Andy Wei

Andy Wei (1).JPG

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Gregori Class of 2017

Biomedical Engineering & Civil Engineering

Weighted GPA at Gregori: 4.0 or above

SAT Composite Score (2400 Scale): 1500

SAT Composite Score (1600 Scale): 1440

ACT Composite Score: 31

What extracurriculars would you recommend listing on your application?

I would suggest listing extracurriculars that you have participated in for at least a couple of years. Clubs, sports, activities, volunteers, and etc. that you have participated in for multiple years shows commitment and passion to the college. (I also highly recommend putting an internship that pertains to your passion/major if applicable because it helps you stand out as an applicant). Colleges also like to see leadership positions and any academic contest placements. If you are a senior applicant, there is not much else to do besides continuing what you have already been doing the past few years since college applications are due early in the school year. Overall, you should put activities that you have done for the past few years or activities you are most passionate about (especially if it relates to your major).

When applying to colleges, did you consider applying to scholarships? When did you begin to look into them? How did you find scholarships to apply to?

When applying to certain colleges, many of them have their own merit/need-based scholarships. Most of these are private schools. For example, USC automatically considers you for merit scholarships when you apply before a certain date (I think it was Dec. 1). UC schools also automatically consider you for merit scholarships (called Regents). However, there are also schools such as Vanderbilt or University of Michigan in which you must fill out a separate application for their scholarships. These usually must be filled out around the time you apply to the school. There also many local scholarships that you can apply to. Talk to Mrs. Kuykendall about these. She notifies you of scholarship applications through Remind because she is the sweetest person ever. Naviance is also a great tool for looking for scholarships. There are a lot of scholarships that places such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell give if you apply to them. I personally applied to one of my school’s scholarship programs and various local scholarships, providing me with the funds to completely cover my first year. Even if you have financial issues and are worried about college funds like me, there are a TON of small local scholarships that you can apply to.

Is there anything that you mainly focused on during your application? Any suggestions for seniors who are applying?

A HUGE suggestion I have for student applicants is to not worry about your GPA/test scores too much. At the start of your senior year, the grades you are sending to your colleges are final (except if you are applying to private schools at the regular decision timeframe).There’s no use worrying about something that has already been done. Also, many applicants place too much of an emphasis on their SAT/ACT scores. When a college counselor looks at your application, they will see your name, GPA, test scores, and etc. Then, they will see a huge block of text which are your personal essays. Which one do you think will stick on their mind more? Of course, test scores, GPA, and extracurricular activities are very important. However, it is the personal essays that separate you from the rest of the applications revolving around mere numbers. An advice I have is to google “-insert college name- common data set” and click on the most recent year/data. If you scroll down, you will see demographic data, average test scores/GPA, and most importantly a chart listing what academic/non-academic aspects of an application are important or not.

Would you recommend going to a community college and then transferring to a different college? Why or why not? Is it easy to transfer schools?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to a community college such as MJC and then transferring to a different college. Every student has a different situation, whether it is financial issues, family issues, rejection from a dream college, or etc. Going to a community college is significantly cheaper than immediately attending a four year university, which is a huge plus. Community colleges in California have a tag program that give you a guaranteed acceptance to any of the UC’s, except for UCB, UCSD, and UCLA.Transferring to schools is easier (higher acceptance rate) than applying as a high school applicant, but it is still in no way easy. You must still put the same amount of effort if not more in community college.