• Nora Sun

Tags: Duke, low income

Institution: Duke University

Study: major in neuroscience, minor in psychology

High School Experience

My high school experience was overall pretty great! I made a lot of friends while I was in band, and chugged my way through all of the school work lol. My toughest year would have to be junior year because the classes I was taking were very stressful for me, but thankfully I was surrounded by the right people who helped me along the way. I liked how high school has really challenged me, but I wish there were more opportunities to expand on what I was truly interested in.

Course choices

I had always liked science in middle school, but freshman biology easily became one of my favorite classes. We didn’t really have that much of a choice to pick what classes to take (only the level or rigor) until senior year, so I definitely took the opportunity to take AP biology and AP Psychology, and these courses sparked my interest to major in neuroscience.


AP Human Geography: 4

AP World History: 3

AP US History: 4

AP Spanish: 3

AP Calc BC: 4

AP Physics 2: 3

AP Lang: 3

AP Lit: test not taken

AP Psychology: unknown

AP Government: test not taken

AP Biology: unknown

AP Statistics: unknown


4.0 unweighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1450


  • Concert band: four years (first chair for three years)

  • Marching band: four years ( librarian junior year, woodwind captain and section leader senior year)

  • Jazz band: four years (lead sax junior and senior year)

  • Best buddies club: four years

  • Spanish honor society, HOSA: three years

  • Beta club, National Honor Society: two years

  • Junior Cabinet: one year

  • Senior Cabinet: one year

  • Church volunteer: four years

  • Tutoring (job): one year


I had a pretty good relationship with them, and I’m so grateful for them! We were cordial and would have good conversations outside of class. However, because our school is so big, it’s almost impossible to develop a close relationship with our counselors because it would take weeks to get a 10 minute appointment with them.


My essays were more on a personal level that included my experiences that not a lot of people have been through. I and what I’ve learned from them, I also included what I’ve learned from them.


I believe my essays made me a strong applicant. I also applied through QuestBridge as a college prep scholar, and this program highlights students in low-income households beginning junior year.


My advice would be to take every opportunity to better your future, and that includes doing your part in researching because there’s so many programs to get involved with to jumpstart your college career.


Low income


Duke University was my first choice because of all of the opportunities I could potentially participate in, such as DukeEngage and doing my own research with a professor. Duke also provided Neuroscience as a major, while some other schools only have it as a concentration to a Biology major. I am also from GA, so I wanted to be out of state, but not too far from home, and Durham has pretty good weather

#Duke #low_income

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