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College Admissions Case Studies

“Anya”

Student profile:

Anya came to us as a junior at an elite private school in California. She was an international student with stellar grades and a passion for writing and language. She had set up an educational nonprofit in her home country, but had been having difficulties developing and maintaining it from abroad. She had yet to take any testing and had goals to attend Columbia, Brown, or Yale.

How Command Education helped:

The first thing we did was set her up with a testing timeline to ensure she was scoring well enough on standardized exams for the schools she was aiming for. After only a month of ACT tutoring with us, she was able to score a 34 on the exam. She also scored a 730 on the SAT Biology, 760 on US History, and 750 on SAT Math 2 by the fall of her senior year. Regarding her extracurriculars, we worked on maintaining the educational non-profit she started, and connected her with a professor at an elite university to conduct more research into the intersection of education and psychology. To develop her passion for writing, we guided her through building a creative writing zine, where she gathered submissions from friends and peers. She ultimately published three editions of this booklet.

Result:

Anya applied ED to Brown and was deferred to the regular round of admissions. We helped her write a concise but memorable letter of continued interest upon being deferred, in which she described her updates since applying. She was ultimately accepted into Brown, where she intends to major in English.

“Jake”

Student profile:

Jake came to us as a junior at a high school in Louisiana. He was struggling to keep his grades up and found testing extremely difficult as well. However, he was passionate about robotics and was set on attending a school that would provide him the resources necessary to pursue this field further. He had been helping younger robotics enthusiasts in his community break into the field, and spent most of his time outside of school on building robots and coaching his robotics mentees.

How Command Education helped:

We got to work helping Jake turn his coaching into an official robotics education project, guiding him through building the website, fundraising, and mapping out the development of the project. By his senior year, Jake had dozens of students he was helping through his project and had held several successful fundraisers. In regards to academics and testing, we set up an intensive tutoring timeline for him. After this course of preparation, Jake was able to score a 780 on his SAT Math 2 and a 1450 on his SAT 1.

Result:

Jake ultimately was accepted into NYU, one of his top three dream schools, where he majors in electrical engineering.

“Paul”

Student profile:

Paul came to us as a freshman at a Top 20 university. He appreciated the resources and facilities at his school but was interested in a niche branch of mathematics research that his school did not offer any opportunities in. He hoped to transfer to a top school such as the University of Chicago or the University of Pennsylvania, where breakthroughs and new developments in this specific field of research were happening.

How Command Education helped:

We encouraged Paul to continue exploring the opportunities at his current school to prove that he took advantage of them to the best of his ability. He conducted research with a professor and was a peer liaison on campus, and was earning A’s in all of his courses. When it came to his transfer application essays, we made sure to emphasize his specific interests, how they came about, how he intended to explore them further, and what his future career goals were. We highlighted that as supportive as his current school was, it was difficult for him to find opportunities to really dive into his academic passions. In his supplemental essays, we expanded on other parts of his identity outside of academics, such as his cultural background, hobbies, and values.

Result:

Paul was ultimately accepted into 4 of the 6 top schools he applied to as a transfer, including Northwestern, University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania. He chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania and is currently majoring in mathematics there.

“Sophie”

Student profile:

Sophie came to us as a sophomore at a top private school in Connecticut. She was a solid A student with a couple of B’s and a rigorous course load, played on her school’s lacrosse team, and had several volunteering experiences in her hometown. Her academic interests were in history and politics, and wanted us to help her develop and expand these interests outside of school.

How Command Education helped:

We first began brainstorming on the best way to develop her interests outside of her classes. After much consideration and personal experiences with the issue, Sophie decided to dedicate her focus to the Syrian refugee crisis. We helped her develop a non-profit organization that raised money to support the dreams of refugees who had fled their home country. The launch fundraising event raised over 10 times her goal, and with those funds she was able to support several refugee families. She continued developing her project through her junior and senior years and even produced a short film about the refugee issue over the summer before her senior year. She also further pursued this interest as a research intern at the Middle East Institute. Testing-wise, we set up a timeline for her to take the ACT and three SAT subject tests to prove her intellectual strengths. She ended up scoring a 780 in Math 2, 740 in Literature, and 750 in U.S. History.

Result:

Sophie ended up at her dream school (she preferred that we did not share this information). She intends to major in global affairs and keep developing her non-profit throughout college.

“Max”

Student profile:

Max was an international student who came to us in his junior year of boarding school. He was an excellent student, at the top of his class, with a 4.0 GPA and a passion for business and finance. His dream schools were Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania or NYU Stern.

How Command Education helped:

We began by brainstorming ways to impact his community through his passion for finance. After some consideration, Max decided to launch a financial literacy project to educate young people on the importance of understanding how to handle money. His project ended up partnering with dozens of schools across the country, and helped educate hundreds of students on financial literacy. Academically, Max continued to gain top grades at his high school, and ultimately graduated as valedictorian. After tutoring with us, he was able to score a 36 on his ACT, an 800 on the SAT Math 2, an 800 in Physics, and a 770 in Literature.

Result:

Max applied Early Decision to UPenn Wharton, and was ultimately accepted in the early round of admission. There, he continues to run his financial literacy project and intends to major in Business Economics and Public Policy.