College Admissions Info

Duke University, ‘19
BA, Public Policy Analysis

Profile Overview

Profile contains
  • Test Scores
  • High School Performance
  • Extracurriculars & Awards
  • Personal statement
  • 9 supplemental essays
  • 12 advice topics

Student Background

Passionate about the psychology, philosophy and policy of education in America.
From: Jericho , New York
Gender: Female
First Gen College Student: No
Race/Ethnicity: Asian
Applied To: 15+ schools
Accepted At: Cornell, Brown, UC Berkeley, NYU, Stony Brook
Denied At:
Waitlisted At:
Withdrew From:
Is English First Language: Yes
Other Language(s) Spoken: Spanish, Gan Chinese

Test Scores

Converted SAT Score: 1560
Other SAT Scores:
SAT Prep:
PSAT Scores:
Other Standardized Tests:

High School Performance

(no specification of weighting)
Top 5%
High School Type: Public
AP / IB Classes and Scores:
Academic Performance in High School: Steady

Extracurriculars & Awards

Sports: Cross Country, Track & Field
Extracurricular Activities: Debate Club/Team, Tutoring/Mentoring, National Honor Society, Philosophy Club
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work:
How Spent Summers:
Volunteer Experiences:
Awards Received:

College Application Essays

As we grew up, we started to pigeonhole ourselves as either STEM kids or humanities kids. Few dared identify as “neither,” because “neither” meant “both” and “both” meant “arrogant.” We based our decisions on little, almost arbitrary events. As an “overwhelmingly mature” and “supremely reflective” freshman, I decided I was a humanities kid because I received a B+ on a 7th grade science test and because I couldn’t count beats while playing piano. I was, or thought I was,...

Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
203 Words
Brown’s open curriculum cultivates the interdisciplinary, open mind that I covet. My realization that I wanted to study psychology and philosophy together, not separately, came from my own choices- when self-studying AP psychology or reading about philosophy for debate or ethics bowl at the same time. Further, Brown’s open curriculum actually makes the 5th-year Master’s and combined A.B./Sc.B programs feasible, unlike other schools who offer such programs, but require impossible mountains of requirements. Taking...

Supplemental Essay: Strong beliefs/principles
521 Words
“Just to confirm, I’m a freshman: Grace Mok.” My judge nodded. Heart pounding, I began debating for the first time. “I affirm the resolution: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.” Mindlessly, I rattled off statistics about animal deaths. Though the only research I had done was picking apart my coach’s powerpoints, I felt prepared because I memorized everything the upperclassmen told me. Then, debating was no different from regurgitating possibilities of geometric proofs or the chronological order...

Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
321 Words
NYU is global, urban, inspired, smart, connected, and bold. What can NYU offer you, and what can you offer NYU? (200-400 words) Within NYU, I have the freedom to depart from the traditional four-year major and pursue alternative educational routes. The joint philosophy major in language and mind uniquely recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of learning, by purposefully overlapping fields of study usually fenced off from one another. Interdisciplinary learning has always been my passion. I love seeing connections between calculus...

Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
101 Words
Background essay: In Jericho, from Kindergarten to senior year, we concentrate on the next topic, the next year, the next hoop to leap through. Focusing on success, we forget to smell the flowers and peer over the fence. We forget to appreciate our own academic excellence and forget to recognize the poverty and racial segregation of neighboring school districts. However, my growing awareness of the inequality on Long Island has convinced me that education is not only empowerment, but also...

Supplemental Essay:
150 Words
​As a freshman debater, I rattled off arguments and rebuttals. Back then, debating was a game, no different from reciting geometric formulas or Chinese dynasties. I knew about the topics, but outside of rounds, I didn’t think or care about them. I was a detached debater, but not for long. The debate community changed me. Competitions compelled me to become a skeptic, challenge suspicious evidence and expose faulty logic. My coach challenged me to forage for research independently, rather...

Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
148 Words
Duke has a department of philosophy like no other college. Few colleges participate in ethics bowl, but Duke would allow me to continue my passion for competitive philosophical discussion. Few colleges offer non-Western philosophy due to ethnocentrism, but Duke would allow me to take courses like Chinese philosophy, to broaden my understanding of my own culture and others. With courses like “Science, Ethics & Democracy," Duke applies philosophy to our increasingly science-driven world, recognizing we must critically examine scientific achievements before...

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
644 Words
CORNELL 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 like to know why-- on two levels: psychologically and philosophically. Because neither level is complete without the other, I want to study psychology and philosophy-- not each in isolation, but together. Without the precision of psychology, philosophy is...

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
202 Words
BROWN Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated in our Member Section, earlier in this application? If you are “undecided” or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. (150 word limit) I like to know why-- on two levels: psychologically and philosophically. Because neither level is complete without the other, I want to study psychology and philosophy-- not in isolation,...

Supplemental Essay: Other
88 Words
In my essays, I tried to present a cohesive image of myself, always making sure that my essays connected to each other, whether it be through psychology, philosophy or education. I wanted the reader to feel like all the essays were talking about the same person and that they fit together like pieces of a puzzle of me. In my "why college x" essays I gave specific reasons for why I was interested in those colleges and tried to subtly...

College Admissions Advice

What set me apart from other applicants
89 Words
I think my application was very cohesive, in that everything I wrote about seemed to connect back to one person and one theme: interdisciplinary learning. I explicitly...

Most popular extracurricular activities at my college
43 Words
What extracurriculars are most popular are not necessarily the best indication of what...

My favorite course thus far, and why
50 Words
My favorite course so far has been the required writing seminar (Writing 101) for all first-years...

5 adjectives that describe a typical student at my school (Feel free to elaborate!)
7 Words
Engaged, hard...

List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience
15 Words
I interviewed successfully with Cornell...

Recommended summer activities during high school and college
62 Words
No matter what you are interested in, you should take all possible opportunities to pursue it as much as...

What I now know about my school that I never would have known prior to enrolling
62 Words
Duke is often stereotyped as a very white, fratty, and sporty school. While Duke does have a large participation...

What I like about my school’s location and culture
46 Words
Duke is in a very nice location. Right off of East Campus (the first-year...

My extracurricular activities in college, and why I chose them
136 Words
I am a reporter for the Duke Chronicle because I always wanted to write for the high school paper, but never had enough time to. I love meeting people from all over campus and also being a source of information...

My advice about getting recommenders
57 Words
You should pick recommenders who know you best and can paint a picture of you for the...

What might make for a good “Why Us” essay topic at my school
50 Words
Duke is very proud of its emphasis on interdisciplinary learning. Some programs are: Bass Connections ...

Why I ultimately chose my school (Duke, Cornell, Brown, UC Berkeley, NYU, Stony Brook)
97 Words
I ultimately chose Duke over Cornell, Brown, UC Berkeley and Stony Brook for a number of reasons. First, I considered the quality of the community and academic environment. Since...