andreahcgraf
andreahcgraf,
Columbia ‘23
B.A., English
I'm an English/Human Rights double major at Columbia. I love creative writing, ethical and sustainable fashion, am very involved in community service, and hope to go to law school!
Features Included
32
Essays
29
Schools
1
Scores
0
Advice
6
ECs
2
Sports

Background

Hometown Mahwah , New Jersey
GenderFemale
EthnicityWhite Non-Hispanic
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Accepted
Waitlisted or Withdrew
Denied
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)
  • Claremont McKenna College (Claremont, CA)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • New York University (New York, NY)
  • Barnard College (New York, NY)
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
  • McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
  • Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA)
  • University of Richmond (Richmond, VA)
  • University of California - San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
  • University of California - Davis (Davis, CA)
  • Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
  • Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
  • University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)
  • Pitzer College (Claremont, CA)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • University of California - Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Columbia University (New York, NY)

Applied for a B.A. in English

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.
A cacophony of noise was splitting the room wide open: steadily humming heartbeats amplified by heart monitors; IV fluid dripping down long, pellucid tubing; plastic wheels rattling linoleum tile with high, tinny whines; doctors conversing in grave tones. Fluorescent lights overhead hummed violently, drowning the room in a pulsing, anemic-yellow glow that blurred the figures in the ICU. Next to me, a damp, wheezing cough rang out like a gunshot in a war zone. The hacking continued. The amplitude of...
Read more...
Personal Essay Prompt: In less than 650 words, please indicate why you would like to transfer to Brown University. “We think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, with the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Correct?” the voice of Brian Johnson...
Read more...
Prompt: In less than 650 words, please explain why you would like to transfer to Barnard College. In the convex surface of the antique mirror, I caught eyes with own reflection. As I scanned my heterochromatic eyes, and catalogued the contours of my asymmetrical jawline, a twinge of pain sung out. Don’t cry, I thought. I shifted my attention to the tabletop-jewelry-display before me. It held everything from Victorian lockets and gaudy gradation-rings to shell-and-feather brooches. Sifting through, I assessed...
Read more...
Prompt: As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you. Peering into the convex surface of the antique mirror, I caught eyes with my reflection. As I scanned my heterochromatic eyes and the contours of my asymmetrical jawline, a twinge of pain sung out. Don’t cry, I thought. I shifted my attention to...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
300 Words
Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why.
The pedagogy underlying a Columbia education, which closely resembles that of my boarding school, is the aspect of the school which I value most highly. At Cate, the curriculum is informed by the Harkness method: all classes are discourse-oriented rather than lecture-based. This seminar-style curriculum not only hones critical thinking skills, but also cultivates a culture of empathy among students and forges bonds through the universal experience of a Cate education. Curricularly speaking, all Cate students take Freshman Humanities, World...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
76 Words
List the titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer that you enjoyed most in the past year.




*A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride *Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer *The Five Books of Moses translated by Robert Alter *Fun Home by Alison Bechdel *The Rise and Fall of the Bible by Timothy Beal *The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood *The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath *Women and Wars: Contested Histories, Uncertain Futures by Carol Cohn *The Vegetarian by Han Kang
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
314 Words
Please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted. If you are currently undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have an interest at this time.




In the antique mirror, I caught eyes with my reflection. I scanned my heterochromatic eyes, and catalogued the contours of my asymmetrical jawline. A twinge of pain sung out. I thought: ​Don’t cry.​ I shifted my attention to the tabletop-jewelry-display. It held everything from Victorian lockets and gaudy gradation-rings to shell-and-feather brooches. Sifting through, I assessed each item. A pair of earrings piqued my interest. One was a sapphire hue; the other was deep emerald— mimicking my eyes. I...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
88 Words
List the titles of the books you read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year.




*The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton *The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. by Mark Manson *Know My Name by Chanel Miller *4321 by Paul Auster *Stonewall, The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising that Changed America by Martin Duberman *Radium Girls by Kate Moore *A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts by Therese Ann Fowler *History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund *The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander *Becoming by Michelle Obama
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
122 Words
List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community.




*A strong liberal arts curriculum. *Core Curriculum and curricular emphasis on interdisciplinary thinking and “well-rounded” intellectualism. *Active LGBTQ+ presence on campus and support for LGBTQ+ students. *A diverse offering of intimate and seminar-style classes. Due to my deafness, I learn best in this pedagogical setting, finding it optimal both for my hearing and processing as well as engagement. *Student body comprised of realistic racial, ethnic, economic, political, and social diversity in order to prepare students to live and interact in...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
150 Words
List the titles of the print, electronic publications and websites you read regularly.




