SAT I: 1420, Math=720 Reading=700 (not great, I know. turns out SAT really doesn’t matter that much!)
ACT: Didn’t take it, told Duke I would but emailed that I wouldn’t (I was busy that day)
SAT II (Type, Score): Biology(E): 770
Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 3.89 Unweighted, 4.8 Weighted
Rank: I’m at a small (220 students total), somewhat competative IB boarding school. We don’t rank but I’m
somewhere in the middle. I got in over kids of a way higher rank.
AP: World History (3), Human Geography (5), Statistics (4), Capstone Seminar (4)
IB: this is a guess. Bio HL (7), Lang and Lit HL (7), Physics HL (5), Math SL (6), Spanish Ab (7), ESS (7)
Senior Year Course Load: The IB portion above is my courseload
Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.): none… Black Belt in Kung Fu ?? won a music competition once, NOT an award but am on probation for alcohol use at my boarding school, really stupid but just want to give an even consideration
would run Black Student community events,
plan performance events in school (like variety shows),
lead a North American Cultural Day Show (big thing at my school),
Moved to India for a year to live with a host family and go to school all on the governement’s dime (YES Abroad, check it out),
Wilderness Leader at my school where we lead people on weekend trips and do a lot of backpacking trips ourselves and have a first aid certification,
African Chorus Soloist
Job/Work Experience: Trail Work in vermont with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
Volunteer/Community service: Teach young underprivileged kids about the environment, work on a farm and am a leader, taught kids English in India
Summer Activities: Internship with NOAA Southeast Fisheries for two consecutive summers which included going on a research cruise and helping conduct research in the Caribbean the second summer. They paid for all of it (including flights and food). Amazing experience I got from just emailing that I wanted to work in their lad. Got some basic training and was good from there. Highly recommend just ASKING for opportunities. Also, they bought me a mac because they couldn’t actually pay me.
-Common App: 10/10 worked really hard on it and focused on my passion for Marine Bio/Oceanography (pretty niche) while also being a woman of color (black) really tried to show off my personality, passion, and keenness for Duke
-Why Duke? talked about how their program is the best in the country which is very true, did a little NOAA name dropping too of former Chief Scientist of NOAA who went there
-Being a minority:
Black and in STEM, also how I engage with my community here
Teacher Recommendation #1: 9/10, he wrote for a friend of mine who got in last year but I honestly haven’t seen it and can only guess based on what he told me
Teacher Recommendation #2: 8/10 she doesn’t know me as well but she knows how much I love the ocean (she’s a marine biologist herself)
Counselor Rec: no idea…
Interview: went well, interviewer said he thought I would be a good fit
State (if domestic applicant): from FL but living in New Mexico at boarding school
Intended major(s): Marine Biology/Biology
School Type: small international boarding school in NM, it’s got a partnership with a bunch of universities because our biggest donor also helps pay for our college educations if we go to a school in the US that is a “Davis” school
Income Bracket: just under 100,000 but older parents (60s)
Hooks (URM, first generation college, etc.): I’m black, a woman, want to go into STEM in an emerging field and have experience in it.
Strengths: black woman in STEM with experience
Weaknesses: test score… honestly didn’t think I would get in with that, on probation for alcohol use (took 2 shots and got reported RIP, learned my lesson and haven’t engaged since, also told the whole truth when questioned by my school which went a long way)
Why you think you were accepted: The money from being a Davis school is a factor. I also feel that I really showed my personality in my common app. despite having low test score (although good SAT II) and being on probation (apparently they don’t really care about alcohol I’ve been told and I was able to write a reflection on it and show how I’ve grown from the experience. Another point in which I could show off my character), I knew what I wanted and that Duke could actually get me there.
General Comments: Be yourself. I know it’s cliche but its all okay in the end. Do your best on the SAT but don’t kill yourself over it. That’s not the breaking point and you have so much more to offer the school. I worked really hard on my application and I was SUPER focused in it. I know not everyone knows what they want to do but I feel that it truly helped. I was also invited to the BSAI event (couldn’t go because of an event on my campus) which apparently is a likely letter so I sort of knew in advance. Anyway, dont stress! Get your things done and you’ll be fine even if you’re below the 25 percentile for SAT I and are on probation for alcohol.