Woman Who Applied To Harvard 'For Fun' & Got In Reveals The Opening Line Of Her Winning Essay

She claims it was all about her essay, but after seeing her stats, some aren't buying it.

TikToker talking about her college application essay

There are many iconic lines in the 2001 film "Legally Blonde," but the true stand-out is Reese Witherspoon's character Elle Woods' response when her ex-boyfriend reacts with shock that she got into Harvard—"What? Like it's hard?"

That's a joke, of course, but one woman on TikTok has proven that there's a bit of truth in every joke, even the ones about it being easy to get into Harvard. Because as she reveals in her videos, she sort of stumbled into attending what is often called the most prestigious university in the world.


A woman applied to Harvard 'for fun' and got accepted.

TikToker @harvardhoneyyy, who bills herself as "The Real Elle Woods," tells her TikTok followers to "just apply! You never know what can happen." If that sounds absurd to you, you're certainly not alone—it's Harvard, after all—but in her case, it turned out to be true.

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The woman applied moments before the deadline after she had already been accepted to her top-choice schools.

Unlike most people applying to colleges, let alone elite Ivy League institutions, Kelsey Hoskin's college future was already done and dusted. As she revealed in on-screen text, she had already finished all her "real applications" to the schools she actually planned to attend and could get into after graduating high school in 2017.


But on a lark, Hoskin decided to throw her hat in the Harvard ring anyway, saying she applied "for fun the night it was due," getting in just under the wire. And as she revealed in her TikTok to her shock—and surely to the consternation of every kid currently receiving rejections from their universities of choice amid today's cut-throat admissions requirements—she was accepted.



"I am delighted to report that the Admissions Committee has asked me to inform you that you will be admitted to the Harvard College Class of 2021," reads a screenshot of her acceptance letter.

And lest you think this is a scam and she was admitted to a community college in, say, Harvard, Illinois—as several commenters suspected—Harvard College is what Harvard University calls their undergraduate program. It is indeed the Harvard we all know and love—or love to hate, depending on whether or not you were accepted!


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The woman revealed her winning essay she says won her a spot at Harvard.

So how did "The Real Elle Woods" pull off her Elle Woods-inspired stunt? She says it all came down to her college application essay.

Since graduating from Harvard in 2021, Hoskin has started a business consulting others on how to get into Harvard, and frequently shares her favorite lines from the best college application essays she's seen. One of the essays she shared was a particular favorite—her own. 



College application essays, she says, all come down to the first line, and she says this one, in particular, had a perfect opening. "Music is unifying," the essay begins. "It is the crisp brilliance of sound as the bow leaves the strings of a violin—no matter who is holding it."


If you're not particularly impressed by that opening line, you're not the only one. Even Hoskin herself admits it's not "the most brilliant first sentence ever." But, she says, "it did the job."

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The Harvard grad says the key to a good college application essay is grabbing attention while revealing something impressive.

The TikToker says the reason her essay worked despite not having "the most brilliant first sentence ever," is that it "starts with a fairly attention-grabbing, over-arching blanket statement about something that I learned while doing a really impressive, initiative-taking experience."

Hoskin's essay goes on to describe how she became the "head violin teacher of a volunteer non-profit arts academy when I was only 15." After describing the experience in detail, she then explained how it "gave me the confidence to go on and do X, Y and Z" and went on to write about "other cool, unique and impressive things that I had done," which she refers to as "golden nuggets."


She directs applicants to "strategically" place their "golden nuggets" throughout their essays and recommends following the same formula for scholarship essays as well. 

You might have noticed that this is pretty standard, boilerplate advice for writing a college application essay. And her fellow TikTokers definitely noticed.

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Some on TikTok were skeptical of the woman's Harvard story given how difficult it is to get into college today.

"Everyone who says this has perfect stats," one woman commented, along with an eye-roll emoji. "Ok but what were your stats tho," another user asked. Hoskin insisted that, while important, stats like GPA and standardized test scores are not the be-all, end-all to getting into the Ivy League. But so many people reacted skeptically that she made a video revealing her stats. And sure enough...




Her GPA, SAT scores, and AP class performance were all top-tier. But really jumped out at people was her class rank—#2 out of a 72-person class. This led many to assume she comes from "money money" and had gone to one of the many small, private, ultra-exclusive high schools that serve as "feeder schools" to the Ivy Leagues. 

Tellingly, while Hoskin insisted that she "was the first person in my school (and town) to ever go to Harvard," she never refrained from answering specific questions about her background and the high school she went to.


Even if everything did go as she says, others pointed out that since she was admitted back in 2017, her advice is no longer relevant in 2023's admissions environment, which has been proven to be more competitive—historically so, in the case of some elite schools. "Admissions six years ago is way different than it is [right now]" one user wrote.

Whether Hoskin's advice is accurate or not, there have certainly been loads of students with stellar qualifications getting rejected by elite schools left and right this year. So if all else fails, there's always the actual Elle Woods' busty, candy-colored video-format college application essay. It's worth a try!

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.