USC ‘20
B.A., International Relations, , Political Science and Government
Hey! Boston-raised, Dallas transplant, LA lover. Literal proof that stats and grades aren't everything. Going abroad this fall and starting at USC this January!
Features Included


Hometown Boston, Massachusetts, Zambia
EthnicityBlack / African American
AdmissionRegular Decision
English First Language Yes

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Villanova University (Villanova, PA)
  • George Washington University (Washington, DC)
  • Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA)
  • Boston University (Boston, MA)
  • Fordham University (New York, NY)
  • Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY)
  • University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
  • Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)
  • American University (Washington, DC)
  • New York University (New York, NY)
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.A. in International Relations

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
243 Words
I have always been passionate about discovering the way people connect on a global scale. My passion stems from my upbringing: born in an impoverished but developing Zambia, raised in a predominately white and affluent neighborhood in Massachusetts, and currently living in the southern United States. My experiences, from culture to economics, have been diverse and drastically different, but inspired me to pursue a more progressive and open-minded community. I started with an interest in domestic affairs, but my curiosity...
Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
253 Words
A sticky-note on my bedroom wall quotes, “If giving leaves you feeling empty, you’re giving too much to the wrong person.” In my case, the wrong is in doing community service that leaves me unchanged. While I appreciate volunteering for events sponsored by my school, it wasn’t until this summer that I felt the sincerity of service. I originally traveled to Zambia to meet family and learn about my culture, but took a major detour: I started volunteering...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
235 Words
My experiences, from culture to socioeconomics, have been diverse and varied, but inspired me to pursue a more progressive and open-minded global community. My mixed childhood from an impoverished Zambia to affluent suburbs along the New England coast all the way to Texas has influenced my interest in international relations. When I volunteered in Zambia in June at a half-way house for boys, I met children who had been trafficked and separated from their families. Since then, I’ve known...

School Specific Advice

Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
72 Words
I used a private admissions counselor who is provided by my school. She had a very personal recommendation for me as a...
List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience
124 Words
A USC off-campus interview is not as causal as one that might be at, say, Starbucks or a coffee shop. Interviews get booked very early in the school year so I almost didn't get one. It was...
Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
113 Words
Get financial aid done as soon as possible! This is a private school and obviously has a HUGE endowment and a lot of students who do pay the full $69k cost. That being said,...
What might make for a good “Why Us” essay topic at my school
94 Words
Trojan pride. It's a real thing. No one who goes to USC doesn't absolutely love it. This is a campus with one of the highest retention and happiest...
What I’d change about my application process
91 Words
Looking at the acceptance rate and the class profile didn't make me very confident about getting in. I wasn't really a target in most of the areas...
Why I ultimately chose my school
122 Words
Coming from a relatively small class of 64, I just wanted to go far and to a big school with a big name that could get me opportunities. USC does that for sure. With a large undergrad population...

More Essays

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

Makani, my first name, is ever-changing. I use an alias for my coffee order at Starbucks and I reserve seats at my favorite hole-in-the-wall pizza place downtown under a fake name. Introducing myself usually consists of a pronunciation tutorial and a lesson in etymology on how my name means 'sky' in my native language. Most of the time, though, my name is a reminder that I am balancing two distinct cultures. The first time I changed my name was in...
Additional Essay Details
186 Words
The "why us" essay should always be the easiest one to write. If you truly want to go to a school, it's going to be obvious on the paper and it won't be hard to pinpoint at least 5 key points. And the more research, the better. If you know some of the renowned professors or campus traditions that you'd like to be a part of, be sure to mention it in the "why us" essay! It's also significantly important to...

General Admissions Advice

High School Performance

(no specification of weighting)
Top 50%
High School TypeMagnet
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Low at first but improved
Explanation of Low Grades

Test Scores

Highest SAT
SAT Score Details
Converted SAT Score1300
SAT Prep

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details10 classes and scores



ActivitiesJunior Classical League / Latin Club, Community Cleanup / Service, Student Council / Government
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

How Spent Summers
Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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