College Admissions Info

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ‘20
BS, Molecular Biology

Profile Overview

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

Student Background

A hardworking student whose applications demonstrated my interest in STEM.
From: Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Gender: Female
First Gen College Student: Yes
Race/Ethnicity: Asian
Legacy: No
Admission: Early Action
Applied To: 4 schools
Accepted At: CalTech, UNC, Duke
Denied At:
Waitlisted At:
Withdrew From:
Is English First Language: Yes
Other Language(s) Spoken: Spanish, Mandarin

Test Scores

Converted SAT Score: 1490
Other SAT Scores:
SAT Prep:
Highest ACT:
Other ACT Scores:
ACT Prep:
PSAT Scores:
Other Standardized Tests:

High School Performance

Top 10%
High School Type: Public
AP / IB Classes and Scores:
College Classes In High School:
Academic Performance in High School: Steady
Explanation of Any Low Grades:

Extracurriculars & Awards

Sports: Golf
Extracurricular Activities: Habitat for Humanity, Tutoring/Mentoring, Science Club/Team, Math Team
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work:
How Spent Summers:
Volunteer Experiences:
Awards Received:
Application Additional Materials:

College Application 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
129 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...

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
124 Words
Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? The 6-7 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 interest in...

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
251 Words
At MIT, we seek to develop in each member of our community the ability and passion to work collaboratively for the betterment of humankind. 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...

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
278 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...

Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
90 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...

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
203 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...

Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
231 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...

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
125 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...

Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
126 Words
How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity of Caltech's 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 Caltech. Additionally, I am a senior leader of the Women in Science...

Supplemental Essay: Other
25 Words
MIT's application involves many shorter essays. I chose my words carefully and stated things clearly and honestly in order to best convey myself through words.

College Admissions Advice

What I’d change about my application process
52 Words
I would have spent even more time reading over my essays. Looking over them now, the...

Most popular extracurricular activities at my college
35 Words
Science and mathematics clubs and competitions are extremely popular. If not...

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
74 Words
I interviewed with MIT, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and Stanford. My MIT interviewer was a young manager at a prominent local...

What set me apart from other applicants
51 Words
I spoke honestly, using language that was confident but not boastful. I was very excited...

What I now know about my school that I never would have known prior to enrolling
25 Words
Students don't only love STEM, but love talking...

Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
19 Words
I had my counselor read over...

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...

Why I declined other schools
14 Words
To be decided! I'm...

Post-college plans
5 Words

How to increase chances at my school
20 Words
Be honest and show that you...

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...