right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: Rohan is a freshman at Dartmouth (and loves it) having gotten in ED for the Class of 2023. He's here to debunk myths regarding admissions and student life at his school. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our May Checklists for HS Juniors and HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

Got into UCLA, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, Duke. Why I Chose UPenn? ASK ME ANYTHING!

CCadmin_SorinCCadmin_Sorin 2727 replies290 threads Community Manager
Mukil Shanmugam is a senior at Redmond High School in Washington state. He applied to the following schools:

University of Oregon, University of Washington Seattle, UCLA, UCSD, UC Berkeley, UMich , Northwestern, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, Duke, Princeton, MIT, Columbia, Caltech

He was accepted to the following:

Oregon (CS, scholarship), Washington (CS), UCSD (CS, Regents), UCLA (CS), UMich (applied for Materials Engineering) , UPenn (applied for Materials Engineering), Brown (applied for chemistry), Cornell (applied for Materials Engineering, likely letter), Duke (applied for chemistry)

@spinCaster15, committed to UPenn! His plan is to study Materials Science/Engineering with a minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship. However, he also wants to take courses in both CS, finance, and economics out of personal interest. He has done enough research on UPenn's curriculum and is happy to answer your questions. His eventual goal is go to graduate school for nanotechnology and work in the nanotech. Though he anticipates working in the technical side of nanotech at first, his ideal outcome is to transition into management/entrepreneurship eventually.

Mukil is our Guest Student of the Week, so make sure to ask him all your questions!
edited April 26
79 replies
Tagged:
· Reply · Share
«134

Replies to: Got into UCLA, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, Duke. Why I Chose UPenn? ASK ME ANYTHING!

  • PublisherPublisher 11126 replies145 threads Senior Member
    edited April 26
    Typical question: What are your stats & qualifications ?

    Were you denied or waitlisted at Northwestern ? I ask because in the not too distant past--and maybe still--Northwestern was a leader in nanotechnology.

    P.S. Congratulations ! Very impressed by your direct admission to the University of Washington as a CS major.
    edited April 26
    · Reply · Share
  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Publisher wrote: »
    Typical question: What are your stats & qualifications ?

    Were you denied or waitlisted at Northwestern ? I ask because in the not too distant past--and maybe still--Northwestern was a leader in nanotechnology.

    @Publisher Hi! In terms of stats, 1600/36 on SAT/ACT and 4.0 UW GPA

    Two of my main qualifications were that I placed in the top 50 in the US for the US National Chemistry Olympiad and I was selected to the Garcia Program for Materials Engineering Research at Stony Brook University last summer; through the program, I conducted nanotech research that was later accepted by the American Chemical Society and American Physical Society at their conferences, so I got to present at both.

    In addition, I did some non-profit work and helped raise money for education-based charities around the world. Also took part in DECA (as many do) and placed in the top 20 in the international competition for the Business Finance event.

    I was waitlisted at Northwestern. They are a leader in nanotech; would've been a good fit. I unfortunately only came to know that they were a leader in nanotech in the last few days before the deadline, and wrote a very rushed essay that I suspect prevented me from getting in. For all you juniors out there, take your time with essays!

    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 11126 replies145 threads Senior Member
    Although admirable, unlikely that you will be able to take courses in all of your desired areas as an engineering major--although Northwestern does have a special program for engineering students who share your non-engineering interests.

    US News rankings for Material Engineering:

    1) MIT
    2) Northwestern University
    3) UC-Santa Barbara (a bit of a surprise. Gorgeous setting.)
    4) Stanford

    5) CalTech
    5) UCal-Berkeley
    5) Illinois

    8) Georgia Tech

    9) Cornell
    9) Michigan
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 11126 replies145 threads Senior Member
    OP was ACCEPTED to: Oregon, Washington, UCLA, UC-San Diego, UPenn, UMichigan, Brown, Cornell, & Duke.

    Why did you select UPenn ?

    Were you rejected at any of Northwestern (waitlist), MIT, Princeton, CalTech, Columbia, or UCal-Berkeley ?
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 11126 replies145 threads Senior Member
    edited April 26
    Correction re: Post #3.

    Post #3 rankings are for graduate school programs in material science as ranked by engineering school dept. heads, not undergraduate.

    2020 US News undergraduate rankings for Material Science:

    1) MIT
    2) Georgia Tech
    3) Illinois
    4) UCal-Berkeley

    5) Northwestern
    5) Michigan

    7) Stanford
    8) Cornell
    9) CalTech

    10) Carnegie Mellon Univ. (CMU)
    10) Penn State University (not UPenn)

    12) Purdue
    edited April 26
    · Reply · Share
  • kaidousoopkaidousoop 4 replies0 threads New Member
    Thanks mate for info
    · Reply · Share
  • penguin2penguin2 204 replies5 threads Junior Member
    What were your some of essay topics?
    · Reply · Share
  • silverfalls31silverfalls31 9 replies4 threads New Member
    I got into UCLA but I'm debating the costs and how hard it is for pre-med intended students. My choices are the University of Arizona( an in-state school) and UCLA for neuroscience, and I'm not sure which one would let me attain the GPA and have the opportunities to get into med school better. Do you have any advice?
    · Reply · Share
  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    penguin2 wrote: »
    What were your some of essay topics?

    Hi @penguin2 !! So my Common App essay was quite odd - I wrote about what I learned by teaching myself to moonwalk. I'm not a dancer, nor did I have anything related to dance in my app; it was just a small, quirky part of me that i thought really demonstrated who I am in terms of being easy-going, willing to fail and explore, and curious in general. As for school-specific supplements, there's a lot to talk about - is there any school in particular you would be intereste din hearing about essay-wise?
    · Reply · Share
  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    My choices are the University of Arizona( an in-state school) and UCLA for neuroscience, and I'm not sure which one would let me attain the GPA and have the opportunities to get into med school better. Do you have any advice?

