B.S., Neuroscience
QuestBridge Scholar, first-gen college student, Neuroscience Major, aspiring Neurologist!
Features Included


Hometown Pasadena, California
EthnicityWhite Non-Hispanic
Class of2022
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • Washington and Lee University (Lexington, VA)
  • Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
  • University of California - San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
  • University of California - Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • University of California - Irvine (Irvine, CA)
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA)
  • Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
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 Neuroscience

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.
It is not too often you board a plane flying 10,000 miles away from home. If you do, it is most likely a luxurious overseas vacation. I, however, was not going on vacation, nor to a very luxurious location. In fact, for the next five years following 2009, California would no longer be my home. Rather, my home would become a country unlike anywhere I had ever been: Armenia. The 2008 global financial crisis took my parents’ family business and house, leaving them...
What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
When I began volunteering at Lake Avenue Community Foundation - a nonprofit in the city of Pasadena that offers mentoring and enrichment programs for children- I was able to achieve my desire of helping many children in my community become more comfortable with and engaged in learning. The children I tutor at this organization come from low-income backgrounds or are children of first-generation immigrants. They lack the opportunities that would make learning much easier for them as it does for...
Personal Statement
350 Words
Academic achievement, Failure experience
Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
A factor I attribute my academic achievements to is the first challenge I faced that was a barrier to my education: a new school in a different country, where everyone speaks a different language than my own. When my parents and I moved to Armenia in 2009, I was forced to attend an Armenian school where classes were taught in Armenian and Russian, instead of English. With my minimal knowledge of Armenian, I barely understood the lessons and realized that it...
Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
I have been drawn to the nervous system since learning about it in my middle school anatomy class. Since then, I have continued learning more about the brain from independent study, volunteering at a pharmacy, and eventually enrolling in my favorite class that focuses greatly on the brain: AP Psychology. Before learning psychology, I gained some basic background knowledge about the brain by studying it through research outside of class, focusing on the numerous diseases people suffer from relating to...
Personal Statement
504 Words
Bizarre talent, Reaching a goal
What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
My admiration had reached a point beyond the ability of YouTube tutorials to satisfy. Fascinated by piano, I had desperately convinced my parents to enroll me in a music school, where my passion intensified. Being about five years older than my musical peers made catching up one of the biggest challenges. I risked potentially disappointing myself and my parents, and facing humiliation in case piano became nothing more than a failed pursuit for me. However, it was a risk worth...
Personal Statement
527 Words
Development of personal values
Growing up in a Christian family, I have always believed in God. I followed my parents’ routine of going to Church every Sunday morning and saying my prayers before I eat, sleep, or do anything important throughout the day. As I grew older, however, the idea of God made me increasingly nervous. I wanted to have a place in God’s Kingdom but knew I was unworthy due to my sins. Though my life was going great – my family was...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
166 Words
Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests at USC. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections.
After learning about the human brain in my middle school anatomy class, I was drawn to its beauty and significance. I did research outside of class to learn more about the brain and was devastated to learn about the numerous diseases people suffer from relating to the nervous system. I realized that I wanted to make a difference in the lives of such patients, and began exploring my options. My desire to further study the causes of such disease and...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
251 Words
USC believes that one learns best when interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Tell us about a time you were exposed to a new idea or when your beliefs were challenged by another point of view.
Culture often becomes a boundary of one’s beliefs and values. For me, however, exposure to two completely different cultures helped me break out of those predisposed boundaries. As I spent a large part of my childhood in Armenia and grew up in a very traditional family, my values and opinions were no different than those of the rest of my family, relatives, and others that shared my culture. Initially, I saw no issue, but upon my return to the...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
153 Words
If you are applying to the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences as a first year applicant, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something particular about Duke that attracts you?
The more I explore Duke, the more I picture myself thriving in its academically rigorous yet socially exhilarating environment. The challenging courses and numerous organizations relating to the undergraduate neuroscience program - especially Duke Synapse and Neuroscience Majors’ Union - excite my desire to pursue and be actively involved in the field of my dreams. Duke’s student-driven campus will allow me to collaborate rather than compete with my peers, which will satisfy my outgoing personality and gratify my desire...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
250 Words
Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you'd like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you've had to help us understand you better-perhaps related to a community you belong to or your family or cultural background-we encourage you to do so.
Culture often becomes a boundary of one’s beliefs and values. For me, however, exposure to two completely different cultures helped me break out of those predisposed boundaries. As I spent a large part of my childhood in Armenia and grew up in a very traditional family, my values and opinions were no different than those of the rest of my family, relatives, and others that shared my culture. Initially, I saw no issue, but upon my return to the...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
519 Words
Describe two or three of your current intellectual interests and why they are exciting to you. Why will Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences be the right environment in which to pursue your interests? (Please limit your response to 650 words.)
I remember sitting in my 8th-grade anatomy class and opening my textbook to the brain anatomy chapter. I was instantly drawn into the fascinating structures and functions of the human brain, an organ so complex yet packed within the tiny confines of the cranium. It was a no brainer that I chose the nervous system as the topic for my final project. Unappeased by the limited information from my textbook, I turned to the internet and the 3-volume encyclopedias in...

School Specific Advice

Why I declined other schools
137 Words
The reasons I declined UCLA, UC Berkeley, and all other UCs - too many pre-med students, not enough pre-med advisers - curved scores, pre-med students usually graduate with mediocre grades - class sizes are too...

More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

My advice about getting recommenders
195 Words
Applying to college means that you will be competing with many other students who have stood out with their grades, activities, standardized test scores, and so on. Recommendation letters are one of the elements of your application that will help you stand out from rather large pools of applicants. Make sure to ask for an LOR from teachers that...
What I’d change about my application process
114 Words
If I had the chance, I would focus more on my SAT and essays. Studying for the SAT was a bit difficult for me because I had burdened myself with 6 AP classes both junior...
What set me apart from other applicants
146 Words
What set me apart from other applicants was my desire for a challenge. I started my freshman year of high school with 2 AP courses and an honors course. As the years went by, the rigor of my classes and the number of APs...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
(equivalent to 3.96 unweighted)
Top 1%
Academic Performance in High School Low one semester/year
Explanation of Low Grades

Test Scores

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

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details12 classes and scores




ActivitiesMusic: Instrumental, Academic, Green Club, Other Club/Activity, Tutoring/Mentoring, Library Volunteer, Other Club/Activity, Other Club/Activity
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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