University of Chicago

Applicant K’s Background

Geographic Location: Melbourne, Australia

Citizenship/Residence: Australian

Starting to Use Our Admission Service: Since Year 9

SAT: 2250 out of 2400

School Ranking: Top 5%

Significant Award: None

Intended Major: Interdisciplinary

Admissions: The University of Chicago


Case Detail

We met Applicant K for the first time when she was in Year 9. Back then, her wish to attend one of the US universities was based on her common sense that they provide superior education. So our communication at the beginning was focused on helping her get to know more traits and offering of these universities, as well as the application process. This work seemed irrelevant to admission preparation, but it enabled her to have clearer goals and inspired her in the long run.


Since she had moved to Australia relatively late, she was a shy introvert in Year 9, who didn’t take the initiative to take part in extracurricular activities. However, with our encouragement, she gradually began to develop activities surrounding her interests in law. Her first activity was organizing a mock trial club in her school. Mock trial was not that common in Australia at the time. Consequently, in the beginning, she faced many difficulties in establishing this club, one such issue being that few people at school showed interest or support. However, with the assistance of our team, her family members and teachers, she was able to properly spread the word and get the club started. Law was not a particularly prominent part of her later college application, but her ability to organize an innovative activity within her campus in Year 10 proved Applicant K’s abilities.


Feeling encouraged and motivation, Applicant K began to positively take on other activities, but all these made her lose direction – which item should she focus on? With our guidance, she was accepted into Yale Young Global Scholars summer program, which greatly impacted and helped her. “At Yale, I absorbed knowledge that could not be provided in an ordinary high school classroom”. This experience caused her to change her intended major. She found that, while law can solve many problems, she was more interested in preventing all kinds of social issues and crimes from the source. This realization led her to decide to apply to major in philosophy, history and economics. Application is, in fact a process of constant exploration and development of ourselves. On this road, even if you are walking in the ‘wrong’ direction, every step is worth trying.


Experience at Yale came at the right time to resonate with the philosophy of Balanced Curriculum of IB (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme). When most applicants felt puzzled and challenged, Applicant K began to find her real passion for working on various tasks of IB. Meanwhile, she started pursuing a systematic preparation for SAT. She did not achieve a high mark due to underestimating the difficulty of the test and all kinds of other reasons, but she achieved a mark she was happy with, under the careful guidance of our SAT head tutor Natalie.


Year 12 is destined to be a busy time for all Year 12 applicants in Australia. We first helped K elevate her extracurricular activities and materialize one key activity plan. Our in-depth understanding of K allowed us to make her IB study experience into her academic interest essay. As for school selection, we persuaded her to give up on her previous dream school, Yale University, and to apply to the University of Chicago, a university that better matched her overall application profile.


Choosing the University of Chicago meant facing its very intriguing but challenging creative supplement essay. Together with our creative writing specialist Rochelle, Applicant K combined one of her unforgettable experiences with a segment from a classical novel. This essay was later proved as a favorite of the University of Chicago admission committee.


From Applicant K: Applying to a famous US university is a task that cannot be accomplished in one day. You need to be supported by your family members, friends and teachers, and you also need to have a firm and unshakable perseverance. The process is painstaking, but it is also full of harvests. Many people give up halfway due to all kinds of reasons, but if you can truly accomplish it, believe me, you can see a completely new self.



In four years’ time, starting from Year 9, we witnessed and helped Applicant K’s growth step-by-step. We also saw the difficulties she encountered. This kind of familiarity helped us to ‘think from her perspective’ while assisting in her applications, and enabled us to give her the best suggestions from a professional perspective.


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