• Nora Sun

Tags: MIT

Institution: MIT

Study: Major in biological engineering

High School Experience

My high school experience was generally okay. I went to a public high school, and I tended to be the only minority in my upper-level courses. My school did not really do much at all for helping me to apply and get into colleges, but they did provide me with a lot of flexibility, especially in the courses I took. My school had a "gifted" program and I was close with the teacher, so I told her what I wanted and I worked with her, my guidance counselor, my principal, and my parents to achieve it. I took 16 AP courses over my high school career and I scored either a 4 or 5 on all of them. I have very wide academic interests that are really just driven by a desire to learn, so I took the hardest courses I could in every subject.



4.9 weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1530

SAT Biology: 700

SAT Math 2: 750


I was involved in A LOT of extracurriculars in high school. I was on a student board that helped to run a local arboretum for 3 years. I did things like put on community events, run summer camps, and manage a fair-trade eco-friendly gift shop. I was also on the Board of Directors of a local women's shelter for 2 years, where I ran their social media. I was the founder and president of a community service at my school that did student-led service projects directed specifically at our community for 4 years. I was the secretary of my school's chapter of National Honor Society, Vice-President of Leadership for my school's chapter of DECA, first-chair violin for my school's orchestra, manager of my school's track and field team and swim team, and I played recreational soccer for most of high school and school soccer for two years of high school. Finally, I was an SAT tutor, but I was also a general tutor for students at my school.


I have always been a very hard worker and I have always had very good relationships with almost every teacher that I have had, so the teachers who wrote my recommendations were not necessarily the teachers I would go to if I had a personal problem, but I enjoyed the classes I took with them and they were some of the best teachers I have had in terms of what I gained from their classes.


I wrote all my essays about my experiences. My Common App essay was about my struggles within my culture. The rest of my essays were primarily stories from my extracurriculars that fit the prompt.


I think I was a strong applicant because I was very well-rounded, so rather than my test scores making me just look smart, they made me look driven as well. My well-roundedness was also shown with my somewhat unusual extracurriculars that were very time-intensive, which showed my ability to manage my time. My advice to others who want to get where I am is don't try and just tell colleges you are smart. A lot of other people are smart too, but you have to tell them why you could succeed in the college environment and what you specifically would add to the campus if they were to admit you.






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