College Admissions Info

typicalstudent
typicalstudent
Stanford University ‘22
BA, Political Science and Government

Profile Overview

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

Student Background

Gap year student! Accepted for Stanford '21 but attending as Stanford '22
From: San Jose , California
Gender: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Asian
Accepted At: Princeton, UC Berkeley, UCLA
Denied At:
Waitlisted At:
Withdrew From:

Test Scores

2370
SAT
Converted SAT Score: 1590
Other SAT Scores:
SAT Prep:
SAT IIs:
PSAT Scores:

High School Performance

4.00
GPA
Top 10%
Rank
AP / IB Classes and Scores:
Academic Performance in High School: Steady

Extracurriculars & Awards

Sports: Volleyball
Extracurricular Activities: Student Council / Government, French Club, Boy/Girl Scouts, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Tutoring/Mentoring, Homecoming committee, Philosophy Club, School Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism, Dance
Work:
Awards Received:

College Application Essays

PROMPT: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. I slowly peeked my eyes open. Around me, a dozen French men and women whose visages had long ago settled into stately reposes intoned in unison. Taking a quiet breath, I closed my eyes and rejoined the guttural chanting. Earlier that day, as I headed to the...











PROMPT: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time. We had spent a month creating mental health posters, distributing #fightstigma wristbands, and organizing stress relief activities for fellow students. We wanted to illuminate the universality of mental health struggles and start a dialogue at school. However, we quickly learned how we had failed. Standing before my colleagues, I took a deliberate breath and read...







PROMPT: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time. We had spent a month creating mental health posters, distributing #fightstigma wristbands, and organizing stress relief activities for fellow students. We wanted to illuminate the universality of mental health struggles and start a dialogue at school. However, we quickly learned how we had failed. Standing before my colleagues, I took a deliberate breath and read...







PROMPT: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time. We had spent a month creating mental health posters, distributing #fightstigma wristbands, and organizing stress relief activities for fellow students. We wanted to illuminate the universality of mental health struggles and start a dialogue at school. However, we quickly learned how we had failed. Standing before my colleagues, I took a deliberate breath and read...







PROMPT: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time. We had spent a month creating mental health posters, distributing #fightstigma wristbands, and organizing stress relief activities for fellow students. We wanted to illuminate the universality of mental health struggles and start a dialogue at school. However, we quickly learned how we had failed. Standing before my colleagues, I took a deliberate breath and read...







PROMPT: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time. We had spent a month creating mental health posters, distributing #fightstigma wristbands, and organizing stress relief activities for fellow students. We wanted to illuminate the universality of mental health struggles and start a dialogue at school. However, we quickly learned how we had failed. Standing before my colleagues, I took a deliberate breath and read...







Supplemental Essay for Stanford: Strong beliefs/principles
268 Words
PROMPT: What matters to you, and why? When the Framers wrote “all men are created equal,” they couldn’t envision the influence their marked omission of “women” would have on gender relations. Nor could they imagine that the 14th amendment would guarantee liberties to everyone, irrespective of race. Indeed, over time, any document or system, no matter how foundational, becomes outdated. Societal mores periodically undergo waves of change — beliefs that don’t adapt may be swept away. It used to...





Supplemental Essay for Stanford: Unique question posed by school
278 Words
PROMPT: Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. Ancient oracles revered sleep as a conduit for divine omens. Edgar Allen Poe called it “little slices of death,” while the Dalai Lama said it was “the best meditation.” Curious about this gamut of attitudes, I borrowed The Promise of Sleep by William Dement from the library, intending to casually read it over spring break. Instead, I devoured it...





Supplemental Essay for Stanford: Unique question posed by school
291 Words
PROMPT: Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. Dear Roommate, I LOVE lists. I ferociously alternate between paper, my hand, and the foggy shower door for note-taking. In fact, after we first meet, do you want to create a roommate bucket list together? But first, a short list of things about me: 1) Last year, I asked myself, “what good is annotating French poetry if I can’t...





Supplemental Essay for Princeton: Unique question posed by school
761 Words
PROMPT: Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event, or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world. “Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful.” Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy...











