College Admissions Info

Duke University ‘16
BA, Political Science and Government

Profile Overview

Profile contains
  • Test Scores
  • High School Performance
  • Extracurriculars & Awards
  • Personal statement
  • 3 supplemental essays
  • 10 advice topics

Student Background

Chronic procrastinator and overambitious idealist
From: Edison , New Jersey
Gender: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Asian
Legacy: Other Family Member
Admission: Regular Decision
Applied To: 12 schools
Accepted At: Rutgers, Vanderbilt, WashU, Cornell, Duke, NYU
Denied At:
Waitlisted At:
Withdrew From:
Is English First Language: Yes
Other Language(s) Spoken: Mandarin, Min Nan

Test Scores

Highest SAT: 2340
Other SAT Scores:
SAT Prep:
PSAT Scores:

High School Performance

Top 5%
High School Type: Public
AP / IB Classes and Scores:
Academic Performance in High School: Steady

Extracurriculars & Awards

Sports: Golf
Extracurricular Activities: Lions Club, Rotary Club, Multicultural / International Club, Academic Decathlon, School Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism, National Honor Society, Tutoring/Mentoring, Political Campaign, Local Orchestra / Symphony / Band
How Spent Summers:
Awards Received:

College Application Essays

By day, my mom is the boss of a jewelry company in New York, and by night, she transforms into a housewife, doing laundry and tidying the house. When duty calls, she ventures into foreign lands for business, single-handedly defeating the evilest exhibitors with her excited hand-gestures and persuasive words. But because of her schedule and my dad’s, too, my childhood was spent shooting lay-ups, reading books, and grumbling about how I never had the transportation and the heart-shaped...

Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
87 Words
For Duke, I focused on the academics. Since I didn't have a chance to visit the campus, I had to rely on my idea of their academic programs, rather than their school or student body culture. I did extensive research on their public policy program and went into detail about the merits of their "Pathways" setup of electives. I also discussed the Focus program and the benefits of living on East Campus, the freshman campus whose setup allows the entire...

Supplemental Essay: Using a metaphor
149 Words
(Excerpt) "At age six, I decided to become Grandma’s caretaker. With my parents working long hours, I was the only one available to concoct culinary experiments and prepare tea for Grandma, who read newspapers with a magnifying glass and felt her way along the house. Because of her eyesight, serving became second nature to me, and for the past twelve years, I saw everything through adult eyes. Two summers ago, I discovered the Lions Clubs International, a service organization...

Supplemental Essay: Strong beliefs/principles
50 Words
I wrote about the lack of patriotism and awareness of American culture in today's generation. Although I considered it a valid issue, my writing did not do it justice. Instead, the essay sounded TOO politically motivated and extreme. I sent it to Stanford and (needless to say) was not admitted.

Additional Essay Details:
152 Words
My supplement was about my changing opinion of my parents. As a young child, I resented having to provide for myself when my classmates always had their parents by their side. Thanks to a caring teacher, however, I learned that by taking a "hands-off" approach, my parents were essentially giving me the opportunity to develop my own interests and identity. Through this essay, I demonstrated a unique way of approaching a "bad situation," a strong sense of self, and an...

College Admissions Advice

Additional material sent in after waitlisted or deferred
74 Words
It's a long shot at most top schools, but I'd still recommend sending in an additional letter. Use this opportunity to touch on any new accomplishments you have achieved since submitting your applications in December/January. If possible, try to visit the campus and demonstrate why this school is your top choice. Use personal examples from your visit(s) to...

List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience
283 Words
The interview is never the make-or-break factor. By the time the admissions board even sees your interviewer's comments, they already have a pretty good idea of whether or not you are getting wait listed, rejected, or accepted. With that said, however, having a good interview is still important. While your interview will depend on the person--not on the school they're...

How I chose schools to apply to
285 Words
I personally did not go about it this way, but would have if I were given another chance. If you can afford to, definitely give the school a visit during the school year to get a feel for the campus. If that's not possible, visit during the summer, and reach out to friends or acquaintances who attend/have attended the...

My extracurricular activities in college, and why I chose them
68 Words
At Duke, I have held executive positions at three organizations: Net Impact, Delta Sigma Pi (professional fraternity), and Duke University Union Speakers & Stage. More specifically, I have planned and promoted various networking and professional events for both Net Impact--a nonprofit focused on sustainability and social entrepreneurship--and DSP. I have also designed flyers for both Net Impact and DUU S&S,...

Recommended summer activities during high school and college
193 Words
I believe that there is no set of activities that colleges like to see. Nowadays, so many students are volunteering (both for altruistic and self-motivated reasons) and flying abroad for community service that what was once considered an impressive and admirable achievement has now become almost expected. Instead, you should do activities that you are genuinely interested in. Definitely apply...

What I like about my school’s location and culture
70 Words
Durham has great restaurants, and the south just has generally good weather (at least compared to the northeast). Southerners are also friendly and polite. Duke has a strong work hard-play hard culture. The entire school is packed in the library during finals week, but students still like to have fun whenever they can. The school also has a great sports...

What I’d change about my application process
103 Words
This is probably repetitive, but I would have gotten an early start. I absolutely hate writing and always procrastinate right before an essay is due. I wrote the bulk of my essays the night before the deadline (I believe it was January 1st) and sent in a few minutes after the deadline as well. While a strong essay cannot save...

What set me apart from other applicants
72 Words
I think that I showed a lot of independence and determination throughout high school. I was active in many clubs and had about 9 or 10 notable achievements/positions in them (though this does not necessarily make me a standout candidate). Most importantly, however, I showed initiative by starting my own organization and essentially carving my own path. It is easy to...

Why I ultimately chose my school
75 Words
In terms of prestige and academics, Duke was the clear choice. This is not a strong reason, but for me, it was compelling enough. Again, choosing a school requires that you think about what you want out of college. A prestigious degree? A vibrant social life? An emphasis on academics and small classes? Make your decision based off what is...

My advice about getting recommenders
106 Words
As far as large public schools go, your recommendation letter will most likely be generic--not because the teacher does not care, but because s/he is responsible for so many letters. Colleges understand that and will hold these recommendations to different standards. Just make sure to choose teachers who have a strong favorable impression of you. For the most part,...