The following article features recent Dartmouth University admit Chinedu, who was a member of CollegeAdvisor.com’s Scholars Program. For more information about our programming and personal guidance about the college application process, head to CollegeAdvisor.com and sign up for a monthly plan to work with an admissions coach 1-on-1.
When CollegeAdvisor Scholar Chinedu got into Dartmouth, he was literally jumping for joy — after making sure he was on mute in his Zoom class, of course.
Chinedu was born in Nigeria and now lives with his family in Bowie, Maryland. He developed an early interest in biology after seeing a friend get ringworm on his hand. Chinedu remembers being fascinated by the ringworm itself as well as by the process of treating the infection.
Since then, Chinedu has delved deeper into the subject of microbiology. More recently, Chinedu has become interested in psychology and neurobiology after learning about the cognitive capabilities of the brain. Chinedu hopes to become a physician-scientist, focusing on neurology and microbiology.
Chinedu says that his primary role model is his mother. “She’s a very hard-working individual, and she teaches me that I can do anything that I want if I’m determined and put in effort,” he told CollegeAdvisor. Throughout the college process, Chinedu’s mother and sister helped keep him on top of deadlines and encouraged him to stay committed.
Throughout high school, Chinedu engaged with medicine and science in a variety of ways. He was a leader of a scientific research club as well as a club for future healthcare professionals. He also started a tutoring club to teach science, worked part-time, and helped take care of his younger sister. Despite his impressive resume, however, Chinedu still had concerns about applying to college.
During the application process, Chinedu feared that he would not stand out from the crowd. He worried that his appearance on paper (test scores, grades, etc) wouldn’t be able to fully express his personality, aspirations, and unique identity. He knew that the way to counter this was through his personal and supplemental essays, but these worried Chinedu too. CollegeAdvisor.com’s guidance helped Chinedu express his personality to admissions officers while also assuaging his stress about the application process.
Chinedu discovered CollegeAdvisor.com (then Bullseye Admissions) through a YouTube video by a high school student named Cecile, who was accepted into Brown University after working with CollegeAdvisor. On our website, Chinedu discovered the CollegeAdvisor Scholars Program, which provides free college advising to first-generation and lower-income students. He applied to our service, and the rest is history.
Chinedu worked with CollegeAdvisor Admissions Coach Claire, who guided him through every aspect of the admissions process. Claire’s guidance proved particularly vital where essays were concerned. She encouraged Chinedu to make his essays concise, advising Chinedu to cut out nonspecific “filler.” With Claire’s help, Chinedu’s essays became specific and exciting to read.
Chinedu applied to college through Questbridge, a service that connects top colleges and universities to low-income students. He was in class when he received the notification that the Questbridge matches had been released. After saying a quick prayer, Chinedu opened the Questbridge website and discovered that he had matched with Dartmouth University. He “started screaming and jumping, and immediately called [his] mom and told her the good news,” all while muted in a Zoom class.
At Dartmouth, Chinedu looks forward to making new friends and taking advantage of research opportunities. He advises students who are thinking about college to perform well in school — “that’s the most important thing.” He encourages students to focus on their passions and try to grow as a leader and community members within these interests. Finally, Chinedu would recommend that students seek help from trusted mentors, including parents and CollegeAdvisor.com experts.
Chinedu also tells students to focus less on their GPA, SAT, or AP Scores. Although they’re important, Chinedu concedes, “they’re not everything.” Instead, Chinedu advises students to reflect on their applicant profiles holistically, considering essays and extracurriculars in conjunction with test scores and grades. “Spend time and focus on [your] essays, and make sure the essays really depict who [you] really are,” Chinedu says.
When asked if there was anything else that Chinedu would like to share with readers, he stated that CollegeAdvisor was “a really great program” that helped him a lot. Chinedu stressed that CollegeAdvisor was helpful both in the big picture for the whole college application process, as well as the micro details of his supplemental essays.
This success story was written by Finn Bamber, and based on an interview with CollegeAdvisor Scholar Chinedu. If you want to learn more about the CollegeAdvisor Scholars program or get 1-on-1 help with your college applications from a CollegeAdvisor.com Admissions Expert, register with CollegeAdvisor.com today.