Rhode Island School of Design

A story that an Australian high school student got accepted to his dream school, Rhode Island School of Design to pursue his aspiration for the arts.


Applicant W’s Background

Geographic Location: Australia, Melbourne

Citizenship/Residence: Chinese

Starting to Use Our Admission Service: Since Year 10

SAT: 1430 out of 1600

School Ranking: Top 25%

Significant Award: None

Intended Major: Industrial Design

Admissions: Rhode Island School of Design


Case Detail

Applicant W had dreamed of studying industrial design since he was in eighth grade. During his ninth grade summer vacation, his family brought him to visit Rhode Island School of Design, where he was attracted to the school’s design and artist resources. When he met with us, he told us about his impression of the school. “The campus was filled with various types of art, and the atmosphere and facilities were in line with what I expected an art and design school to look and feel like”. Therefore, he had made a decision in the ninth grade to leave Melbourne, and prepare for application to RISD.


However, the reality was that the preparation was full of painstaking work, especially when he worked for the SAT exams. The SAT required very strong discipline and greatly challenged Applicant W, who preferred artistic work to logic. Although his academic performance was fine, it was undoubtedly not his strong suit to do a test of logical thinking with non-stop concentration and objective rigidness. However, our SAT head tutor Natalie helped him to solve every problem thoroughly, by analyzing the rationales of the problems and teaching him various ways to solve them. Such patient guidance indeed helped him to cultivate a more logical way of thinking and problem solving that were required for the SAT. His final score of 1430 points also proved his improved ability.


In terms of extracurricular activities, Applicant W did not have much passion for non-artistic fields. Therefore, we had to help him discover and create activities focused on art. We made several plans, including an activity to make toys for a Toy Library; and we helped him implement them very well.


It is very challenging for Australian senior to apply to a prestigious art school. Not only did Applicant W try to complete his VCE with a satisfactory score, but he also had to gather and write his application materials and prepare the portfolio. His procrastination was exposed throughout the process. The immense pressure on Applicant W made it difficult for his family members to communicate with him. At this time, we stepped forward to patiently comb through his timetable and task list. With our help, he didn’t miss a beat. Especially in his application materials, all details were accounted for, such as his communication with teachers for a recommendation letter; with a comprehensive plan. And in his essays, with guidance from Julia and Rochelle, he had several effective brainstorming sessions. These proved useful for identifying personal experiences which he could use as inspiration to write down his stories. After persistent and patient communication, we helped him to organize the stories and his thoughts, and transferred them into his essays. Lessening the stress associated with application materials enabled him to more fully concentrate on his art portfolio.



For applicants to art schools, especially top schools such as Rhode Island School of Design, balancing and scheduling SAT prep, application materials and portfolio are of utmost importance. In Applicant W’s case, we sensed he needed a better way to organize his time and tasks in order to get more done each day. Therefore, we provided him very personal advice on time management. Over time, we gained an in-depth understanding of him, which enabled us to effectively present him to his dream school, and resulted in his acceptance.


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