*NPR *The Wall Street Journal *World Economic Forum *Al Jazeera *The Washington Post *The New Yorker *Vogue *WeWoreWhat *Kristen Leo's Blog (http://kristenleotsakou.blogspot.com). Kristen is a YouTuber who advocates for sustainable and ethical fashion. List the titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year. *A Debate on the Ethics of Immigration and Citizenship: Dr. Christopher Heath Wellman (WUSTL) vs. Dr. Jason Brennan (Georgetown) *Yusef Salaam of the Central...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Other
432 Words
Please tell us why you would like to transfer to Columbia University?
There are two predominant motivations underscoring my desire to transfer from Notre Dame to Columbia. First, although there do exist some resources for LGBTQ+ students at Notre Dame, I still do not feel as though my identity as a bisexual woman is accepted here. Since coming to Notre Dame, I have experienced several instances of both blatant and veiled homophobia/biphobia. In my residence hall, for instance, after I expressed my sexual identity to several of the girls who lived...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
155 Words
Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular/work experiences.
The chairs, deliberately downsized to accommodate the children they hold, are arranged in a circle. I pass around a heart-shaped stone. One by one, as each child receives the stone, he/she speaks. In their little soprano voices, the kids explain what they perceive to be the differences between conflict and violence. After everyone has spoken, we disband the circle. I ask the children to pair up, and read them a brief scenario delineating an argument on the playground between...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Other
86 Words
Additional Information




I was born with hemifacial microsomia, a congenital facial deformity which impedes cell development on one side of the cranium. Due to these antepartum maldevelopments I am also completely and functionally deaf in my left ear. This deformity has also resulted in bone, tissue and structural deficiencies on the left side of my face as well as profound, visible facial asymmetry. In total, I have undergone six reconstructive operations between the ages of 14 and 18 in order to address complications stemming...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
293 Words
Other parts of your application give us a sense for how you might contribute to Northwestern. But we also want to consider how Northwestern will contribute to your interests and goals. In 300 words or less, help us understand what aspects of Northwestern appeal most to you, and how you'll make use of specific resources and opportunities here.




In the mirror, I scanned my heterochromatic eyes and the contours of my asymmetrical jawline. Don’t cry, I thought. I shifted my attention to the tabletop-jewelry-display before me. A set of earrings piqued my interest. One was topaz, the other emerald—mimicking my eyes. Affixing the earrings, I turned to face the mirror’s judgement. Their asymmetry beautifully complemented mine. My insecurity lessened infinitesimally. Having an unconventional appearance in a society obsessed with female-attractiveness comes with challenges. But from...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Other
1478 Words
Please provide a writing sample.
Yes, People Will Still Have Dicks in the Future: Why Gillette’s “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” Ad is Not a Vilification of All Men “Are people even going to have dicks in the future? It just seems like everything is going away so fast, man,” Theo Von ruminates on an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.” The podcast’s namesake and host, Joe Rogan, then replies: “Yeah they’re trying to do that with this new Gillette...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
250 Words
What is one thing that we don’t know about you that you want for us to know?




273,400 acres were aflame. Shimmering, stinging smoke-nimbuses accumulated along the horizon. Silhouetted students with smoke-obscured expressions bustle across campus, haphazardly shoving laptops, spare contacts, single-socks into and duffle bags into Yukons. Inertia—steadfast resistance to the change which barrels forward in the form of California’s largest wildfire—propelled them. Inertia, simultaneously, fueled the Thomas Fire. Consumed houses, forests, and highways acted as forces, increasing the inferno's velocity. This force overpowered the water parachuting down from whirring helicopters, it counteracted the...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
266 Words
If you could change one thing about where you live, what would it be and why?
December 14th, 2012. In the sleepy town of Newtown Connecticut, sunlight knifed its way through shattered classroom-windows, reflecting off glass-shards and shrapnel. A bookshelf in the corner cradled bullet-riddled copies of “Goodnight Moon” and “I Love You Forever.” Below a desk, glossy yellow snow-boots, freckled with blood, poked out. These images were conjured-up by my twelve year-old mind as I sat in front of a television-set, watching news coverage of the Sandy Hook shooting, while my mother picked my six-year old...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
160 Words
What motivates you to learn?
On April 24, 2013, one thousand one hundred and thirty-four people were killed when a factory in Rana Plaza Bangladesh collapsed. J. Marion Sims, the father of gynecology, performed experiments on female slaves. Philando Castile, who served elementary school children lunch each day, was shot four times by police officers. The North Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas. Tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi people, the product of German and Belgian colonization, culminated in one of the most grotesque...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
162 Words
What is your favorite fiction or non-fiction work (film, book, TV show, album, poem, or play)? Why?
In Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, J.D. Salinger writes: “I have scars on my hands from touching certain people…Certain heads, certain colours and textures of human hair leave permanent marks on me.” Often, I find myself reflecting on these words. There is a universality to them—Salinger suggests there is a commonality to the human experience, that we are all shaped by those we encounter. Others help conceive fears, cultivate passions, dictate habits....
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
433 Words
Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration?