    Hi @silverfalls31 !! Obviously there is a lot about your personal situation that I may not know, but I tend to gravitate towards maximizing cost efficiency when it comes to going to med school, which would suggest that UofA is a better choice. That being said, depending on how much money is a concern, I do believe that UCLA will set you up much better for getting into a good med school; UCLA is undoubtedly one of the very few top public universities, and in terms of the research you'll be able to do, the professors you'll meet, and the student body, UCLA is an easy choice in my opinion.

    If you will have to take out a lot of loans for UCLA, I would say go to UofA, work hard, and try to stand out in that atmosphere to try to latch on to opportunities that only the top students at UofA get. If you can afford both, I would say go to UCLA. I wouldn't worry about difficulty of classes, because I think that'll be beneficial in the long run.
    · Reply · Share
  • et4567et4567 2 replies0 threads New Member
    edited April 28
    Hi! Im a junior and My current gpa is a 3.7 W but I am trying my best to pull it up but I was not able to take the SAT yet because of COVID-19. There are colleges that are implementing a test-optional policy for 2021 applicants, including Cornell. Do you think I might have a chance to get into top colleges if I try my best to stand out?
    Also, Congratulations!!
    edited April 28
    · Reply · Share
  • kellyfraser789kellyfraser789 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Congratulations! Are you planning on accepting your waitlist offers and writing letters of continued interest?
    · Reply · Share
  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Congratulations! Are you planning on accepting your waitlist offers and writing letters of continued interest?

    Hi @kellyfraser789 !! Thank you! I have accepted my waitlist offers for MIT, Northwestern, and Columbia. I do not, in retrospect, think I am the best fit for Caltech, and I did not want to be accidentally taking someone else's spot if I happened to be accepted through the Caltech waitlist.

    I wrote LOCI's for NU and Columbia. I do not think MIT takes LOCI's!! That being said, I'm perfectly happy with Penn. These are just nice-to-have's, and may or may not replace Penn if I get in by some chance.
    · Reply · Share
  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    et4567 wrote: »
    Do you think I might have a chance to get into top colleges if I try my best to stand out?
    Also, Congratulations!!

    Hi @et4567 !! Thank you!! There is alot outside of GPA/SAT that will determine whether or not you will get into very selective colleges, but I think that also means that you do, of course, have a shot, with EC's that you're passionate about and essays that reveal who you are. Seek out help with the process, whether that be from seniors online (like me! Happy to help) or from people in your life that have gone through this process. Keep working on your GPA, do what you're passionate about, start writing early, ask for help, and you have a shot!

    That being said, do not make this your life - while Cornell is of course a wonderful school, there are many wonderful schools out there. Keep your options open and apply to a good range of schools, and past that hope for the best!
    · Reply · Share
  • NYCScienceChickNYCScienceChick 4 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi,
    I got into Cornell, Duke and Wake Forest among other great schools. Wake is giving me great financial aid (almost a free ride) where I won't have to take out any loans. However, Duke also gave me some financial aid but will require loans for both me and my parent. I am contemplating if Duke's prestige, facilities and network are truly "worth" the debt I will raise and impending 4 years of fiscal struggling. My career goal is medicine so I know debt will be a part of my life. Any advice will be appreciated.
    · Reply · Share
  • rickle1rickle1 2527 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Wake has an excellent reputation for premed track. It's an overall excellent school so if they are providing lots of aid in the form of grants, hard to pass that up. I will say it's a very challenging school academically, especially for kids in the premed track (biology, chem, etc.) But I'm sure the others are quite challenging too.
    · Reply · Share
  • spinCaster15spinCaster15 92 replies6 threads Junior Member
    My career goal is medicine so I know debt will be a part of my life. Any advice will be appreciated.

    Hi @NYCScienceChick !! Based on this alone, I say Wake. I do not know a lot about Wake, and I recognize that it is tough to pass up on the allure of Duke and Cornell, but if you are looking forward to such a long schooling tenure and are surely going to have to pay a lot of money, a free ride is tough to pass up, like @rickle1 said.

    That being said, how much in loans will you/your parent have to take out for Duke? Perhaps if it is <$10k per year, the experience of Duke may be worth it in terms of the student body and research opportunities (pretty sure Duke is one the top 2 or 3 schools in the country for biomed research output). The experience at Duke will certaintly open a lot of doors and facilitate a lot of personal and academic growth, but I don't think this is worth more than $10k/year in debt.

    Also, in support of Wake, I'm sure that you are a fantastic student (given that you were accepted to two highly selective schools in Duke and Cornell) and would thus be able to stand out at Wake. Being one of the top students in your class (if not the top) at a school that still has a good reputation for premed will open a lot of doors as well in terms of the opportunities you can access on/around campus. My vote is go to Wake, try your hardest to excel and stand out, and enjoy both cream-of-the-crop opportunities and a debt-free undergrad experience.
    · Reply · Share
  • NYCScienceChickNYCScienceChick 4 replies0 threads New Member
    Thanks @rickle1 and @spinCaster15 ! The debt for Duke would be about 8K a year which is why we have been having sleepless nights trying to decide! We hope to make a decision tomorrow. Thanks for the advice :smile:
    · Reply · Share
  • rickle1rickle1 2527 replies21 threads Senior Member
    8k per yr is not that much debt. Duke is a great school, but so is Wake Forest. They'll both be full of very smart kids and will be academically challenging. I just don't know that Duke gives you an advantage for med school. If you were looking to go into strategy consulting or something like that, I'd say Duke.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity