University of Pennsylvania - Class of 2024

University of Pennsylvania – Class of 2024

How Elite Admission Consulting team helped a student in Melbourne become a mature, confident, self-motivated young lady who was admitted to an Ivy League college, University of Pennsylvania – Class of 2024, with a SAT under 1500.


Applicant H’s Background

Geographic Location: Melbourne, Australia

Citizenship/Residence: Australia/US Dual Citizen

Starting to Use Our Admission Service: Since Year 10

SAT: 1410 out of 1600

School Ranking: Top 10%

Significant Award: None

Intended Major: PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics)

Admissions: University of Pennsylvania – Class of 2024


H is a calm, mature, confident, and self-motivated young lady who is not afraid to step up, speak up, and secure opportunities. When she first came to us in Year 10, she was not like this. Although she had a balanced and strong academic record and a determination to study in the US, H had not found interest in any particular area. And her activities were limited to basic involvement at school, a part-time job, and piano. However, with our encouragement and admission plan, she started to be more active in these roles and explore all the other possibilities. We took her feedback on each activity seriously and accordingly calibrate our plan to better suit her new perspective and interest.


For instance, she was invited to join a young woman leadership program. Seeing her enjoy the training sessions, we motivated her to talk to the program coordinator to show her interest in more engagements. Such conversations led to a more important youth leadership program in her city. After knowing she got this role, we connected H to one of our previous students who had worked in the program; such a network allowed her to stand out in the position more easily and gave her opportunities to work directly with local politicians. Throughout the process, she realized the lack of youth involvement in politics, which limited the relevancy of policymaking to young population. This realization then helped her gradually form her passion for political sciences.


At the same time, we closely followed her school studies and provided advice on VCE unit selection and issues confronting her in certain subjects. Meanwhile, we did not recommend dropping her part-time job because it was a unique channel for her to experience the world around her. In the end, she based this experience to construct a very compelling and strong Common Application personal essay.


At the end of Year 11, H’s experience in extracurricular activities gave her an edge to take a leadership role at her school, and in her final year, she delivered concrete changes to her school’s community with this role. Moreover, her achievement as a youth leader in her city and outstanding interview performance made H a member of the state youth parliament. Again, she proactively used such a role to make politics a more integral part of youth life and inform politicians of the importance of getting young people involved.


When her interview for UPenn came in, we did mock interviews in preparation. Her confidence and a great amount of experiences in activities provided her a plethora of stories she could share with the interviewer. We were not surprised when she received an Early Decision offer from UPenn even when her SAT result is definitely in the lower range. It is what she deserves; and we are all very proud of her.



Real involvement and real impact deliver real changes in applicants and their communities, which would be appreciated by admission officers of the top universities. H’s successful application to an Ivy League school fully proved this point. It is hard to imagine any Asian applicant could get into a top college with a SAT just over 1400, but H’s admission showed us those hidden criteria.


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