Yale University – Class of 2028

Applicant W’s Background

Geographic Location: Melbourne, Australia

Citizenship/Residence: Australia

SAT: 1550+

School Ranking: Top 5

First meeting: Gap Year


Case Detail

Applicant W had a very special 2023. He deferred his admission into an Australian university, took a gap year, and received admission to Yale University – Class of 2028.

Before we share the case detail, we need to state that we discourage international students from taking a gap year to have more time to work on their applications. The time cost is high and, because top colleges would have higher expectations, the gap year decision could be very risky too.

We met W in May 2023, after he received a competitive SAT score and a referral from one of his friends who received our service before. While he impressed us with his involvement in political activities and MUN in the first meeting, we recognised his strength in STEM, particularly in mathematics. Specifically, he was attracted to the human interactions and considerations associated with politics and tended to reason like a mathematician. Such an impression led us to direct W into the intersection between political sciences and mathematics with a host of initial resources for him to explore. Though he had never thought of this combination, he quickly jumped on board and started to form his own understanding and arguments.

At the same time, we advised W of a variety of possibilities to develop his activities. Filling a gap year with meaningful activities was difficult. Our strategy was to encourage him to, simultaneously, initiate activities by himself and go after his networks he had formed in his previous involvements. His dedication to the community, strong passion for politics, and outstanding leadership skills supported him to become a regional leader of over 150 volunteers in a political campaign, the key component of his resume.

W had plenty of ideas when tackling essays. Our main job was to brainstorm with him about each idea thoroughly before he put it into drafting; otherwise, he would have run out of time very quickly. Given W’s background as a gap year student who had more time to be involved with people from a variety of backgrounds in the community, we suggested he use essays to highlight his maturity and more nuanced understanding of interactions and conflicts among people. Meanwhile, we made sure his academic interests and personalities were highlighted through all the essays.

W only received his interview invitation in December and were given very limited time to prepare. Our experienced team acted pre-emptively and asked him to prepare answers to essential questions before receiving the invitation, giving him adequate time. In mock interviews, we accentuated the importance of fully expressing his main story, allowing him to present himself comprehensively, even though the actual interview only lasted around 30 minutes.



As we mentioned in the beginning, gap year is a risky choice. It has been our pleasure to help W complete this adventure with a thrilling result in the end. Facing an extremely limited amount of time, our expertise and personalised advice as well as attention to understand applicants thoroughly played a critical role in this journey.


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