IvyWise Pro Bono Student Andrea Shares Her Experience, Motivation, and Advice
The admissions season has come to a close for the college class of 2021, and now the focus has shifted toward the class of 2022. While the admissions process is full of stats like admission rates, yield, SAT and ACT scores, and more, it’s important to remember what really matters when applying to college: the student. At IvyWise we have the honor of working with a number of amazing students, and we’d like to take the time to feature some of them.
At IvyWise we work with many pro bono students every year, many of whom come to us later in the process and need significant guidance. One of our pro bono students, Andrea, is an exceptional student from California who came to us at the end of her junior year and needed some help deciding where to apply to college, as well as assistance developing an application strategy.
We caught up with Andrea to learn more about her college admissions journey and what it was like to work with IvyWise during this process.
Read her Q&A below!
Tell us a little about your background and interests.
I come from a Hispanic family and I will be the first in my family attend a university. After my parents divorced, I was motivated to succeed and pursue the rigorous IB course where I was introduced to my passion for biology.
What are your college/career goals?
My career goal is to become a stem cell research scientist in hopes of finding cure for cancer and paralysis.
What did you find most challenging about applying to college?
I found the tediousness and several processes about applying the most difficult, and additionally my citizenship as a DACA student made applications even more stressful.
What have you enjoyed the most about applying to college?
I have enjoyed learning about myself and all my strengths, as well as appreciating the wonders of my difficult background that have made for a great college essay.
What made you want to work with IvyWise?
As a first generation student, the entire college application and financial aid process was difficult for me because it was all very new to me and my family was also unaware of the process and couldn’t help me. Furthermore, I am a dreamer, which adds to the difficulty of these applications and led me to feel more lost in the process. This led me to look for outside help of experienced professionals that could help me throughout the process.
How did your IvyWise counselor help you navigate the process?
My counselor was very involved in making sure I could do everything to succeed and simplifying the process for me and answering any questions I had. She also motivated me and encouraged me to express who I am.
What advice was most valuable to you?
In regards to my essays, I learned to take the risks and tell my story of who I am – not the story colleges would want to hear – because that is what can make you stand out from other applicants.
How have you grown/changed since you started planning for college?
I have learned to appreciate and love my background because it has built who I am and has also provided me with the tools to make me an amazing student and applicant.
What advice would you give to students preparing for college?
Not be afraid to show colleges who you are because, in the end, the college that accepts you for you will be the college meant for you.
Want to learn more about what you can be doing now to prepare for the college admissions process? Download our free college planning checklist!
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