“I have scars on my hands from touching certain people…Certain heads, certain colours and textures of human hair leave permanent marks on me.” —Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction by J.D. Salinger Distinguishing marks and colors stretch across the ridged topography of my hands. At the intersection of two creases, lies a perfectly square white patch, marbled with gray. Once, in a bathroom of the Sloan Memorial Kettering Lymphoma Ward, I laid both palms...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
414 Words
We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. We are particularly interested in knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU and more specifically, why you have applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please tell us why you are interested in each of the campuses, schools, colleges, or programs to which you have applied. We want to understand – Why NYU?
Smooth notes of Italian and the scent of sizzling Bistecca alla Fiorentina float out of open restaurant doors. In the distance, the Florence Cathedral is silhouetted by the sun. Light reflects off of Ghiberti’s glorious, auric doors. The streets bustle— vendors sell chichinga and bofrot. Colorful umbrellas are perched above their carts, brightening the landscape. Down the street at the ‘Chance for Children’ nonprofit, some of the children are immersed in schoolwork—studying fractions, chemistry, and literature. Others play...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
455 Words
You are required to spend the next year in either the past or the future. To what year would you travel and why?




Illinois, 1928. Court is in session. Five plaintiffs, emaciated former dial-painters, are unable to raise their hands to take an oath. They are dying of radium poisoning. Grace Fryer, who spent two years searching for a lawyer to take this case, is leader of the five.  If given the choice between spending a year in the past or the present, I would choose the former, opting to spend a year in 1928 and observe, firsthand, a trial that would shape the structure...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
257 Words
“How can Claremont McKenna College both challenge and complement the person you aspire to become during your undergraduate career?”




Crystal-form, luster, and streak—while all are commonly used in mineral-classification, these factors can also be used to characterize individuals. During my undergraduate career, I aspire to enhance my writing—to construct realistic characters with complex-backgrounds and motivations and place them in settings correlative to their characterization. Both The Athenaeum and the General Education requirements at Claremont Mckenna will complement this goal by personally challenging me. The Athenaeum will provide me with the opportunity to engage with scholars, politicians, and...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
818 Words
Georgetown College: What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)
Under the effervescent gaze of the stars, Leonardo da Vinci examined and catalogued the structures of human anatomy. On May 18, 1927, when Grace Fryer filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Radium Corporation (URSC), her skeleton was already luminous and fissured by radioactivity. While opening the U.K.’s first hospital unit dedicated to treating HIV/AIDS, Princess Diana removed her gloves and shook hands with a patient—dispelling notions that the disease could be transmitted via touch. Although they hailed...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
249 Words
Indicate any special talents or skills you possess.
273,400 acres were aflame. Shimmering, stinging smoke-nimbuses accumulated along the horizon. Silhouetted students with smoke-obscured expressions bustled across campus, haphazardly shoving laptops, spare contacts, and duffle bags into Yukons. Inertia—steadfast resistance to the change which barreled forward in the form of one of California’s largest wildfires—propelled them. But inertia simultaneously fueled the Thomas Fire. The consumed houses, forests, and highways acted as forces, increasing the blaze's velocity. Water parachuted down from whirring helicopters, hissing as it met the...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
217 Words
If you could plan and lead a semester-long college seminar, what academic topic would you choose and why?
“Build the wall!” Trump supporters chanted at a 2016 rally in Anaheim, California. Since 2018, thousands of migrant children have been separated from their parents and placed in ICE’s neglectful custody. Recently, Philadelphia’s Love Park was renovated to “promote inclusivity.” Yet renovations included noninclusive, anti-homeless architecture such as curved, slotted benches. In an era increasingly characterized by polarization and apathy, I would design a seminar focusing on the experiences of migrant/nomadic peoples and aimed at cultivating empathy and understanding. ...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
225 Words
What factors influenced your decision to apply to Barnard College and why do you think the College would be a good match for you?
There are two predominant reasons I am drawn to Barnard and believe the institution is a good match for me. First, the discourse-oriented pedagogy of closely mirrors that of my boarding school. Courses at Cate are conducted in accordance with the Harkness Method, meaning that classes consist of students delving into primary-source texts and conversing about the themes of these works with peers and instructors. At Cate, I found I learn best in these seminar-style courses which challenge me to...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
350 Words
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?




The night air was still. Each time I took a breath, it was laced with humidity, giving the illusion that I could not quite get enough air to my lungs. I felt as though I was drowning from the inside out. I wondered: Is this what Mom feels like? Do the tumors feel this heavy? Subconsciously, my gaze drifted over to the horizon. If I squinted, I could just make out the illuminated Manhattan skyline—winking and glittering off in...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
352 Words
Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.




The dissonance is startling. One moment, I am in class, the words I hear are endowed with clarity. Then something changes. Perhaps the teacher shifts positions ever so slightly: his words are now projected towards my deaf ear. Or perhaps, in the hallway, students strike up a conversation or, outside, the birds begin chirping rapidly. And everything that was once clear becomes garbled. I struggle to hear the way one might struggle to identify a figure in the dark based...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
375 Words
Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.




Doctors held me up to the light. A hush fell over the delivery room, as everyone scrutinized my features, realizing that something was wrong. Nurses whisked me away, conducting dozens of tests, before finally returning to deliver a diagnosis to my trembling parents. “Hemifacial microsomia,” they said. The birth defect had impeded antepartum facial development. Cells on the left side of my cranium had malformed, resulting in structural deficiencies, severe facial asymmetry, and single-sided deafness. At a young age, facial...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
322 Words
Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.




As the train grinds to a halt in the bowels of New York’s Penn Station, the lights overhead begin pulsing rapidly. Around me, there are some who focus on the impressionist quality the flickering lights impart on the setting. Others count the frequency at which the lights flicker—contemplating wavelength and speed. Still, there are those who envision circuits in their minds. How many volts are needed to illuminate the vehicle? But I am more interested in describing the...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
203 Words
Take a risk.
The first time I prayed, I was fifteen, standing on the roof of Sloan Memorial Kettering, the metallic Manhattan landscape coruscating below. Skyscrapers, like hands, pushed their way out of the diseased, polluted earth and up into the embrace of the divine golden light. Zephyrs caressed my skin. The city’s tranquility juxtaposed the tempestuous fear accumulating inside me. Thirty floors below, laid my mother, hooked up to a plethora of IVs, slowly dying of Hodgkins Lymphoma. Science, medicine and...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
203 Words
What is one thing you will definitely bring to college with you?
On my dorm room wall, hangs a photo of my parents. In it, they are seventeen years old, sitting on a set of folding chairs, wearing matching red-and-white uniforms with dolphins embroidered on the front. It was taken the summer that they opened a pool cleaning and lifeguarding company together—Universal Pools. My father spent his junior year drafting up plans for that company in the bedroom he shared with his two brothers. My mother spent hours waitressing, babysitting, and...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
200 Words
What excites you about the University of Notre Dame that makes it stand out from other institutions?
One aspect in particular that makes Notre Dame stand out as an institution is its dedication to educating students in cultural fluency. Courses such as “Novels of New York,” “Literary Geographies of Gender” and “Narrative and Sexuality” clearly display Notre Dame’s emphasis on integrating the study of geographic cultures and cultures shaped by gender and sexuality, into other subjects such as English and Literature. As a writer, taking such courses will afford me the opportunity to broaden my understanding...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
637 Words
Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University


Smooth, auric notes of jazz music flutter out of open restaurant doors. The scents of sizzling crawfish, frying beignets, and luxurious king cakes mingle together in the humid night air. It seems as though every window in every facade is illuminated— from the quaint creole cottages to the grandiose French-revival mansions with flowering plants adorning their double galleries. Trolley cars whoosh past. A woman in a flowing red dress dances on the sidewalk next to a trio of street performers...
Read more...

School Specific Advice

More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
3.81
(equivalent to 3.81 unweighted)
Rank
N/A
 
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Low one semester/year
Explanation of Low Grades

Test Scores

Highest ACT
34
 
ACT Score Details
 
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Sports

SportsLacrosse, Cross Country

Extracurriculars

ActivitiesCommunity Cleanup / Service, Student Activities Committee, Art, Gay/Straight Alliance, Political Campaign, School Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

Similar Profiles

sophianecco
Columbia ‘23


Accepted to Columbia, UC Berkeley

artist, activist, fashion nerd, kook, and pun queen. never thought I'd get in!
columbiagurl17
Columbia ‘17


Accepted to Columbia, Brandeis, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCSD, UCSB, Vassar

First year student and Columbia University from New York City. Also admitted to UCLA, UC Berkeley and Vassar college
Lia_Columbia
Columbia ‘20


Accepted to Columbia

I'm a student at Columbia. I love writing, activism, terrible jokes, and binge-watching Netflix. Aspiring PhD students/teacher.
janetzhang321
Columbia ‘21


Accepted to Columbia, Fordham, Northeastern, Binghamton

Columbia Student studying Computer Science and Political Science
reee18
Columbia ‘19


Accepted to Columbia, UT Austin

engineer with a passion for the environment and politics