ashleyzo
ashleyzo,
USC ‘20
B.S., Neuroscience
Hi! I'm a college freshman who was accepted to some of the best universities in the country (most likely due to my essays). Feel free to ask any questions!
Features Included
12
Essays
12
Schools
5
Scores
15
Advice
6
ECs
0
Sports

Background

Hometown Jackson, Mississippi
GenderFemale
EthnicityWhite Non-Hispanic
AdmissionRegular Decision
First Gen College StudentYes
English First Language Yes

Results, Essays, and Advice

Accepted
Waitlisted or Withdrew
Denied
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
  • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
  • Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA)
  • University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
  • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

Applied for a B.S. in Neuroscience

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
580 Words
My first and middle name isn't very spectacular. (blank) (blank). That's the name combination of a completely forgettable on-screen character whose entire existence relies on fetching coffee for the main actor, the actual star of the show. There's a story behind my name that my family is fond reminding me of. Legend has it that before I was born, the doctor believed me to be male. How, you may ask? Well, apparently during my mother's ultrasound this poor, confused doctor...
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Supplemental Essay: Amusing anecdote
259 Words
Dr. Jan Williams stepped back, leaving me alone with the animal. I stood still for a second, watching the light hairs on the rat's abdomen rise and fall with each breath. As of now, the rat was alive. I just had to make sure I kept it that way. I shot a desperate look to Dr. Williams, but he merely nodded, urging me to continue. I took a deep breath and ran my gloved finger over the rat's throat, lightly...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
243 Words
In the United States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned. A just society ought to presume consent for organ procurement from the deceased. Unilateral military force by the United States is justified to prevent nuclear proliferation. These are just a few of the topics I've had the pleasure debating while being a part of my high school's Speech and Debate team. Being a part of this team has introduced me to some of my very best friends who...
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Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
153 Words
I am interested in studying neuroscience because as a child, I grew up witnessing the debilitating effects that mental illness had on my mother, who was a diagnosed schizophrenic afflicted with depression and anxiety. Since my mom was not aware of her mental illnesses, I was raised believing that her erratic behavior was completely normal. In fact, to this day my mother still rejects the notion that she is mentally ill, because she believes that being "crazy" is abhorrent. I...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
328 Words
I am interested in studying at the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts because of this university's unparalleled opportunities for undergraduate scientific research. I have been working alongside Dr. Jan Williams at the University of Mississippi Medical Center for two years completing scientific research aimed at slowing the progression of renal injury, and my commitment in this lab has cemented my passion for scientific discovery and my plan to become a scientific researcher. I have had...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
503 Words
Science has always intrigued me. As a child, instead of toying with prim, glossy-faced Barbie dolls like the other girls in my neighborhood, I ran my own experiments. Admittedly, however, my experiments were a little unique in circumstance: they all revolved around my mentally ill mother. My mother's behavior was erratic at best. She was extremely paranoid and constantly sought validation from others. When she was denied attention, she would violently lash out. My experiments were strictly behavioral and revolved...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
257 Words
Lehigh University believes that success is achieved by "work[ing] hard, smart, and intentionally," as do I. A phrase that I've often heard in classrooms is that one should "work smart, not hard" and I've always passionately disagreed. Hard work is the cornerstone of every major victory throughout history, and I appreciate that Lehigh acknowledges this. Moreover, I've always believed that honesty is one of the most important traits a person can have. At the end of the day, any...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
675 Words
Prompt: "What ticks you off?" The glare from my laptop strains my weary, eyeglass-laden eyes. I glance back at my empty document, thirsting for words to write themselves. Just as I am about to give up, I am momentarily blinded by a ravishing bright light. Eventually, I succumb to the darkness that follows. In the absence of light, consciousness is lost. When I awake, I find myself trapped in a barren, cream-colored room. I try to investigate, but find that...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
255 Words
Stability is very important to me. In my high school, I often sit listening to my classmates tease each other about their homely prepubescent looks from their shared kindergarten years. As a teenager who is attending her twelfth school, that type of permanence is a foreign concept. I began to understand the significance of stability in middle school, when my tumultuous and incessant moving through foster homes forced me to abandon the first friend I had successfully made in years....
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Supplemental Essay: Amusing anecdote
254 Words
Before you meet me, it is very important that you are prepared for one thing: I speak very fast. Sometimes my brain thinks of things faster than my mouth can keep up. The result is that I often cut myself off mid-sentence with an unrelated idea. When I’m excited, this is exacerbated ten-fold. Please just ask me to clarify if I happen to do this. However, if you are a fellow fast-talker, then you’re in luck! It seems...
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Supplemental Essay: Other
154 Words
Since I am an extemporaneous debater, I keep up with current issues by reading Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Week, The New York Times, and Wired. I also spend a lot of time on PubMed because I need to stay up to date on scientific studies that relate to my research. I frequent Khan Academy because my school stopped offering AP Calculus and I want to self-study it since Calculus and Chemistry go hand-in-hand. I also enjoy reading the blog...
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School Specific Advice

