• Nora Sun

Tags: UC Berkeley, first generation, low income

Institution: University of California Berkeley

Study: Major in computer science

High School Experience

I liked the amount of effort that the teachers put into their lessons/classes to teach the material, as well as their more relaxed demeanor since the students are older. I also enjoyed that the classes I could take would give me college credit and help me take classes for my major faster. My counselor was very helpful throughout my high school experience, and my high school gave me many great opportunities. As of right now, I cannot think of anything I disliked about my high school experience.

Course choices

I was very interested in STEM, mainly on engineering. I took 5 courses integrated in the engineering pathway offered by my school. My interest in engineering guided my class choices by swaying me to choose courses that will benefit me most relative to that field, such as AP calculus or AP physics.


I took AP Calculus AB (4) and BC (5), Physics 1 (3) and 2, English Language (3) and Literature, Microeconomics, Government, and Spanish Language. The courses with no scores next to them are because I have not received my score yet.


4.0 unweighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1330


I was interested in engineering related extracurriculars, so I got involved in SkillsUSA for 3 years, which helped me to further my knowledge and allowed me to have hands-on practice with different aspects of engineering. During my participation I did not hold any leadership positions.


My relationship with my teachers who made letters of recommendation for me were very good. I had known them both for 2 years and performed very well in their subject areas. They knew me well and were happy to help me out. My relationship with my counselor was also very good, I had known her since I began high school and she helped me out a lot with my classes. She was also happy to help me since she had seen my growth and performance throughout high school.


I did not have a solid theme/narrative, however the main focus of each essay was to describe myself as accurately and as in depth as possible in relation to the question I was answering, in order to show the schools I was applying to my abilities and personality, since that would be the next best thing to them meeting me in person.


I think that the large amount of AP classes and college engineering courses I took and passed as well as my commitment to my education, since I took advantage and took courses over the summer as well, along with my high performance in these classes made me a strong applicant. Also, I believe my participation in the engineering extra curricular activity, as well as some volunteer work, made me a strong applicant.


I would advise them to find something they are passionate about and do as much as they can to learn about it/excel in it/progress in it, such as participating in extracurriculars related to it or taking advanced courses in it.


I am a first generation college student and based on my parents income I receive financial aid in various things.


I chose UC Berkeley because of its geographical location, being close to many big tech companies/Silicon Valley. Also UC Berkeley is a very prestigious school that would allow me to reach my true potential.

#UC_Berkeley #low_income #first_generation

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