivy that bad, what's wrong with the others (UPenn, Darthmouth, and Columbia are the only ones I'd attend though)?

By Mm314 (Mm314) on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 10:16 am: Edit

yea...Harvards supplemental app does specifically say EA is reserved for those candidates with generally higher credentials. And that you actually have a better chance applying RD than EA.

By L_Wonder (L_Wonder) on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 10:43 am: Edit

Hey, Northstarmom! I am going to attend Harvard as a graduate student this fall. Can I email you with a couple of questions?

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 03:22 pm: Edit

i dont think EA at harvard is that hard because 17 kids from my school got in harvard EA and i dont think many of them are nationally recognized. i go to a public school too.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 03:54 pm: Edit

I am not that familiar with Harvard grad schools because I was an undergrad there. It's unlikely that I could answer your questions. Feel free, though, to post on this board about your questions. Since the questions will relate to Harvard, I imagine the powers that be will allow them to stay.

Good luck with your apps.

By Rocksolid4 (Rocksolid4) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 07:52 pm: Edit

If you are both qualified, there is no reason you shouldn't both get in. 2 students isn't a lot. Choose the school which you feel suits you best. If you feel Harvard suits you better than Yale, go EA Harvard, and regular Yale.

By Irishtrep (Irishtrep) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 05:51 pm: Edit

it's not true that it's always better to hold out in game theory. just take this case, the guy who already said he's going to apply is in a better position.

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