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Harvard admissions coach reveals secret way students with bad grades still get in

Niamh Shackleton

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| Last updated 

Harvard admissions coach reveals secret way students with bad grades still get in

Featured Image Credit: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images/ Getty stock

If you had your heart set on going to Harvard but didn't quite meet the grades you needed, there's apparently a little-known way you can still possibly get in - but it's not available to everyone.

To get into Harvard it's said you need a grade point average (GPA) of around 4.0 - which is no easy task.

With this in mind, it's inevitable that thousands of students each year are left disappointed they haven't been accepted into the prestigious college.

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Over 56,937 hopefuls applied for Harvard's class of 2027, but only 1,966 of these were successful.

Ouch.

This year marked a 3.5 percent acceptance, while for the class of 2026 it was 3.1 percent.

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The year prior to that saw 2.6 percent of applicants accepted.

However, there's allegedly a way that people can get into the Ivy League college without perfect grades - via the 'Z-list'.

This so-called Z-list is essentially a reserve list, inviting a limited number of students a place the following year after taking a gap year.

The Z-list earns its moniker from computer technicians as the students are admitted last in each yearly cycle after regular and waitlisted applicants, and has recently been the subject of controversy.

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Harvard is an Ivy League college. Credits: Joe Daniel Price/Getty
Harvard is an Ivy League college. Credits: Joe Daniel Price/Getty

Reporting on a recent lawsuit brought against Harvard by Students for Fair Admissions, the New York Times says that of the 50 to 60 students admitted from the Z-list for the classes of 2014 to 2019, the majority were white and well-connected.

Now, a Harvard admissions coach has accused Harvard of using the Z-list to admit students with less than impressive academic results via the backdoor.

Brian Taylor, managing partner of college admissions firm Ivy Coach, revealed to the New York Post: "If Harvard doesn’t want the student hurting their US News and World Report ranking with their GPA and test scores, they admit them through the Z-list."

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If student makes this list, they'll receive a letter telling them that their application will be considered in a year's time - but they don't need to reapply.

Taylor explained: "They’re not reapplying. They’re admitted, and they’re guaranteed a spot in a year."

Basically, they simply defer their education for 12 months.

As to how this works in regards to the college's rankings, it doesn't affect them because US News and World Report don't take into account transfer students' statistics.

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Around 60 applicants get in via the Z-list every year. Credits: Boston Globe/Getty
Around 60 applicants get in via the Z-list every year. Credits: Boston Globe/Getty

It's reported that the Z-list is said to be used for the children of people with influence - Harvard donors in particular.

“It’s for people who are important,” claimed Taylor.

"We’ve had clients who have been admitted on the Z-list who are close friends or family of major world leaders or major donors."

UNILAD has contacted Harvard University for comment.

Topics: News, US News, Education

Niamh Shackleton
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