B.S., Environmental Engineering
Political economy; international relations; economic research; recovering former engineering student
Features Included


Hometown McKinney, Texas
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 Texas - Austin (Austin, TX)
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 Environmental 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.
As the sound of my classmates’ sandals and Sperrys forcefully clapping against the floor neared me, I was careful not to allow it to disturb the façade of intense focus I always put up as they filed into the lab. Being a year ahead in science meant that, as a sophomore, I had to take physics with the juniors and seniors. To my classmates, I was a scientific savant, awkward yet prodigious. My dexterity in deriving the intensity of...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
236 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.
All circumstances of my life working to muffle my voice—my classmates' jeers, for example—only ended up amplifying it. I'm the child of my affluent, uber-conservative suburb, not in that I am those qualities, but in that they've shaped me to question their implications. Being so accustomed to being vocal in a place that frowns upon young girls being heard AND seen, I am proud to cry out in support of what I know is right. By the time...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
193 Words
Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests at USC. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections.
Because my highest career aspiration—to work for or start my own company that manufactures accessible solar power—requires me to combine the subject areas I've loved all my life, I plan to pursue it, and thus, them, directly at USC. Ideally, I'd major in Civil (Environmental) Engineering within Viterbi and minor in Technology Commercialization also within the School of Engineering that exists in conjunction with Marshall, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in the former—this specific program is...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
251 Words
While scientists yearn to discover the world that exists, Engineers and Computer Scientists seek to create the world that never was. Our faculty and students believe collaborative teams are the key to great accomplishments. Please describe a time in your life (academic, co-curricular, or otherwise) where you had to collaborate to accomplish more than you could alone.
Eyeing the description of the (mandatory) challenge laid out in front of us with disbelief, my entire group sighed, indicating just how daunting they felt the task to be. The Raytheon facility in my city had partnered up with each of the high schools' physics departments to help simultaneously teach kinematics concepts and promote careers in engineering; to accomplish those tasks, they assembled us into groups and tasked us with designing, demonstrating, and presenting a car that could carry two...
Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
250 Words
While the world as a whole may be more technologically advanced than ever before, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has outlined 14 Grand Challenges that engineers should focus on to improve life on the planet. Learn about the Grand Challenges at www.engineeringchallenges.org and tell us which challenge is most important, and why.
Burning coal releases greenhouse gases that can react to form acid rain. Natural gas is mostly methane, which is even more potent than carbon dioxide as a contributor to global warming. Hydrogen fuel, while considered theoretically clean because hydrogen does not release the more common greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide or methane when burned, isn't feasible because hydrogen rarely exists naturally as an element on its own and therefore the fuel usually requires steam reformation of natural gas to...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
712 Words
What was the environment in which you were raised? Describe your family, home, neighborhood, or community, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.
"You can think it, but don't say it out loud." "Your only responsibility is to be seen, not to be heard." These were only two of the entries that comprised the seemingly endless list of commandments handed down to us by the directors of the junior cotillion program ran with the help of the nearby Baptist megachurch. My grandparents were the ones who had forced me, against my strongest will, to participate, and I'd felt it was no coincidence that...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
294 Words
If you could have any career, what would it be? Why? Describe any activities you are involved in, life experiences you've had, or even classes you've taken that have helped you identify this professional path.
A simple sense of sympathy for the suffering of everyone I've (n)ever met is what has pushed me toward every career choice I've ever considered. Who knew that my junior year, my AP Environmental Science class would be the perfect scratch for my humanitarian itch? I'd always excelled in math and science, but this particular niche struck me because of its focus on the way the natural world and humanity impacted each other. As we moved from loss of...

School Specific Advice

How important school spirit is around athletics at my school
211 Words
USC is HUUUUGE on school spirit, especially surrounding football. This is part of why I love USC so much—we have such a good balance between great academics, athletics, and social life, and social life and school spirit around athletics are connected for a lot of us. A lot of alumni show up to the games or have watch parties for them within...
5 adjectives that describe a typical student at my school (Feel free to elaborate!)
5 Words
Well-rounded; extroverted;...
How I would rate the diversity of the student body
146 Words
It's pretty low. Black and Hispanic/Latino students are very underrepresented while Asian students are overrepresented (comparing US population demographics with USC's). We are only 30% or so white but you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at the makeup of most student...

More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

What set me apart from other applicants
384 Words
I wish that I had known that I am more than my numbers. I focused too much on having the "right" grades, the "right" test scores, the "right" class rank, and not enough on explaining my leadership roles in my extracurricular activities and the impact I made while holding those positions or on writing an essay that accurately projects my unique voice to admissions staff. I know that the whole "holistic admissions" notion can seem like a load of crap, but colleges really do consider you as a whole (especially USC). Instead of participating in a ton of extracurriculars that...
My advice about getting recommenders
403 Words
Of course you should give your best effort in all of your classes to give yourself the best possible chance of getting into the college of your choice, but in classes that pertain to the course of study you think you might want to pursue, perform just a little bit better than your best. You should also be on your best behavior in these pertinent classes—be an active listener and participant, help your classmates with their work, have a positive attitude, and be open to criticism. Performing well academically and showing good character help groom potential recommenders to write...
Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
605 Words
If, like me, your top choice school is way out of your affordability range, you need to start researching and applying for scholarships for which you think might meet the criteria. I started doing this my senior year, but I cannot stress how much I wish that I had done so my sophomore or junior years—who knows how much more money I would have earned in scholarships? Most likely, the largest scholarship that you will receive will come from the school you attend. These can be merit-based, need-based, or a combination of both. I was lucky enough to have...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
(equivalent to 3.81 unweighted)
Top 10%
Academic Performance in High School Low one semester/year
Explanation of Low Grades

Test Scores

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

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details10 classes and scores



ActivitiesAnimal Foster Care Provider / Animal Rescue Volunteer, Foreign Language, Key Club, National Honor Society, Yearbook, Political Campaign
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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