Supplemental Essay for Harvard: Unique question posed by school
701 Words
PROMPT: Occasionally, students feel that college application forms do not provide sufficient opportunity to convey important information about themselves or their accomplishments. If you wish to include an additional essay, you may do so. I slowly peeked my eyes open. Around me, a dozen French men and women whose visages had long ago settled into stately reposes intoned in unison. Taking a quiet breath, I closed my eyes and rejoined the guttural chanting. Earlier that day, as I headed to...











Supplemental Essay for Yale: “Why us” school essay
108 Words
PROMPT: Why Yale? As someone who was once a lone wolf, I’ve never been more excited to join a bulldog pack. It is patently clear that an emphasis on community is embedded into Yale’s cultural foundation; I have no doubt that at Yale, I will find the uniquely tightly knit friend groups and support networks that I’ve grown to cherish. Through the swing and blues dance troupe, through the renowned Yale political union, through my residential college,...



Supplemental Essay for Yale: Unique question posed by school
228 Words
PROMPT: Reflect on a time in the last few years when you felt genuine excitement learning about something. Curious about sleep one day, I borrowed The Promise of Sleep by William Dement from the library, intending to casually read it over break. Instead, I devoured it within days and spent my vacation sneaking onto Stanford University to shadow an undergraduate course — Sleep and Dreams — taught by one of Dement’s protégés. Did you know that centuries ago, humans...





Supplemental Essay for Yale: Unique question posed by school
222 Words
PROMPT: Write about something that you love to do. My only experience dancing had been during a ballet class my mother coerced me into before I swore off ever wearing tights again. But years later, when the girls choreographing my grade’s Homecoming boys dance quit, claiming “Boys can’t dance,” I instinctively volunteered to replace them. Noticing the beauty of dance for the first time, I worked to choreograph a routine my peers would be proud to perform. I...





Supplemental Essay for Yale: Other
113 Words
PROMPT: Why do these areas appeal to you? I often think of bees in a plastic ball. Some are motionless. Others push the ball’s clear surface, their efforts just barely influencing the course of the ball. That ball is our society, and to lead it and those within towards progress, we too must fly at our limits, even when it means facing invisible barriers. Although it is precisely “invisible barriers” that politics is infamous for, I’m undeterred. I...



Supplemental Essay for Brown: “Why us” school essay
165 Words
Prompt: Why Brown? WTF Brown... The volume of feedback on WTFbrown.com (WTF = What To Fix) shocked me—Brunonians seem to lodge complaints to their Undergraduate Council of Students about everything from unsightly statues to unwieldy meal credits. But rather than dissuading me, WTFbrown only reaffirmed my interest in Brown. To me, the comments on WTFbrown.com are indicative not of Brown’s shortcomings, but of its most attractive characteristic: Brown students don’t settle for anything less than the...



Supplemental Essay for Brown: Other
195 Words
PROMPT: Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated earlier in this application? If you are "undecided" or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. Whenever I feel burned out, I try to imagine a thousand bees in a clear plastic ball. Some are motionless. Others continuously prod at the ball’s surface, their cumulative efforts just barely influencing the...



Supplemental Essay for Brown: Unique question posed by school
139 Words
PROMPT: We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. In freshman year, the girls choreographing our Homecoming boys dance quit after one practice, claiming “boys can’t dance.” Disheartened but undeterred, those boys soldiered on. Practicing almost daily, we worked to defy expectations and prove to not only them, but also ourselves, that we could dance. After five...



Supplemental Essay for Brown: Unique question posed by school
141 Words
PROMPT: Tell us where you have lived - and for how long - since you were born; whether you've always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. I look up from my desk. It’s 8pm and all sounds but those of straggler cars have disappeared. Through the window, I see my neighbors leaving town, in pursuit of excitement elsewhere. When I return to my reading—an online article about local politics—I learn about...



Supplemental Essay for Brown: Unique question posed by school
166 Words
PROMPT: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. My student council team and I spent months on our mental health campaign — creating posters, distributing pamphlets, and organizing awareness activities. But because of an unchecked optimism, we inadvertently conflated common stress with serious mental illness, hurting the very students we wanted to help. Though I have found success through student government — having ended my school’s gender restrictive Homecoming quotas of one “king” and one “queen”...



Supplemental Essay for Princeton, Harvard: Other
173 Words
PROMPT: Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences My only experience dancing had been during a ballet class my mother coerced me into before I swore off ever wearing tights again. But years later, when the girls choreographing my grade’s Homecoming boys dance quit, claiming “Boys can’t dance,” I instinctively volunteered to replace them. Practicing almost daily, my team worked to defy expectations and prove not only to them, but also to ourselves that...



