• Nora Sun

Tags: Columbia

Institution: Columbia University

Study: Major in computer science

High School Experience

I graduated in 2019, and I went to a really really tiny public high school in Northern Nevada. I had a fantastic time at school. Being in a small school (my grade was only 20 kids) was really irritating a lot of the time, but I made it work well and benefited from the small class sizes.

Course choices

I had a limited class selection because I went to such a small school so I just took every AP that I was allowed to take and that mostly determined my schedule. It was a good mix of stem and humanities classes.


AP Computer Science A: 5

AP Comp Science Principles: 4

AP Statistics: 4

AP Environmental Science: 4

AP Language: 5

AP US History: 4

AP Calculus AB: 2

AP Literature: 3

AP US Government: 3

AP Biology: 5


4. unweighted, 4.6 weighted

Standardized Testing

ACT: 34

SAT Math 2: 660

SAT Environmental Biology: 680

SAT US History: 780


I was involved in a lot of the clubs at school but it was mostly sports and volunteering groups and by senior year I had various leadership positions in some of them.


I was really really close with my english/computer science teacher who wrote my letter of recommendation, and I still talk to her all the time even since graduating.


I wrote a lot of essays for applications, so I changed themes, but leadership and hard work were the two biggest things I tried to highlight through personal experiences.


I was well rounded, and I think I showed that I cared about things in my community and other people’s issues.


I think the college application process is such a crapshoot and it’s hard to have solid rules to follow but I think it’s important to show that you’re a unique applicant that can tick whatever boxes necessary and have a memorable and interesting narrative.


I’m gay, and I mentioned that on my app so maybe that added a few “diversity points” but I have no clue.


I really liked the idea of a city university, and I think a small private university is more effective at supporting students than large public ones. I got offers from UCLA and UC Berkeley as well and was in between these three schools.


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