B.S., Computer Science
Lover of ultimate frisbee and Kanye West. Turned down the Ivy League to attend the University of South Carolina as a Carolina Scholar. Here is my story.
Features Included


Hometown Irmo, South Carolina
Class of2022
First Gen College StudentNo
English First Language Yes
Other Language(s) Spoken Punjabi, Hindi

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)
  • Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)

Applied for a B.S. in Computer Science

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Personal Statement
702 Words
Work experience
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. ----- I work at a 100-square-foot shoebox of a fragrance store located in the armpit of South Carolina. Perfume Bazaar is the last place on earth I would have expected to be diverse; but somehow, it's a cosmopolitan paradise. Any day at the Bazaar, bustling or slow, brings with it a cornucopia of people from vastly different walks of...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
374 Words
Five years ago, during a winter break in India, I would spend much of my time in my grandfather's machine shop, where he manufactured sewing machine parts. Here, I would help him shape raw bars of pig iron into artfully chiseled “feed dogs,” using drills, lathes, milling machines, and a furnace. Seeing how the individual components of his intricate process came together in a systematic, efficient way fascinated my analytical mind. I enjoyed this approach of problem solving, and wanted...
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
162 Words
“7:30. Academic team. Be there.” “But—” “No buts.” The line cut off. At Dutch Fork, I had always seen academic team as an activity reserved for the geniuses—a group I believed to have no business with. So naturally, I was reluctant when a friend on the team tried to get me to join. Eventually, though, he convinced me to come to one meeting. I quickly found the quiz bowl life to not be for the faint of heart—starting out,...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
157 Words
Water running down my back, motioning with my hands, I chant to myself: “Okay, so because lambda-d-b is h over p, and the quantity K plus E-naught squared equals—” “Ish, it's 2 AM, go to bed!” my suitemate yells from the other room. I've always been a teacher at heart. From demonstrating energy conservation to middle schoolers to trying to explain calculus to my younger sister to walking myself through physics derivations in the shower, it's something I constantly find myself...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
211 Words
When I look into my dad’s face, I see a brilliant, successful engineer who is the best at what he does. But, I also see a man filled with regret for not following his passion. When he was my age, he chose to study electronics at a prestigious Indian engineering college to support his family, forgoing an opportunity to do what he loved—teaching. I can’t thank him enough for being able to give me a stable upbringing...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
108 Words
Ding-dong. “Hey, Asif, do you want to play outside with me and Steve?” “Sorry, Ishrat, but I can’t. I have prayer time now.” During the summer after second grade, I briefly resided in a Little India outside Detroit, MI. Having been raised in an exclusively Sikh community, I was thrown into a cultural melting pot. Through friends like Asif, a Bangladeshi-American Muslim, and Steve, a Catholic Indian from Goa, I explored completely new perspectives on faith and living life....
Supplemental Essay: Amusing anecdote
100 Words
Whenever I heard the words “physics research group,” I would always picture a crowd of reclusive geniuses huddled around a chalkboard examining some recondite equation—I'd never expected to leave my research internship missing the people there. Over the course of the summer, casual small talk between studying high-redshift galaxies would evolve into lively discussions over everything from electrodynamics to the NBA. I began looking forward to waking up at 6:30, not just to conduct intriguing research, but also to spend...
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
414 Words
Tuesday, November 28th, 2017. For the past three months, we had been working tirelessly toward today: SPARK’s launch date for the 2017-2018 school year. We couldn’t mess up—for the initiative to see the light of day next semester, this had to go perfectly. A week earlier, -, -, -, and I had received word from Outreach that 33 students had registered for the launch. At the time, this was music to my ears—finally, all that time spent on...

School Specific Advice

5 adjectives that describe a typical student at my school (Feel free to elaborate!)
5 Words
chill, sociable,...
How important school spirit is around athletics at my school
32 Words
It's an SEC school -- the school spirit is going...
Research, job or internship opportunities available to students at my school
157 Words
In-state at least, SC gets a lot of flak for not being "prestigious," but that doesn't mean that the academics are bad. If anything, they're amazing, and due to the Honors College, at times better than what you'll see at Ivies. Moreover, getting a research internship is...
How I would describe the wider community surrounding campus
71 Words
SC is located in downtown Columbia, so it's a fairly urban campus with buildings emanating throughout the city from its main...
How to increase chances at my school
166 Words
A lot of people ask me how I got Carolina Scholar, the award given to the top 25 in-state applicants to the university. Honestly, I really don't know -- to be honest I wrote my essays in the span of two days and turned them in 10 minutes before the deadline. Furthermore,...

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
395 Words
Looking back, I really wish I'd been more realistic about money while I was picking colleges. Being a middle class family from the South, my FAFSA numbers came out to be way higher than what my family could afford -- my parents made this clear to me -- but I ended up applying to the schools I applied to anyway under the impression that they would somehow magically exceed my EFC and live up to their promises of fulfilling 100% need. But the real world just doesn't work that way. Needless to say, I was disappointed to see that the financial...
What set me apart from other applicants
110 Words
I tried to fill a unique niche wherever I could. At Brown for example, I actually applied for Education alongside Engineering Physics, conveying my passion for teaching through my experiences with the SPARK...
Recommended summer activities during high school and college
95 Words
Find summer programs in anything you're even slightly passionate about, and apply for them. I didn't partake in one until doing research at a university the summer after junior...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
(equivalent to 4.00 unweighted)
Top 5%
High School TypeBoarding
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest SAT
SAT Score Details
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details9 classes and scores




ActivitiesQuiz Bowl/Academic Bowl, Science Club/Team, After School Program Coordinator, Tutoring/Mentoring, Local Orchestra / Symphony / Band, School Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism, Academic, Admissions or Post-Acceptance Committee
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

Similar Profiles


Accepted to MIT, CalTech, UChicago, UC Berkeley, UCLA

Astronomy major minoring in linguistics with a love for literature. I'll gladly edit essays, give advice on whole process and answer questions about college life here!

Accepted to Hunter, NYU, CMU, NYU-Poly, Cooper Union, Fordham, BC, BU

Typical Asian kid who goes to a top high school.

Accepted to UC Davis, UCSB, NYU, BU, Pacific, Northeastern

All things chemistry

Accepted to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia

I was a normal student who worked hard, crafted a strong application, and got accepted into top schools.

Accepted to SC, Wake Forest, William & Mary, UVA

I attend the University of South Carolina, Columbia. I am enrolled in the Honors College and am studying Exercise Science as a Pre-Med student.