Two days ago I woke up to a whatsapp image of our latest Harvard university acceptance.  Varsity Abroad student, Jessica Austin, of Herschel girls school in Cape Town got an offer into Harvard university– and off the waiting list no less!

Now, let me pause and explain.  Acceptance to Harvard in the 2019 app year was at 4.5%.  They place a number of students on the “waitlist” in the slim chance that some spots remain open.  If this happens, the admission team will go to the waitlist and severely scrutinize who will be the best fit for their school.

How does the waitlist work?

Getting off the waitlist is not a “first come, first served” situation.  There will be additional reports needed, interviews, application review, recommendations and a strong reason why the “one student” should be offered the spot.

There is no certainty when it comes to the waitlist.  At the same time  it could have been a straight rejection- which places like Harvard university will have no hesitation in delivering if the student did not have something they were looking for.  In the end, each university is looking for a well-rounded class, and must put the pieces together to fit their “Institutional Priorities”.

Harvard university will have a pick from the best students around the world.  In my opinion, the competition is even more fierce than in the regular round.

So Jessica getting off the waitlist at Harvard university is HUGE!

How does one get off the waitlist?

There is no one guaranteed way to get off the waiting list. However it is more than just being a high academic student.  Harvard University has  plenty of smart students on it’s waitlist– but what else do they bring  to the table? This is were standing out from the rest comes to play.

It takes a combination of showcasing the student’s different interests and involvements in and out of the classroom, having compelling college essays, strong teacher recommendations, good SAT’s, and a well crafted application— all areas which are under my expertise!

My job as University advisor at Varsity Abroad is to make sure that my students puts their best foot forward. I do this by highlighting all the areas that make them stand out from the rest of the application pool!

Earlier in this application cycle another one of my 2018 students, Kalu Varney from Bishops Diocesan school, got an offer to Harvard University in the Early Action round.  He had to jungle SAT’s, school work, Matric exams with writing College essays — including the optional Harvard University  supplemental essay—, and balancing his grueling rowing schedule.  With my gentle, and sometime no so gentle, deadline reminders, and constructive college essays feedback he gave it his best, and it paid off!

It is not easy to get into places like Harvard university, but certainly not impossible. Jessica and Kalu are proof that our students in South Africa got what it takes.

Jessica sent me this earlier this week:

” Thank you so so much for being a part of the process that has truly changed my life – sitting in your office during our first meeting I didn’t know it was possible! ”

Truth is-  I did.  🙂

Congratulations Jessica!  Welcome to the Harvard class of 2023.

                                                                  –Your proud university advisor— Wendy, Varsity Abroad.

Are you looking to study in the USA, UK or Canada?  Get in touch!

info@varsityabroad.co.za / www.varsityabroad.co.za / 072 247 9901

Written by wendy