My favorite course thus far, and why
46 Words
I'm really loving Korean I with Ju Hee because it's really challenging but also...
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5 adjectives that describe a typical student at my school (Feel free to elaborate!)
61 Words
From what I've garnered thus far, people at USC are spirited, intelligent, passionate, helpful, and fun. USC takes...
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Most popular extracurricular activities at my college
8 Words
Definitely Greek...
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What I now know about my school that I never would have known prior to enrolling
52 Words
This is something I never even considered until after I visited campus for orientation, but the...
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Why I declined other schools
329 Words
Fortunately I had the opportunity to choose between many great schools that I probably would have been happy at. However, from all of the schools I was accepted to, my top four choices were Emory, USC, Dartmouth, and the Honors College at Ole Miss (since I had a full ride and am in-state). I canceled out Ole Miss because I had been on campus quite a few times for debate tournaments and journalism conventions and wasn't a fan of the atmosphere on campus. People seem to do just fine on their own but not intermingle with each other. It also...
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More Essays

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

It didn't take much to tear us apart. One phone call. That's all the police needed to investigate our beaten-up, shabby apartment. The smell of recently-sprayed Raid permeated the air as my mother desperately tried to shove cockroach carcasses into the crevices of the carpet. Her efforts were futile; the police had already noticed. I was escorted from our familiar home into the stuffy constraints of a police car. The darkness of night engulfed the vehicle and my mother. Her...
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General Admissions Advice

5 adjectives that describe a typical student at my school (Feel free to elaborate!)
61 Words
From what I've garnered thus far, people at USC are spirited, intelligent, passionate, helpful, and fun. USC takes...
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What set me apart from other applicants
105 Words
Honestly, my hook as being a low-income foster child and being adopted at a really late age (16) must have been a huge advantage in this process. Since my standardized testing scores aren't...
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Why I declined other schools
329 Words
Fortunately I had the opportunity to choose between many great schools that I probably would have been happy at. However, from all of the schools I was accepted to, my top four choices were Emory, USC, Dartmouth, and the Honors College at Ole Miss (since I had a full ride and am in-state). I canceled out Ole Miss because I had been on campus quite a few times for debate tournaments and journalism conventions and wasn't a fan of the atmosphere on campus. People seem to do just fine on their own but not intermingle with each other. It also...
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Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
67 Words
I didn't use a private admission counselor, and I actually didn't receive much advice, which is something that I was...
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Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
74 Words
I am an independent student with 0 EFC, so I was able to receive the full amount of direct federal loans for my...
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Most popular extracurricular activities at my college
8 Words
Definitely Greek...
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Post-college plans
32 Words
I'm a pre-med student, so hopefully after I graduate I...
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What I now know about my school that I never would have known prior to enrolling
52 Words
This is something I never even considered until after I visited campus for orientation, but the...
Read more...
How I chose schools to apply to
204 Words
Admittedly, my way of deciding which schools to attend are a little unorthodox. The first step in deciding where I wanted to attend college was by looking at the rankings of college online, because yes, I cared about the school's prestige and national ranking. After getting a good grasp on where the universities in American stood in regards to each other,...
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My favorite course thus far, and why
42 Words
CTCS 190, aka Introduction to Cinema! Drew Casper is a genius and a revolutionary...
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High School Performance

GPA
3.92
(no specification of weighting)
Rank
Top 10%
 
High School TypePublic
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest ACT
31
 
ACT Score Details
 
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details3 classes and scores

Sports

Extracurriculars

ActivitiesScience Club/Team, Debate Club/Team, Hospital Volunteer, Junior Classical League / Latin Club, National Honor Society, School Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

How Spent Summers
Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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