IvyWise Scholars Spotlight: Mariel

Tuesday, December 21, 2021


IvyWise Scholar Mariel Shares Her Top Tips for Students Applying to College

It’s so important to have perspective when going through the college admissions process, which is why we’ve reached out to one of our own students, Mariel, to share some advice for future applicants.

As part of our IvyWise Gives Back initiative, IvyWise Scholars is our pro bono college admissions counseling program for high-achieving, low-income students. We caught up with IvyWise Scholar Mariel, a gifted student from Massachusetts, to learn more about her college admissions journey, what it’s like to work with IvyWise during this process, and get some of her college prep advice for other students.

Tell us about your background and interests.

My name is Mariel, and I’m a senior at The MacDuffie School. The classes I’m taking this year include:

  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP French
  • AP English
  • AP World History

I’m the Student Body President, president of the Key Club, and a member of the Judiciary Council, the school newspaper, and the Diversity and Inclusion Club at my school.

Outside of school, I read a lot, worked at a hospital, and had the opportunity to present research about the relationship between physical activity and adolescents’ mental health. By participating in these extracurricular activities that I found very rewarding, I was able to explore my interests in exciting and meaningful ways.

What aspect of the college admissions process are you most excited about? What are you nervous about?

As college approaches, I’m nervous about submitting applications. The few weeks of silence between having submitted my applications and receiving admissions decisions are nerve-wracking! However, I’m most excited about committing to a university that will be my best fit.

When thinking about where I want to go, my best-fit university would have strong undergraduate research programs, pre-med advising, and support for first-generation, low-income students. With these resources, I would feel more confident moving forward to medical school, and ultimately, my career.

I plan on majoring in either cognitive science or neuroscience. After college, I plan to go to medical school to become a neurosurgeon. Additionally, I want to participate in academic neurological research.

What are your top college prep tips for other students?

I’d encourage freshmen and sophomores to start exploring their interests as early as possible! I’d also suggest creating organization systems, as being organized helps immensely with classes and college applications later on.

Learn more about Mariel by watching the video below.

For more information on families’ experience with IvyWise, check out our testimonials page, and meet some of our other IvyWise Scholars. 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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