College Admissions Info

JoShmo
JoShmo
Harvard University ‘18
BA, Political Science and Government, Statistics

Profile Overview

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

Student Background

Gap year student enrolling at Harvard this fall
From: Stockton , California
Gender: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Asian
Legacy: No
Admission: Regular Decision
Applied To: 15+ schools
Accepted At: Barnard, Brown, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Harvard, NYU, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Yale, Williams, Vassar, UCSD, UC Irvine, UCLA
Denied At:
Waitlisted At:
Withdrew From:
Is English First Language: Yes
Other Language(s) Spoken: Cantonese, Spanish, French

Test Scores

2260
SAT
Highest SAT: 2260
SAT IIs:

High School Performance

4.40
GPA
Top 1%
Rank
High School Type: Public
AP / IB Classes and Scores:
Academic Performance in High School: Steady

Extracurriculars & Awards

Extracurricular Activities: Academic Decathlon, Key Club, National Honor Society, Student Council / Government, Charity Drive Organizing
How Spent Summers:
Work:
Application Additional Materials:

College Application Essays

Personal Statement: Death of a loved one
74 Words
As I trudge toward the school parking lot, I pull my phone from my pocket. Nine missed calls. A familiar dark thought looms in the back of my mind. I drop my bulky bag on the curb and slump next to it, hugging my knees. I dial my dad’s phone number. For once, he picks up immediately. “Baba, what—” He clears his throat. “Mommy has passed away.”

Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
27 Words
Brown University asked me to describe something I have created. I wrote this essay about the screenwriting class I took and the scripts I created in it.

College Admissions Advice

How I chose schools to apply to
75 Words
I was unsure of what I wanted from a college going into my senior year: geographic area, public versus private, size, religious or unaffiliated... I decided to apply to 20 schools because I was so indecisive. Deadlines were overwhelming, so I do not recommend this method to people who are chronic procrastinators. However, I am still glad I went with this...



How to increase chances at my school
39 Words
Only choose activities that you are truly passionate about. Show this passion in your essays and interview. College admissions representatives can detect phonies right away, so do not bother doing an activity just because it seems "good for Harvard."

Recommended summer activities during high school and college
65 Words
Shelling out the big bucks for a summer session at a university is not absolutely necessary. Instead, you can focus on doing the opposite: finding a part-time job. You should also continue doing what you are truly passionate about. I really liked spending my summers catching up on reading, since I did not get much time to read what I...

Why I declined other schools
74 Words
After attending the admitted students programs for Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, I was able to narrow my choices down to just Harvard and Princeton. Different people will have different experiences, but I just did not get a good vibe from Yale when I visited. I felt that the students were condescending and said inappropriate things about other schools that pre-frosh...



Why I ultimately chose my school
73 Words
I ultimately chose Harvard over Princeton because I felt I needed to be in a college town yet still be close to a big city. I also felt Harvard would be better for my very diverse interests. For example, I would be able to write for its humor magazine (the Lampoon) and cross-register for classes at Massachusetts Institute of Technology....



What I’d change about my application process
82 Words
I definitely overlooked how important the interview is when it comes to small liberal arts schools. After the admissions cycle, I noticed that all of the schools I was denied from were the ones I did not set up an interview for. (Granted, Stanford does not offer interviews for any applicants, and Columbia never reached out to me.) I advise...



Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
3 Words
APPLY FOR EVERYTHING!!

What set me apart from other applicants
52 Words
I advise students from low-income backgrounds to apply to more elite schools. The process can be intimidating, but these schools are seeking students like us. Financial aid packages can be generous, so applicants should not worry about tuition and other costs until they are weighing the schools they have been accepted to.

What might make for a good “Why Us” essay topic at my school
43 Words
These types of essays should be written so that they would not work for any other school if you simply replaced the school name. You may discuss specific activities, professors, and classes at the school that interest and excite you. Show your enthusiasm.

My advice about getting recommenders
121 Words
I had known my guidance counselor since kindergarten, and he knew about my family situation, so he wrote me a stellar recommendation. I chose two teachers of core subjects for my other recommendations: my Statistics teacher and my English teacher (both from my junior year). It is important to choose instructors from different subjects if you want to demonstrate your...