Got the NROTC scholarship. What are my chances for the college?!

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Jack Chu, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. Jack Chu

    Jack Chu New Member

    Jan 13, 2015
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    I've been honored by the United States Government with a four-year scholarship to Harvard University, host school MIT, in November for Language Regional Expert & Culture(LREC). This subprogram started in 2011, and I've been chosen to focus on East Asian Studies. LREC is only provided at seven universities in the nation(that I know of). It's a dream come true! But I'm wondering what my chances are of actually getting into Harvard...

    I took the time to visit Boston, and observe the midshipmen for a day. I was blown away! I'm very humbled and incredibly blessed to get an NROTC scholarship. But I'm wondering what my odds are for actually going to Harvard now with the scholarship in hand.

    The Lts. assured me that when I would apply, the Navy would write me a letter of recommendation to the admissions board. It is reassuring that someone is rooting for me, and making sure someone pays attention to my file, but my SAT scores and GPA are way too low(in my opinion) to be deserving of Harvard.... I'm a little overwhelmed to say the least. I don't want to get my hopes up.

    GPA: 4.14
    SAT scores: 1510(math&reading) 2180(superscore)
    ACT composite: 33.68 composite.

    I also served as the executive leader of the Northeast YMCA Model United Nations; I was elected for the position by 1,700 of my peers. The program itself draws 40+high schools from 5 states. I think that this was an incredible boon to my application, and really set me apart from other applicants.

    I'm posting this thread just to ask: what are my chances of getting into Harvard now?

    (I'm also applying USMA, and that is very very very high on my list)
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    The only thing I know to tell you is to compare yourself to the stats you'll find for previous class years on Harvard'ss admissions page (or is linked to by that page). Certainly no one here can give you an answer with any certainty with all the variables involved in college admissions.

    BTW - Congratulations and GO NAVY!
  3. Iowa 73

    Iowa 73 Miner

    Jan 8, 2014
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  4. PaPapa

    PaPapa New Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    Congratulations on your NROTC award. My son received a NROTC scholarship in early October and it was a long, long, long wait to find out if he was admitted (early action) to one of Harvard's peer schools. His stats and EC's were top notch, but when the acceptance rate is 7%, you never really know until the letter (or e-mail) comes whether you are going to make the cut. He did!! Our general feeling about the process is that these highly selective schools have a basic cut-off for SAT scores, GPA, etc, and if your statistics exceed that cut off, you make it to the second round of consideration. At that point, the university is looking to fill its community, which is to say that it needs to accept so many varsity athletes, musicians, actors, intellects, German majors, etc., etc., to make a well-rounded class. Fortunately, NROTC is one of those university community slots that need to be filled, so your scholarship will help during the second round of consideration.

    I echo Kinnem to say that if you want to know whether you will get into Harvard, try to determine (based on prior year statistics) whether you make it past that first academic cut. If you do, then your NROTC scholarship and Navy rooting section may put you over the top!

    Best of luck.
  5. DeskJockey

    DeskJockey 5-Year Member

    Oct 29, 2009
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    As I assume you already know, the chances of getting into Harvard are low for every applicant, no matter how qualified they look on paper. On the other hand, it is also the case that although Harvard could easily fill its freshman class every year with students who have perfect SATs and 5.0 GPAs, it doesn't choose to do that. The admission department rejects hundreds of such students each year in favor of others who have lesser but still exceptionally high stats - which is the category you seem to be in. So it is certainly possible that you will be admitted.

    Your NROTC scholarship may be a plus factor, not because you are bringing a full scholarship with you (Harvard doesn't really need the money), but because it makes you a little different from the other applicants in a way that the admissions department may be looking for. But I doubt that anyone is in a position to tell you that it will definitely help, and under any circumstances getting into Harvard is more a matter of luck than merit.

    NROTC awards scholarships to a number of elite schools that are challenging to be admitted to even for the best students - not just Ivy schools, but also other super-competitive universities like Duke, Notre Dame, and UCLA. I think that NROTC scholarship candidates at these schools should also always apply to any crosstown schools in the same unit or consortium. It used to be that the scholarship was good at any school affiliated with the unit, but apparently that is no longer the case; now it is only good for the particular school the scholarship is designated for. Even so, it seems likely that it is easier to get a scholarship transferred to another school in the same unit (which will not affect the overall scholarship allocation) than to transfer it to a completely different one.

    In your case (and it is probably too late if you haven't done this already), you should have applied to Tufts and MIT, which are in the same NROTC unit as Harvard. In fact, you should have applied to Boston U and Boston College as well (the Boston U and MIT NROTC units are part of a consortium). That way, if you didn't get into Harvard but did get into one of the other schools - and assuming that it had an acceptable LREC curriculum - it may have made a scholarship transfer fairly easy to accomplish.

    Also, for LREC scholarship applicants, I would imagine that it is also a good idea to apply to as many NROTC schools as possible that offer a suitable LREC major, because you want to have a lot of available options if you can't get into your designated school and need to ask for a scholarship transfer.
  6. hackneyjake

    hackneyjake Member

    Aug 2, 2014
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    I'm not sure what questions were on the Harvard application, but I know for the school I applied to, one of the questions asked if you would be a ROTC Cadet or Midshipman. Some schools do look at the ROTC scholarship as an indicator of your merit. If anything it does give you a factor that is different from the thousands of others applying. Good Luck!

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