@ski_racer is a student at the University of Nevada, Reno. In high school, she was a high-achiever. For reference, here is a brief sample of her stats:
1570 SAT/35 ACT
4.0 unweighted GPA, including 12 AP classes
Student athlete and principal cellist
Research lab internship
She applied to 10 schools: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Boston University, Syracuse, University of Idaho, University of Nevada, Colorado School of Mines, and MIT. Got rejected at Harvard, Princeton, and Dartmouth, waitlisted at Yale and MIT and was accepted to all the rest, with U of I, UNR, and Syracuse offering sizable scholarships.
(Side note: She has no idea why she was rejected and her essays were lovely, so she won’t be able to answer any questions about why she was rejected beyond the usual ‘there are many qualified applicants every year… ’)
@ski_racer wanted a school with a ski team she could race for, more diversity than her hometown, and majors involving the environment. Her family wanted a school with a prestigious name.
She would have been happy at any of the schools she applied to, but UNR was her first choice. Being rejected from those more prestigious universities was a major turning point in her life, because she probably would’ve gone to Harvard or MIT or whatever, even though UNR was the best match for her. Why? Top-notch marketing, lots of ~history~, and pressure from the family.
Being rejected allowed her to choose her own path. Now, she is part of a niche major that she loves (and that doesn’t exist at all but one of the other schools she applied to), she is a day’s drive from home, and has represented Nevada at two consecutive national championships races.
Her advice to future applicants: fall in love with a safety school. She did, and that’s a major reason why she is happy today.
@ski_racer will be our Guest Student of the Week so make sure to ask her anything about receiving rejections, loving your safety school, following your own path, and anything else that’s on your mind.