Student Spotlight: Kunju

In this series, we spotlight a student who worked with Vanguard on their college admissions process. Here is our interview with Kunju, who improved her SAT scores by more than 600 points in the Vanguard test prep program. She applied to college for the fall of 2023 and was accepted to Rice, UT Austin, Baylor, Trinity, SMU, and Texas A&M Engineering with a full ride!

Why did you start working with Vanguard?

I started working with Vanguard in middle school when I started prepping for the SAT. I’ve been with Vanguard probably over six years now. 

What was your experience like in the test prep program?

It was great. When I started, I took a diagnostic test and then did reading comprehension and grammar with Vanguard’s program. The way it switches between learning and testing was really helpful because I could review and fix the mistakes I made on the practice tests. 

Why did you choose to work with us on college counseling?

We got an email from Vanguard about the college counseling program, and I definitely wanted to try it. It had been over ten years since my sister applied to college, and I wanted to be ahead; Alina, Director of College Counseling, talked us through how college counseling works and it seemed like the best fit for us. 

What was the college selection process like?

I already had a good idea of what colleges I wanted to go to, and my College Counselor, Madison, helped me narrow down the choices based on my personal preferences for social life and academic culture. 

Was there anything else Vanguard helped you with during the college application process?

Vanguard helped with all of my scholarship essays and the narrative, and helped me tweak supplemental essays for various colleges. The writing we learned in high school wasn’t really enough for a college-level essay. 

What was essay coaching with Vanguard like?

Great. I came into it with a rough idea of what I wanted my narrative to be about. My Essay Specialist and I experimented with different structures, which really helped me to pick the best fit for me. 

How did your essay turn out?

I think it turned out great. I thought it was really creative, looking back on it. The organization behind it was really creative. 

Do you feel like your writing skills improved from working with Vanguard?

Yes, absolutely. 100%.

Have you accepted an offer of admission from a college yet?

Yes, I accepted UTD through the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, which only accepts twenty students.

What are your future plans?

Majoring in CS, specifically improving online media accessibility with AI.

What was your favorite part of working with Vanguard?

I think the best part of Vanguard is the support system. Every time I have a question or need something done, everyone is glad to help out. Janey, the Assistant Director of College Counseling, even reviewed my graduation speech. 

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