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How I was Rejected Then Accepted by Stanford

emmymeetscollegeemmymeetscollege 3 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi Guys,
I was admitted REA to Stanford and will be attending this fall. Go Cardinals!
Although, I am now attending my dream school. It wasn’t always this way. In 2017, I received rejections from the Ivy League, Stanford and Cambridge universities. By changing my applications and deciding to study something different, I was able to reapply and receive acceptances to Stanford and Cambridge. This direct experience has taught me what EXACTLY can get you rejected and what can maximize your chances of acceptance.

If you have any college admissions-related questions, ask away. I hope this creates a forum for sharing tips, anyone can answer a question or ask one.
Looking forward to seeing your questions!
9 replies
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Replies to: How I was Rejected Then Accepted by Stanford

  • Herst2024Herst2024 1 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    What did you change about your application?
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12750 replies236 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Gap year?
    [popcorn popping]
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  • Eastcoast234Eastcoast234 22 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Did you change your intended major to less competetive one? @emmymeetscollege
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  • pt3328pt3328 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    now this is something I can read about for hours :)
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  • emmymeetscollegeemmymeetscollege 3 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @OHMomof2 Rewind to last year I was going to UCL medical school in the UK but last minute I decided that ultimately medicine wasn’t for me and I wanted to reapply to top US schools where I could get greater academic flexibility. Ripping off my safety net, I jumped off the edge into the unknown.

    @Eastcoast234 @Herst2024 in terms of the content of my application, I did a small flip from neuroscience to environmental science. In my first and second applications expressed interest in environmental science and neuroscience, but the emphasis was different in the successful and unsuccessful applications.
    In the first application, I tried to market myself as the neuroscience whiz with extracurriculars to match involving: a neuroscience competition and neuroscience volunteering. But my heart wasn’t really in it. In my successful application, I was the marine conservationist hero determined to fight ocean plastic. I backed this up with a self-published beach travel guide, volunteering in conservation projects, beach clean ups, conservation internships and teaching children in marine conservation.

    Learning Points Between Applications:
    1. Follow Your Passions- I’d always been interested in Environmental Science, but I passed that over for neuroscience. Go with your gut. Follow the subject you’ve truly interested in.
    2. Properly Reflect Your Major-How will the admissions officer believe a student when they say they are interested in economics but have a random list of extracurriculars? The job of every student is to illustrate their passion in their chosen prospective major and go beyond words. As a good guide it means that at least half of your activities list should be DIRECTLY RELATED to your major of interest. This was a chance between my applications.
    3. Establish a POE in your Desired Major- A POE is a Point Of Excellence, one that properly “separates you from the pack” is an activity that no other high schooler is doing quite like how you are. This is essentially how you stand out. For me, this was publishing a guide to the beaches in my area which was unusual for high schoolers to do and it was the starting point for my interest in marine ecology.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33572 replies367 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Pretty certain you cannot tell anybody "EXACTLY" what can maximize their chances. You weren't there when they read your app/supps.

    Kids do not need to be unique among other high schoolers. (That's not publishing a guide or volunteering- most kids interested in the environment do vol.) What we can guess is that your "whole" improved.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7770 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    To which Ivy League schools did you apply ?

    My best guess is that the most significant difference in your applications was an additional year of maturity.

    You write well. I enjoy reading your posts.
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  • jym626jym626 55353 replies2878 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    But Stanford admissions frowns on the word "passion"....
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  • treehopetreehope 1 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @emmymeetscollege First, I just want to say huge congratulations! As someone who is applying during a gap year, you've given me a lot of inspiration. I was wondering if you could PM me any tips for the Stanford essay for gap year applicants about "how you've grown since the last application". Was yours more factual or story-like? As I'm revising mine, it'd be really helpful as you're one of the few people who have successfully pulled this off!
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