College Admissions Advice

How I narrowed down my essay topics
231 Words
I found that having a conversation partner was immensely helpful in narrowing down my essay topics. Most people are surprisingly articulate when they talk out loud—people speak far more than they write, so their thoughts come more naturally when talking. Here's what I did: I sat down with a conversation partner, who would ask me an essay prompt, out loud. I would respond to her and talk...





Did you take a gap year? Tell us about your experience.
353 Words
I decided to take a gap year AFTER being accepted to a school I was very happy to attend. The process for deferring admission was straightforward: I called the admissions office, emailed my regional admissions officer a short, 2-3 paragraph explanation of why I wanted to take a gap year, signed a gap year contract confirming that I would enroll the subsequent year, and then paid a $200 deposit. Every school has a different procedure, so if you're considering taking a gap year (which I unequivocally recommend considering), I would reach out to your admissions office early to find out more...







Why I recommend taking a gap year
606 Words
A gap year isn't for everyone, but everyone should CONSIDER taking a gap year. I did for a variety of reasons: I was burned out from high school, wanted to be more independent, hoped to apply to more scholarships (I dropped the ball on this during high school), and itched to narrow down my potential majors/fields. I realize that college can be a fantastic place to narrow down your interests, but I figured that I could explore on my own and not have to pay sky-rocketing tuition to do so. I moved out to live with my older brother,...











How to deal with the stress of applying to college
379 Words
General principles for dealing with college application stress: 1) "The only way out is through." It's true: the more work you put in now, the less you'll have on your plate later. Your future self is thanking you profusely every time you put in work now. 2) Realize that the process is human. Admissions officers are human. Humans have implicit biases and are subjective creatures—certain things are going to be out of your hands, so don't sweat details you have no control over. 3) Reach out to people who've gone through the process before—alumni, family friends, parents, etc. Hear about their...







My advice about getting recommenders
386 Words
Choose staff who KNOW you. I had three teachers write my recommendation letters: 1) My senior-year physiology teacher. 2) My AP French teacher. 3) My leadership teacher. On the surface, none of the classes these teachers teach seem particularly impressive. Indeed, they're not: Physiology was known school-wide as the "easy" class for "lazy" seniors. AP French isn't perceived to be as difficult as say, AP Literature, or AP Calculus. And leadership was an elective class—I had to submit it as a supplemental recommendation. What all of these classes had in common, however, was that they were taught by teachers who had seen...









What set me apart from other applicants
445 Words
I was very honest with myself all throughout high school and dropped activities that weren’t genuinely meaningful to me. I didn't hunt for positions or canned experiences. Eg. in freshman year I was one of the only boys in a dance club. I was offered an officer position the following year. I turned it down even though that likely would have led me to be president of the club junior year, because the club wasn't that interesting to me. Similarly, I did well in state and national competitions for a business club—better, in fact, than any freshmen had...









Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
199 Words
I did, and I found it helpful. The three most important pieces of advice that I received: 1) SHOW, not tell. You've likely heard this in your writing classes. It's so true though. No one wants to read a list of your accomplishments. We want to be there with you as you struggle through hardships. 2) Be HUMAN. Be relatable....





Reaching out to professors and coaches at schools I applied to (Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, UCSC)
96 Words
If you live nearby, talk to professors whose work you might be curious about and audit their classes. I did this, and it was rather enlightening. It's really...





Why I ultimately chose my school (Stanford)
27 Words
The proximity, the education quality, and the balance...





How to increase chances at my school (Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, UCSC)
77 Words
Don't fit into any mold. Be a unique candidate as much as you can. Also, think heavily about how you might not only...





List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience (Princeton, Harvard, Brown)
478 Words
Each of my interview experiences was unique, but that's precisely what they all had in common. Likewise, your interview experiences will also vary greatly: some will take place at office spaces and resemble formal job interviews. Others will take place at cafes and be casual conversations. Some will avoid potentially contentious topics like politics. Others will dive into them. The best way to prepare for interviews is to: 1) Research your interviewer on Linkedin. Learn about their story and think about some things you'd like to know more about. 2) Think about questions that you would like to hear answers to about...