Seniors: Get a head start on your college apps this summer!

IvyWise Pro Bono Student Feature: Ranpreet

Thursday, October 26, 2017

harvard yard.jpgIvyWise Student Ranpreet Shares His College Admissions Experience, Motivation, and Advice

The college application process is in full swing for high school seniors applying to the class of 2022. It can be a high-stress time of year, and it’s important for students to have perspective when going through the admissions journey. One IvyWise student, Ranpreet, has some advice to students to help them stay motivated this fall.

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 Ranpreet is an exceptional student from California who came to us at the end of his junior year and needed some help preparing for his senior year and finding the best way to stand out when applying to highly competitive colleges and universities.

We caught up with Ranpreet to learn more about his college admissions journey, what it is like to work with IvyWise during this process, and get some of his college admissions advice for other students.

Read Ranpreet’s Q&A and watch his video diary below!



Tell us a little about your background and interests.
I come from a Punjabi family belonging to a faith known as Sikhism. Neither of my parents attended high school, let alone college. I aspire to the be the first in my family to obtain a college education and I hope to attend either law or business school. Also, I love debate and I plan on pursuing parliamentary debate in college!

What are your college/career goals?
My career goal is to work for the State Department as a diplomat. I plan on majoring in either economics, political science/government, or international relations for my undergraduate study.

What did you find most challenging about applying to college?
I find writing my personal statement and my supplements to be the most challenging part of the college admissions process. It’s very difficult to synthesize my identity into 650 words.

What have you enjoyed the most about applying to college?
I’ve enjoyed the process of self-discovery and the idea that I will spend 4 more years learning about myself and exploring my passions!

What made you want to work IvyWise?
Neither of my parents went to college so the entire college application and financial aid process is new to me and it’s not something that either of parents can help me with. I wanted to work with an experienced professional who could help guide me through the process.

How did your IvyWise counselor help you navigate the process?
When it comes to most school assignments, I wait until the night before to complete them. My IvyWise counselor helped me start early and checks in with me to make sure that I am working on my personal statement and supplements. Additionally, my counselor is always available to answer any lingering questions that I may have and they have helped me learn more about myself!

What advice was most valuable to you?
Don’t try to write essays that you think college admissions officers want to read. The best thing that you can is to write a genuine essay so that your personal statement can function as a lens into who you really are.

How have you grown/changed since you started planning for college?
This may come off as cliché, but there is a lot of self-discovery involved in the process. I was forced to explore who I really am and I have developed a greater appreciation for my background and for my family.

What advice would you give to students preparing for college?
Start early and don’t pretend to be someone you are not! The college application process is long and can be difficult to navigate. Pretending to be someone you’re not doesn’t make it easier. Everyone has a story to tell. All you have to do is tell yours!

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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