Transfer to Harvard

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Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: Transfer to Harvard
By Kiwinuts (Kiwinuts) on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 08:59 pm: Edit

how much more competitive is it to transfer to H from a state school even with almost perfect standardized test scores?

By Fingercuffs2006 (Fingercuffs2006) on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 09:40 pm: Edit

Close to impossible. But I'm trying anyways. I'm currently in my second year at Texas Tech University's Honors College, 3.9 GPA, 1510 SAT, state and nationally recognized clarinet player. The booklet they sent me says "Last year 55 students were admitted from over 1,000 applicants." That's an admit rate of about 5%. If you're serious about transferring, apply to several schools. In fact, one item on Harvard's transfer app asks you, "What alternative to Harvard are you considering?" They constantly remind you how ridiculous your odds of admission are throughout the application. Fun times. Good luck!

By Kiwinuts (Kiwinuts) on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 11:04 pm: Edit

hi fingercuffs2006! thanks for your feedback! Glad im not the only one on this. Please tell me if you get in, I will do likewise. Good luck!
Are you also applying to all the ivies?
And are you submitting sat II scores? I dont have them and I dont know whether I should take them or not...

By Fingercuffs2006 (Fingercuffs2006) on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 01:03 am: Edit

Yes, I'm submitting SAT II scores. The booklet says "Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit the results of three College Board SAT II: Subject Tests." With so much competition, anything that says "strongly encouraged," "recommended," or "you might wanna do blahblahblah," I'm reading as "required" even if they technically are not.

I'm not applying to all the ivies. I've requested nearly all of their applications, but I won't send them all out. A couple I've looked at and decided they aren't for me, and one that starts with B and rhymes with "crown" doesn't offer financial aid to transfers. So no dice there. I'm not putting all my stock into ivy schools though; I'm also applying to UT-Austin and Rice.

On a fun side note, Harvard has a grammatical error in one of the faculty reference forms:
"Please estimate the degree of success that this student will be achieve in his or her academic program at Harvard (please circle one)"
On the other reference form, though, the word "be" isn't there and it's grammatically correct. Neat stuff.

I retook the SAT IIs, and when I got back the scores, my old SAT I and SAT II scores from my high school years were no longer on my score report. So I'm gonna have to pay some fee for them to retrieve my scores. Bunch of BS.

I'll let you know how it goes. We can help each other out, etc. Where are you applying from?

By Pembroke (Pembroke) on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit

Hey, I too am applying to Harvard as a transfer. I am curious about your comment on the SAT II exams. I did not do phenomenally well but have two years of college. I spoke with the transfer department, and they said that the SAT I is still very important but the SAT II is not if transferring. What do you think? I would love to know what the important steps are to take. It seems so difficult and random sometimes.

By Fingercuffs2006 (Fingercuffs2006) on Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 01:37 am: Edit

They're not required. Besides, two years of solid performance in college outweighs any bad SAT II scores you have have. Good luck!

Where are you applying from? Texas here.

By Fingercuffs2006 (Fingercuffs2006) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 03:49 am: Edit

Also, I have a question about faculty recommendations. Should I get a recommendation from a professor who doesn't know me at all (class of 300 last semester) because it's the only class I've completed within my major (chemistry)? Or should I get one from a professor whose class was small enough that he/she noticed me, but risk not having a rec from a prof in my major?

The most the chem prof could really talk about is how he only gave 5 As out of 300 students (I got the highest grade) and how hard the class was. Other than that, it was flat out impossible for him to get to know me with so many students.

By Kiwinuts (Kiwinuts) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 08:20 pm: Edit

pembroke, what are your stats?
I was thinking about applying as a transfer too --but now, i dont know...
SAT IIs arent as important (as they said) ONLY if you had taken them in highschool -- i think taking them in college and not doing too well doesnt seem like a good thing (considering you are a soph in college).

By Transferkid (Transferkid) on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 02:18 am: Edit

Count me in too. Applying from UNC Chapel Hill.

Fingercuffs: Since you have two rec's, you might as well give one to that prof of your 300 student class. It would still be a good indication of "strong preparation in field of specialization", as said in the harvard website.

Pembroke: if your sat2's aren't that great, there is no need to include them in your app. I dont think that mentioning them would increase your chances.

Kiwinuts: pembroke has two years of college, and is therefore a junior. His sat2's are therefore even less important, regardless of when he took them.

By Nivea (Nivea) on Monday, January 26, 2004 - 11:28 pm: Edit

OK, I have a question. I am a part-time student right now; I was also a part-time student last summer, albeit I was a full-time student last fall. I know that those classes will not transfer, but I am more worried about being not eligible to apply than five classes transferring. So, my question is, how will those semesters factor in to the two-year, full-time eligibility requirement?


By Transferkid (Transferkid) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit

If that full-time fall semester is the only college level work you've had so far, I am afraid you might not qualify because you need a minimum of "one continuous academic year of full time study". This is explained by the fact that part time study does not transfer. Were you to be admitted, you would therefore enroll as a freshman, and would not be filling any gap for the class of 2007.

