garyyang
garyyang,
USC ‘22
B.S., Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Funny, studious guy going into urban planning.
Features Included
6
Essays
14
Schools
9
Scores
6
Advice
5
ECs
2
Sports

Background

Hometown Chicago, Illinois
GenderMale
EthnicityAsian
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Accepted
Waitlisted or Withdrew
Denied
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • New York University (New York, NY)
  • University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL)
  • University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
  • Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
  • Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA)
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
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 Urban, Community and Regional Planning

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
“Muy, narod Soyedinyonikh Shtatov Ameriki...” Spoken in Russian, especially to American students, the US Constitution sounds little like the original refrain. But to E, my classmate from Moscow, those words meant everything. The day she recited the Preamble in her native language in front of our eighth-grade history class, I found myself captivated by her speech. The foreign rhythm mesmerized me: As I attempted to decipher the whirlwind of E’s rolled r’s and cryptic expressions, I craved for...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
505 Words
How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? Please answer this question given the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying. (400-650 words)
From my first time leafing through Judith Dupre’s book Skyscrapers to my frequent trips to San Francisco’s perpetually-under-construction Financial District, I have always imagined myself becoming an urban planner. Such a position would put me at the forefront of change; first and foremost, I would commit to a lifelong journey of creating, protecting, and improving our cities. As a “working university,” nowhere can I better realize these dreams than at Penn. Not only will I be able to...
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Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
244 Words
If you'd like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you've had to help us understand you better-we encourage you to do so. (250 word limit)
“Hey, you eat spiders, right?” It was my first day at my new middle school near Memphis, Tennessee. Miraculously, my brain had survived several hours of icebreakers and my wiry arms hadn't collapsed under what seemed like five tons of textbooks and worksheets. This oddly-directed question about my eating habits, however, drove me to the edge. “No, I don’t eat spiders.” As an Asian kid growing up in an obscure corner of the South, similar questions greeted me at...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
426 Words
Explain your interest in the major you selected and describe how you have recently explored or developed this interest inside and/or outside the classroom. You may also explain how this major relates to your future career goals. (300-400 word limit)
Before I knew it, my dollar store adventure was over. As I looked out the window and the familiar sights and sounds of suburban Memphis flew past, I had the vague idea that we were heading home. Even so, that didn't stop me from whining when I recognized the approach to Canna Hill Court-- the street I grew up on-- since I’d already be waiting for the next "adventure.” These early trips were a formative part of my childhood,...
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Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
153 Words
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.
Staring in disbelief at the email on my screen, I am devastated to learn that I have been rejected from the Editor-in-Chief position of my school newspaper. But as I pore over my new title, Humor Editor, I realize I can instead make my mark through laughter. Now a year later, I couldn't be happier. My satires about the academy’s cafeteria food, athletic teams, and dorm conditions are shared widely among students and alumni, and classmates regularly pester me...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
259 Words
In 150 to 250 words, please write about why you are interested in applying to and attending Swarthmore.
Friends who eat together, stay together. Nowhere has this mantra proven more true than at my boarding school’s cafeteria, where burnt toast accompanies debates on affirmative action and philosophical questions are just as ubiquitous as complaints about the (still broken) ice cream machine. These meal-time discussions are where I have made some of my best friends and had my best laughs; most importantly, they are a place for me to share the topics I love with the people I...
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School Specific Advice

Why I ultimately chose my school
85 Words
In the end, I chose USC because it was located in the middle of a major city, had an established urban planning program, and a strong...
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More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

Recommended summer activities during high school and college
132 Words
Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. If you don't have a summer job or an internship, I think that's your best shot. I spent my summer working through my local food pantry, volunteering at a museum, and tutoring kids, which were not only...
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How I narrowed down my essay topics
152 Words
I suffered a bit from essay envy, which is to say that I spent my fair share looking through accepted essays online. I remember the most distinctive essays being about incredibly strange things- someone had an insightful commentary on cilantro, another person wrote about his...
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Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
69 Words
Use your summer/weekend downtime to apply for scholarships. Aside from that a general piece of advice I have is to...
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My advice about getting recommenders
168 Words
If you can, see if you can get multiple classes with the same teacher- you're less likely to make a lasting impression on them over a semester than, say a year or two years of working together. I also can't emphasize enough the importance of participating in class and visiting...
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What set me apart from other applicants
138 Words
I think what set me apart was that I go to a STEM school, but the field I'm interested, urban planning, is 1) not completely STEM-related and 2) fairly obscure. I also wrote each of my essays from scratch, which did cost a...
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High School Performance

Unweighted GPA
3.90
 
Rank
Top 10%
 
Academic Performance in High School Some good some bad

Test Scores

Highest ACT
35
 
ACT Score Details
 
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
Highest SAT
2270
 
SAT Score Details
 
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep
SAT IIs
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details3 classes and scores

Sports

SportsCross Country, Track & Field

Extracurriculars

ActivitiesSchool Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism, Quiz Bowl/Academic Bowl, Multicultural / International Club, Research, Foreign Exchange
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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