Meet Maddy, a Senior. She's from Dalian, China.

Academic Strength

Passionate about humanities

Biggest Weakness

Low Test Scores

Extracurricular Strength

Anything communication-related

Well Roundedness 8

The Challenge

Maddy came to us with a solid academic background, great English skills, and the motivation to work.

There were, however, two main issues that Maddy ran into: how to spend the summer before her senior year, and what stories to use for her college application essays. Should she spend her summer studying for tests? Working on her own project? What kind of personal ideas and stories should Maddy communicate in order to get the admissions committees on her side? These were the questions we were focused on.

Possible Approaches

At first, it wasn’t clear what approach was most suitable for Maddy. She wanted to boost her test scores for sure, but of course couldn’t focus just on that; she wanted to further her extracurricular interests with an interesting, original project, but needed to also improve on the standardized tests. Was it possible to balance these two?

The Admissionado Approach

Having gotten to know Maddy, I knew that the colleges best suited to her would, while wanting to see decent scores, would be focused more on her general academic accomplishments and swayed by her participation outside of the classroom. And so, Maddy started up her own book donation and reading initiative over the summer, all while continuing to improve her test-taking abilities.

On top of the entrepreneurship, leadership, and volunteer experience that Maddy gained from this, she also set herself up to write some pretty awesome essays. Towards the end of the summer, we began brainstorming topics for a personal statement that would really make her application “pop” even more, going back and forth to figure out what perspective fit her unique profile. Finally, we were able to hone her story down to a truly inspirational one recounting her changes in perspective and becoming a truly global citizen.

The Result

Maddy’s acceptances to Bard and UIUC came in pretty quickly… no surprise there. We had built a complete profile, tying together activities, academic interests, summer experiences, and Maddy’s own ideas, and colleges couldn’t get enough of it. Maddy is proof that numbers aren’t everything.

Personal Shoutout

Maddy was an absolute pleasure to work with in so many aspects, but the most important one was her willingness to grow from her mistakes. This one’s gonna go far!

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