IvyWise Pro Bono Student Feature: Alexis

By IvyWise on Friday, October 23, 2020

IvyWise Pro Bono Student Alexis Shares Her Tips for Students Applying to College

For current seniors, the college application process is in full swing. It can be a high-stress time for many, particularly during an application cycle that has been marked by changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s so important to have perspective when going through the admissions journey, which is why we’ve reached out to one of our own students, Alexis, to share some advice for future applicants.

At IvyWise, we work with a number of pro bono students every year, many of whom come to us later in the process and need significant guidance. During this time of year we believe that, at the end of the day, it’s important to remember the focus of this process: the student.

IvyWise pro bono student Alexis is a gifted student from California with a passion for STEM fields and an interest in attending medical school. We caught up with Alexis to learn more about her college admissions journey, what it is like to work with IvyWise during this process, and get some of her college admissions advice for other students.

Tell us a little about your background and interests. 

I am a first-generation, low-income student from a small town in California interested in pursuing a career in STEM. 

What are your college/career goals? 

I plan to major in biochemistry and aspire to attend medical school and pursue an MD/PhD degree. 

What have you found most challenging about preparing for the college admissions process? 

Without a doubt, the essays are the most difficult part of the college admission process. 

What have you enjoyed the most about high school and the college prep process? 

During high school, I took advantage of every opportunity to enrich my education and experience through summer internships and community work. I sought out extracurricular activities and leadership roles that aligned with my interest and passion which made my high school experience really fun. 

What made you want to work with IvyWise? 

I applied for IvyWise’s Pro Bono counseling, but never in a million years did I think I would get it!! I had high grades and test scores, but I didn’t know anything about the college process. I’m so grateful for IvyWise’s generosity and belief in me! Thank you, Dr. Katherine Cohen and her AMAZING team of IvyWise counselors!!!! 

How has your IvyWise counselor helped you navigate the process so far? 

If I get into any of my dream colleges, I owe 100% of it to my amazing counselor. She was extremely helpful every step of the way. She always responded to my emails within less than 24 hours and gave me invaluable feedback on my writing. She encouraged me to be authentic and vulnerable in my writing. The advice she gave me with my essays and the help she provided with the Common Application was unparalleled. What was supposed to be a very confusing and stressful process has been enjoyable. 

What advice has been most valuable so far? 

Be vulnerable and authentic and reflective.

How have you grown/changed since you started planning for college? 

I am much more knowledgeable about the college application process and confident about my writing.  

What advice would you give to students preparing for college?

START EARLY! I can’t emphasize enough the importance of preparing early. Thoughtful essay responses will take time. 

For more information on families’ experience with IvyWise, visit our testimonials page here, and meet some of our other pro bono students. Want to learn more about what you can be doing now to prepare for the college admissions process? Download our free college planning checklist!

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