College Admissions Info

Harvard University, ‘17
BA, Music Theory and Composition, History

Profile Overview

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

Student Background

From: Shanghai , China
Gender: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Asian
Legacy: No
Admission: Early Action
Applied To: 3 schools
Accepted At: Harvard, Columbia, Yale
Denied At:
Waitlisted At:
Withdrew From:
Is English First Language: Yes
Other Language(s) Spoken: Mandarin

Test Scores

Converted SAT Score: 1520
Highest SAT: 2210
SAT Prep:
Other Standardized Tests:

High School Performance

(no specification of weighting)
Top 1%
High School Type: International
AP / IB Classes and Scores:
College Classes In High School:
Academic Performance in High School: Steady
Explanation of Any Low Grades:

Extracurriculars & Awards

Extracurricular Activities: School Theater/Plays, National Honor Society, School Jazz / Orchestra
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work:
How Spent Summers:
Volunteer Experiences:
Awards Received:
Application Additional Materials:

College Application Essays

Personal Statement: Controversial topic
517 Words
Late at night, my phone rang. “Hi?” “Sam, Matt here… why’s it so dark?” “Matt, it’s nighttime…” “Sam… medication… I fell asleep early… I’m confused…” “Calm down. Everything’s fine,” I managed groggily. Matt then was rehabilitating at home for a semester, dosed with antidepressants and forced into therapy. Months before, mere weeks into our junior year, he had confided to me his innermost fears. “Sam, I'm not getting anything done… I'm either dazed… or thinking about...

Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
723 Words
The Beyondness of Music Two of my heroes taught me my most valuable music lesson. One a science writer, the other a composer and conductor; the former someone I only know from his writings, the latter someone I am honored to work closely with. Both are stellar communicators. Both create. Carl Sagan and Tan Dun: from them I learn that being a musician entails multitudes beyond simply making music. Flipping through Sagan’s works over summer changed something in me....

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
718 Words
Why choose Columbia; 1018 characters: The education that I receive at Columbia will teach my mind how to control what I think. The clash of cultures and perspectives that Columbia offers will force me to take my own stance. It is an intellectual coliseum, where my mind can be forced to defend whatever comes hurtling my way. And more importantly than being able to develop a standpoint, controversial or not, I will learn to critically make sense of information thrown at...

Supplemental Essay: Using a metaphor
533 Words
Recording Session Cheng Hao (Sam) Wu I was on my way to school when our choral director texted me, “Sam, I am too sick to come.” Later that day was the recording session for my newest composition, Narnian Soliloquy. Written for our choir and my string orchestra, it will be premiered on a choral festival concert in January. I man the piano part. My heart sank thinking about how hectic things would be. Everyone has such busy lives; the choir...

Additional Essay Details:
102 Words
Many many drafts. Many many long hours of deliberating. A lot of thanks to give to my dad, my counselor, and my friends for giving helpful advice and suggestions on my drafts. My CA topic was hard to choose, and to this day "Matt" (pseudonym of course) does not know I wrote about him. But the college essays were I think the most helpful part of apps; they forced me to reflect, ponder, revise, and even rethink my identity, as...

College Admissions Advice

List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience
68 Words
Interviews are always two-way street. It is always better to be curious, knowledgeable, and "valuable" as an asset to the...

Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
68 Words
I had the luxury of a lot of one-on-one attention with my counselor. He shared my passion for literature and...

What might make for a good “Why Us” essay topic at my school
113 Words
Connect some part of the school's philosophy with your own beliefs. Highlight strengths of the school and connect them with your interests or passions (if this seems like a stretch; you probably shouldn't be...