• Nora Sun

Tags: Cornell, low income

Institution: Cornell University

Study: Major in engineering

High School Experience

My high school experience certainly prepared me for college, but it took a toll on my mental health and confidence. It was very competitive, which made me feel like nothing I did was important. However, it did get me ready for the type of people I’ll be meeting in college.

Course choices

I’ve wanted to study chemistry since middle school, and that goal didn’t change much throughout high school, even though none of my extracurriculars were STEM related.


I took AP environmental science, us history, European history, English literature, English language, microeconomics, physics 1, calculus ab, statistics, biology, chemistry, and studio art. I got a 2 on physics, a 4 on micro, environmental science, and us history, and a 5 on English language and European history 5.


3.86 unweighted, 4.36 weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1470.

SAT US History: 720


I was on the water polo team for three years. I also filed taxes for people after school for two years, participated in Model UN for two years, and was on the band at church teaching workshops for two years.


I had great relationships with all the teachers who wrote recs for me. My counselor hates me though. She was new and didn’t want to know any of us seniors.


My essays all centered around my inability to be categorized. My personal statement was about learning how to be okay with both my white and Mexican heritage, and my school-centered essay was about how I’m an English nerd who wants to be an engineer.


I think my unique extracurriculars and my essays were what made me a strong applicant. Not too many teenagers file taxes, and I was proud of both of my essays.


A college admissions person once told me “don’t worry about impressing me. You’re already impressive. Just tell me why you belong here” and that’s the best advice regarding this whole process I’ve ever heard.


Low income Mexican female.


I chose Cornell because it had everything I wanted: a good engineering program, freedom to study regardless of major, a low student-faculty ratio, and nature.

#Cornell #Low_income

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