Deferred Harvard Applicant

A student who was deferred in the Early Action round at Harvard this year (he is not an Ivy Coach client) reached out to us letting us know that he reads our blog and finds it a valuable resource for students navigating the highly selective college admissions process. He asked if we wouldn’t mind publishing a video he made for submission to Harvard, a video he hopes will improve his odds of earning admission in the Regular Decision round to the university. It’s a parody of the infamous “Miss Universe Pageant” hosted by Steve Harvey.

We should preface sharing this video with this: We do not recommend that deferred students to Harvard — or any other highly selective university — submit videos to the admissions office. While every now and then a video will work (and go viral), in most cases they fall flat. This video, one intended to be humorous, falls completely flat for us. It doesn’t feel fresh. It didn’t make us giggle. It’s not emblematic of the kind of humor that, say, “The Harvard Lampoon” is known for (Conan O’Brien was a past president of “The Harvard Lampoon.”

Deferred students should submit a very powerful and compelling Letter of Enthusiasm (a term we at Ivy Coach coined years ago) to the university that deferred them. It gives them the best possible shot of earning admission. Do students who are deferred have a good shot of getting in during the Regular Decision round? No. At most highly selective colleges, they’ve got a 10% shot of getting in. An amazing Letter of Enthusiasm significantly improves these odds (an ordinary Letter of Enthusiasm can hurt more than help!). And as for this video, we’re not sure it improved the candidate’s odds at all unfortunately. In fact, we think it will hurt more than help (though we hope we’re wrong and we are rooting for this student (who obviously doesn’t read our blog too closely because we’d never suggest he submit a video like this!).

Deferred at Harvard? Fill out our free consult form as, if you haven’t done anything just yet, we can still help! If you’ve already submitted videos like these, we wish you all the best but, regrettably, there isn’t much we can do.


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