However if this is your sophomore year, then you should be in good shape

Dont know if this answers your question...

By Nivea (Nivea) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 08:29 pm: Edit

Actually, I didn't apply this year, and I'm not planning on applying for transfer admissions until next year or the year after. Also, I'm already aware of the freshman and transfer admission procedures. I just wanted to know how those three semesters will factor in. That's all.

Thanks for your help, though.

By Pacman (Pacman) on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 01:47 pm: Edit

How important are high school GPAs?

If I'm applying as a sophomore for their junior class?

By Fingercuffs2006 (Fingercuffs2006) on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 12:15 am: Edit

Ahhhhh, my Harvard transfer app is officially SENT. What a load off! At first I didn't take it too seriously because of the low admit rate for transfers but as time went on, I put my heart and soul into it. I admit now I'll be a little disappointed if they don't need me. All I need to do now is get my Dean's Report done.

Pacman: High school GPAs are not too important for those of us already in our second year of college. An upward grade trend from high school to college would be favorable, however, if your grades in high school are generally higher than your college grades, depending on your schools and courses, it could work against you. If you're applying to be a junior, though, college grades really count the most.

By Kiwinuts (Kiwinuts) on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 04:51 am: Edit

Does anyone know what the transfer eligibility is specifically based on? That is, credits? academic semesters (excluding summers)?


By Pacman (Pacman) on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 10:31 am: Edit

go to the Harvard website. How are you going to transfer to Harvard if you are so lazy to even check this?

By Kiwinuts (Kiwinuts) on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 06:06 pm: Edit

um... pacman shut up.
For your information, I did all my homework -- and if you misunderstood my question, it was whether harvard bases eligibility on specifically credits or academics semesters BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SPECIFIC on the website.

By the way, if youre not going to be helpful, mind your business!

By Kiwinuts (Kiwinuts) on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 07:05 pm: Edit

does anyone applying to harvard as transfers have a harvard-caliber HS record? or close to it? But missed getting in as a freshman by a margin?
You, fingercuffs?

I think Im gonna take harvard summer classes...

By Kiwinuts (Kiwinuts) on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 07:06 pm: Edit

by the way, good luck with all your apps ppl!

Also, come back and post results! I will do the same =)

By Fingercuffs2006 (Fingercuffs2006) on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 03:58 am: Edit

Well, trying to decide what a Harvard-caliber HS record is can be a debatable thing, especially since you don't see essays, recs, and other stuff. All I can offer you are some stats:

Graduated 10 out of 642 from suburban Houston high school
SAT: 800m, 710v
SAT 2: 780 math IIc, 760 writing, 670 physics
National Merit Commended
AP Scholar With Distinction (took 9 AP exams my senior year, two of which I studied on my own for since our school didn't offer the courses)

I'm extremely angular when it comes to ECs; almost everything I like to do has to do with playing the clarinet. I've been in band and orchestra every year, was a drum major for the marching band, played in Carnegie Hall my freshman year, was a 3-time Texas All-State musician (ranked as high as 2nd), won the U.S. Marine Corps Semper Fidelis award for musicianship, won the John Philip Sousa Award, and all kinds of other music stuff.

Aside from the music stuff, I have the standard boring ECs like NHS, Spanish Honor Society, but I have also published 4 poems in two literary magazines, and I might write a chapter about media bias for a book that my friends (and hopefully me?) are writing. It's a political book aimed at kids to get them involved in issues and politics. We'll see if this falls through or not.

Now I'm in my second year of college. Basically, I have the same kind of stuff for college, except now my grades are better (all As except one B+), and the fact that I'm in the Honors College will help out since I'm in a third tier university and Harvard may look down on that (I hope not?). Anyway, all I can do now is hope they like me.

By Transfer16 (Transfer16) on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 07:24 pm: Edit

Hi guys (and girls although I think all the posts are guys),
Like all of you, I've sent my application to Harvard. I was wondering the following question:
Do you think that a school like Harvard is more likey to accept transfer students that were academic superstars in high school as well as college? or is harvard looking for people that change themselves? I know that some school look for transfers who had the power to change their lives but I havent heard that from Harvard. I know that all of you dont have the answers but I would still be curious of what you have to say.

By Wtsuppr415 (Wtsuppr415) on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:10 am: Edit

I just sent in my application and I've been wondering what my chances are too.
My stats:
-2 years college, 4.0 GPA at multiple schools
-790 verbal 670 math SATI
-college student body president, representing 10,000 students
-executive director and founder of the Marin County League of Young Entrepreneurs (small business support organization)
-lots of other ECs
-US Air Force combat veteran, flew on C130s, participated in missions in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Kuwait to name a few countries
-started, owned, and operated a successful business in high school
-graduated hs in 3 years

By Wtsuppr415 (Wtsuppr415) on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:13 am: Edit

Does anyone want to trade their admissions essays with me? I'm curious to take a look at the competition. Email me with something obvious in the title line at


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