Stanford ‘21
B.S., Civil Engineering
Camera photo-taking Stanford student
Features Included


Hometown Bogota, Colombia
First Gen College StudentYes

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • University of California - San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

Applied for a B.S. in Civil Engineering

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

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.
Stepping off the plane on June 13, 2005, I knew I was no longer in Colombia. Standing in the middle of the metropolitan city of San Diego, surrounded by clean streets, an abundance of cars, and large architectural feats, this city portrayed a stark contrast to my hometown of Bogota. Just 24 hours prior, I had been lying down on the floor of our old apartment, anxiously waiting for our alarm clock to ring; when it did that morning, I had not yet...
Personal Statement
354 Words
Leadership experience
Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
True leadership is efficiently handling a situation in which you can teach people and help drive them forward. Leadership is not bossing people around, rather it’s working alongside them to accomplish a common goal. In my life, I have been privileged to be able to lead different groups of people to receive awards and complete our goals. However, one experience that has positively influenced others on a completely different level than the rest, is my leadership in our schoolâ€...
Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
Stepping off the plane in 2005, I knew I was no longer in Colombia. The first noticeable difference was school; I was motivated to learn and achieve greatness. I was told I could accomplish anything I dreamed; however, I knew I didn’t have the resources to procure my dreams. We started from zero, scratch. My own version of the classic immigrant story—moving and hitting the restart button. I was told my socioeconomic situation did not matter. Little did they...
What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
As a senior and student, it is our duty to leave our school better than when we first entered as a freshman. As my junior year concluded, I was faced with a tough selection of classes and choosing whether to pursue journalism, yearbook, or both. These two classes intrigued me, I had been part of yearbook back in middle school and journalism my junior year. I was attracted to our school’s publishing classes, in part because of my love...
Personal Statement
357 Words
Development of personal values
Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?
An idea that I believe in, is my intellectual development and this idea of staying hungry, hungry for knowledge and understanding. This idea sets me apart as a student because my motivation is fueled by my academic hunger to learn more and understand the curriculum which I am taught. I feed via indulging in knowledge; this method includes self-teaching through the internet or videos, learning from other knowledgeable people, or simply letting my curiosity run free and allowing it to...
Supplemental Essay: Strong beliefs/principles
253 Words
Idea or experience important to intellectual development
An idea that has been important in my intellectual development has been this idea of staying hungry, hungry for knowledge and understanding. As a student, my motivation is fueled by my academic hunger to learn more and understand the curriculum which I am taught. When my teacher teaches, it is not enough to quench my hunger. I need to feed via another method; this method includes self-teaching through the internet or videos, learning from other knowledgeable people, or simply letting...
Supplemental Essay: Other
264 Words
Note to future roommate
Upon embarking on our first day, there are a few things you should know. My definition of fun is a little quirky. I love tackling difficult problems and talking with people. I especially enjoy taking pictures, so brace yourself for the capturing of your image on my camera’s sensor. Another thing about me is that contrary to popular belief, I am not Mexican; I come from Colombia. Where do you hail from? Yes, I used the word hail, I...
Supplemental Essay: Strong beliefs/principles
251 Words
What matters to you, and why?
Education matters to me because I view it as the medium through which a person, such as myself, can exceed in life. My parents did not have the opportunity to attend a four-year university because of their circumstances, yet I have the possibility to continue my education at the next level. Education is essential to me because I grew up with the consequence of my parents having to struggle financially because they did not have the college degree to obtain...

School Specific Advice

How I would rate the diversity of the student body
25 Words
Diverse. Pick any place and there's at least...
Why I ultimately chose my school
24 Words
So much money. Along with that much...
What I wish I had known as a first generation applicant
48 Words
Let people know your story. Do not be ashamed of what you have lived...
How I narrowed down my essay topics
39 Words
Choose anything that you love to write because it will the reader...

More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

What I learned transitioning from high school to college
59 Words
Life will change and you should be welcoming of change. Things will no longer be the same and...
What set me apart from other applicants
36 Words
Focus on one thing and be really good at that one...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
(equivalent to 4.00 unweighted)
Top 1%
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

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

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details9 classes and scores




ActivitiesAcademic, National Honor Society, School Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism, Photography / Film, Religious, Other Club/Activity, Community Cleanup / Service, Yearbook, Tutoring/Mentoring, Science Club/Team
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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