B.S., Computer Science
A hardworking student whose applications demonstrated my interest in STEM.
Features Included


Hometown Cary, North Carolina
AdmissionEarly Action
Class of2020
First Gen College StudentNo
English First Language Yes
Other Language(s) Spoken Spanish, Mandarin

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)

Applied for a B.S. in Computer Science

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something important that didn't go according to plan. How did you manage the situation? When I started at my current high school, I was placed into American History and Literature. I thought the low course code and the combined nature of the course meant it was a humanities filler, meant to fulfill college requirements and nothing more, since I was a STEM-focused student. On the first report, I received a...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
100 Words
We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it.
I really enjoy playing Ingress, a smartphone-based GPS augmented reality game that combines outdoor activity and collaborative, competitive strategy. I visit ‘portals’, interesting pieces of artwork that I would otherwise probably miss in my environment. Ingress also encourages me to walk outside and collaborate with team members to achieve goals together. I continue to improve as part of this global game of capture-the-flag to claim each portal and perform other strategic moves in real-time. I enjoy this greatly because I...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
126 Words
Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program appeals to you and why?
Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program appeals to you and why? The molecular biology and computer science program appeals to me with its interdisciplinary breadth and depth. I love learning about natural systems but also love high-level math concepts. I have immensely enjoyed learning computational medicinal chemistry and want to keep these tools in my repertoire for tackling biological questions and targets. My research in chemical biology has fueled my...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
216 Words
How have you improved the lives of others in your community?
Since starting high school, I have spent my summers and my weekends volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Before senior year, I was able to work as the leader of the media department at a ReStore where I improved the retail system for books, CDs, and DVDs, trained new volunteers, and raised money towards funding the building of houses for deserving low-income families. I realized my own privilege in having the ability to help others through community service. This experience connected...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
253 Words
Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?
My family has always encouraged me to pursue what I love. As a child, I drew chemical structures on my painting easel with my dad, and my mom and I used Harry Potter to learn geometry. The passionate explanations of everyday phenomena delivered by a medical doctor and a theoretical chemist sparked my interest in the intricacies of natural science. For years, I wanted to be a doctor, using medical science and technology to help others live healthier lives. I...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
80 Words
Please tell us more about your cultural background and identity.
My parents were raised in China and traveled separated to the U.S.A. to complete their educations. I have been raised in a mix of Chinese and American culture. Our family functions similarly to Chinese tradition and we speak a mix of English and Mandarin at home. I consider myself a Chinese American, as I was born and have lived most of my life in the US but was raised immersed in Chinese culture and I am ethnically Chinese.
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
190 Words
What did you learn about the research process and your research interests?
I learned that research is a lot more than straightforward proving and disproving solid facts. Natural mechanisms and systems are much more complex and require incredibly in-depth analysis before a small step can be made. Before something can be assumed and built upon, it must be proven and proven again with near certainty. It's not enough to know the science behind a procedure or even to know the steps - technique is everything. Most of the time is spent preparing...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
218 Words
What about Caltech’s opportunities and resources will best fuel your intellectual curiosity?
I believe that Caltech will fuel my intellectual curiosity not only in the classroom but in academic and social forums as well. Being in classes with advanced students encourages me; knowing other people who are just as passionate about learning will give me even more confidence and increase my desire to learn new material well and share this knowledge with others. Caltech clearly provides a rich, intellectual environment outside of the classroom. When I visited campus, I saw students discussing...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
117 Words
Share an ethical dilemma that has challenged you.
As a Physics TA, while grading lab notebooks, I noticed that two students who had collected data together had very similar analysis diagrams and paragraph responses to questions, though their answers were not exactly the same. I noted their anonymous aliases and spoke with the teacher I work for about this, but I also let her know that perhaps the lab handout should specify which parts of the lab could be collaborative and which ones should be each person's own...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
114 Words
How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity of community?
My independent research in chemical biology expanded my view so that I realized not just how much we have learned about the science within and outside our bodies, but also how much we have yet to learn. My experience with research in chemical biology would contribute to the plethora of interests, prior knowledge, and passions at [university]. Additionally, I am a senior leader of the Women in Science and Engineering club, part of a national organization encouraging women to study...

School Specific Advice

More Essays

These essays haven't been tagged by school. Click school logos above to see tagged essays.

General Admissions Advice

What I’d change about my application process
154 Words
I would have spent even more time polishing my essays and preparing for interviews. Looking over them now, the writing quality is satisfactory but the words I selected could have been much more natural or persuasive. A strong composition of words and phrasing would have better...
Most popular extracurricular activities at my college
110 Words
Science and mathematics clubs and competitions are extremely popular. If not in a 'pure' science, people are involved in robotics, sustainability-related activities, tutoring, mentoring, or volunteering, and hack-culture, where people make apps or...
5 adjectives that describe a typical student at my school (Feel free to elaborate!)
5 Words
Clever, passionate,...
List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience
102 Words
I interviewed with every university or institute that I applied to. My MIT interviewer was a young manager at a prominent large tech company, and though he did not understand when...
What set me apart from other applicants
88 Words
I spoke honestly, using language that was confident but not boastful. I was very excited during my interview, and truly enjoyed (and relaxed a little) as...
Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
21 Words
I had my high school counselor...
Reaching out to professors and coaches at schools I applied to
36 Words
Prior to visiting, I emailed professors and indicated that I wanted...
Recommended summer activities during high school and college
24 Words
Volunteer consistently - it is better to...
How to increase chances at my school
45 Words
Be honest and show that you have a true interest in science and using...
What might make for a good “Why Us” essay topic at my school
37 Words
IF you know what you want to study, find the course...
My advice about getting recommenders
41 Words
Ask teachers who have had you in a 'genuine' class - where...
What I like about my school’s location and culture
23 Words
The Cambridge and Boston area is not...
How I chose schools to apply to
15 Words
I applied to schools that...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
(equivalent to 3.97 unweighted)
Top 10%
High School TypePublic
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Steady
Explanation of Low Grades

Test Scores

Highest ACT
ACT Score Details
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
Highest SAT
SAT Score Details
Converted SAT Score1490
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep
PSAT Scores
Other Standardized Tests

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details4 classes and scores




ActivitiesHabitat for Humanity, Tutoring/Mentoring, Science Club/Team, Math Team
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

How Spent Summers
Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received
Application Additional Materials

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