Applicant S’s Background
Geographic Location: Sydney, Australia
School Ranking: Top 5%
Significant Award: N/A
Admissions: Stanford University – Class of 2026
We first met Applicant S in his Year 9, and he impressed us with his great passion for music. He talked about how he not only specialized in two instruments but also spent a considerable amount of time trying out other instruments just for fun. Meanwhile, he was excited about prospective opportunities to benefit communities around him with music. Therefore, in a preliminary report, we suggested he develop his music fully to approach the most selective colleges in the US.
However, at that time, he and his family did not fully commit to the college plan. When we officially started our advisory service, S had already started his Year 12. In the ice-breaking session, S shared with us his interests in science, especially life science. We learned about his solid academic record with few flaws and his rather wide range of activities at his school. However, S did not talk much about music. When asked, he said he believed that not being elected to the leadership position of Music Captain weakened his chances of providing a convincing application relevant to music. Also, he suggested that music was too common among applicants sharing his demographic background.
That was not the case. Even though leadership is indeed important, it is not the only way to prove applicants’ passion. On the other hand, you cannot assume that you could convince admission officers of your passion for something with only one relevant leadership experience either. Furthermore, colleges do not make decisions based on any criterion as broad as demographic background. The important thing is to articulate your own case.
Since his music enthusiasm was still there, we came up with a plan to develop it further in his application. The first part of the plan was a research project where S connected music with his other academic interests. Our independent research specialist in Elite Quest provided S with great support starting from brainstorming. This made music an integrated part of his entire application.
The second part was to seamlessly incorporate music into his application. We encouraged and helped S to find ways to talk about music intelligently in both the common application personal essays and Stanford supplement essays. We managed to support S in submitting his application to Stanford before the priority deadline with an art supplement so that his talents could be fully showcased, despite the time conflict with his secondary school leaving exams. Music also became a topic that energised conversations and demonstrated his passion and determination in all his interviews.
Believe in your passion, and don’t quit because people try to persuade you to do so. There are too many rumours about the admissions of top colleges in the US. Please focus on yourself. With an admission offer to one of the most selective colleges in the world, S used his case to prove the philosophy of Elite Admission correct. We will keep dedicating ourselves to helping each future client identify, protect, and present their genuine passions.
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