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  • Nora Sun

Tags: Columbia, low income


Institution: Columbia University

Study: Major in neuroscience


High School Experience

In high school I was in the IB program, which was like a smaller school within my school (which was a huge public school). I really liked that everyone was close together because of how small our program was, and I liked that we had the best teachers of the school (which we were in Arizona, so our teachers aren’t the best). I didn’t really like the school in general because it really didn’t feel like there was a lot of support for the students, and it felt like we had to figure out a lot of things like the ACT, SAT, college applications, internships, volunteering, etc all by ourselves. And the staff seemed like they still had a catty high school mentality, so it was kind of weird that way.


Course choices

I really liked math, so I took 6? 7? math classes throughout my high school experience, and I also loved learning languages, so i took a french course online over the summer and advanced that way.


AP/IBs

I took APUSH, and got a 5, AP Stats, and got a 4, and AP Calc BC and got a 5. I took Biology SL and got a 6, French SL and got a 7, then Art, English, and Math HL, and Econ SL which I am waiting on scores for.


GPA

5.0 weighted


Standardized Testing

SAT: 1540

ACT: 36

SAT French: 720

SAT Math II: 780

SAT Biology: 680


Extracurriculars

I was in several clubs, mainly honor societies, volunteer organizations, and community building organizations. I was president of Interact and vice president of NHS. I tutored around 12 hours a week outside of school as well.


Recommendations

I have a very close friendship with most of the teachers who wrote my recommendation.


Essays

I generally wrote about myself and what I have learned, and my practices of no judgement and how everything happened for a reason. I really just tried to answer the prompts in a unique way to the best of my ability. My main essay was about the pitfalls of navigating betrayal!


Strengths

I think my maturity that showed through my essays, coupled with my scores, and my interest in the schools. Part of me kind of feels like the whole process is up to chance, though.


Advice

Do your best! You will end up where you’re supposed to. Obviously scores are important, but I would seriously recommend trying to grow as a person as well. Develop interests outside of school, even if it’s just a hobby. Try to find ways to help your community with it! And if you struggle, explain how you grew from that. You don’t have to be perfect, colleges know that, they want to know how you will help their community thrive.


Circumstances

I am Latinax, and my family is pretty low income right now.


Why?

I chose this university because of the cost for me, the reputation, but above all, because of its location. It really doesn’t get better than New York!


#Stanford #low_income

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