from Harvard University

Yes, I spoke to the homeschool admissions director at the H-bomb today.

Currently, approximately 70-100 homeschooled students apply for admission to Harvard College. The acceptance rate matches the national average (for Harvard, that is 10%). The admissions director believes that the matriculation rate is about equal to the acceptance rate.

"We treat homeschooled students the same as conventional students," said the AD.

Regarding transcripts: Some people provide transcripts from correspondence schools, some mix & match courses with the public school system, or if the student is otherwise "linked to a system," they include those transcripts. Some work their curriculum entirely on their own, and provide transcripts for those courses.

Harvard is keen to know what is the student taking? "We would like to see syllabi" wherever possible, "not super-detailed, but something that tells us what is being taught" to the student.

Recommendations: Harvard expects recommendations from the student's "guidance counselor" plus two additional recommendations. They can be from research mentors, other academic mentors, or a community college teacher.

Taking classes outside of the homeschool realm: Harvard likes to see student "interaction" with others and "maturity." This AD felt that taking classes outside the homeschool realm, i.e., community college classes, is a "natural progression" for many students. She stressed the importance of students involving themselves in discussion with their peers.

Some students choose to supplement their homeschool education with classes such as their Continuing Education department, which the AD stressed, was not part of Harvard College, but falls under the "umbrella" of Harvard University. Taking courses at the CE school at Harvard does not guarantee the student anything re: Harvard College admissions.

Grades: Harvard looks at four years' worth of secondary studies for admission. "We do not require GPAs or rankings" but rather, they need to know "what is being taught" and require an assessment of the academic rigor of a student. Yes, Matilda, you do not even need a grade or GPA to be accepted by Harvard (but you will need SAT or ACT scores).

SAT and ACT scores: There is no minimum cutoff [LaMai's thinking out loud: yeah, sure]. But the AD did offer their average SAT I score from successful Harvard applicants - it is 700-790. Three SAT IIs are required (same score range). ACT scores range between 30-34.

When to apply: Harvard College does not participate in Early Decision, but like Yale and Stanford, it participates in Early Action. Harvard must be the student's SINGLE CHOICE when applying Early Action.

I asked the AD about admissions portfolios. "Doesn't that work against a student? Don't you have a job to do instead of looking at boring videos and extraneous stuff?" I asked. On the contrary, said the AD. While it is best to include only the materials required by the admissions department, if an applicant feels that his candicacy is better served by including a portfolio, by all means, do it, she said. "If everything else [the regular admissions packet] doesn't fully capture what you are about, we will consider them."

1 comment:

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