25-Year-Old Indian Human Rights Worker Accepted to USCD with a Full Scholarship, NYU, Georgetown, George Washington and American University Despite Low GRE scores and a Gap in Employment
After being accepted to NYU in 2015 but unable to attend due to finances, Vida knew she had to take a different approach to be accepted into the public policy graduate school of her dreams—and be able to pay for it.
“I couldn’t get an educational loan,” Vida explained. “I work in human rights, so they look at my credit [score], which was really low, obviously. And I come from a middle-class Indian family. We don’t have much money in [our] pocket, so I had to turn it down for financial reasons. I also learned a few things on my first application, which was my GRE scores are low and I need to improve my work experiences, which I have since then.”
Vida also had a gap in her work history which she knew would be a challenge to apply to graduate school again. She knew she had to do something differently, so she googled and found us here at The Art of Applying®. She subscribed to the blog for several years before she finally took a Breakthrough Call with a member of our team.
She explained, “It’s very people-centered and heart-centered. You’re concerned about each individual rather than the stats. That’s why I decided this is the consultant that I want to be partners with in my application [process].”
After Vida began the process of applying, working with our team of consultants inspired her to reach higher and apply to eight different schools.
She realized, “I can aim higher. I can totally aim for NYU, again, which is a difficult school, or with American University which is one of the top policy schools in the world and I honestly was not expecting to even get into AU at that time and the consultants [said] ‘no, we can get you in there. Do you want to get in there?” And I said, ‘well, if you can help me, then yes.’”
We did help her! The first school Vida was accepted to was American University.
“That’s why you would need a consultant to help you with your essays and your resumes,” Vida said. “Well, at least for me, I need a bunch of people who helped me see my vision and helped me share my vision so that I can actualize it.”
Vida said with the structure, strategy, and attention to telling her story, The Art of Applying gave her perspective and she was able to pursue her dreams. Our team was able to see her specific challenges and address them head-on.
When asked what she would tell someone like her, “I would say don’t worry about it, you know my scores are really low like 297. It’s just, no one will ever tell you to apply with those scores, but I did and I like the fact that [the consultant] was able to see [things] from my perspective, my problems, and where I see myself. They shared my vision. And that’s when I realized, yeah I’m doing the right thing by coming to your team.”
We are so glad that Vida came to our team and we were able to help her accomplish her goals. We can’t wait to see where graduate school takes her in life.
Service: Application Accelerator®
Join Date: August 2018 | End Date: May 2019
- Age: 25
- Three years of work experience in Human Rights
- Undergraduate: Delhi University, Political Science, Honors
- GRE: 153V, 143Q
- Georgetown University
- George Washington University
- American University
- New York University
- UCSD: Full scholarship
- George Washington: Global Initiatives Scholarship: $18,000 and ESIA Tuition Fellowship: $18,000
Despite low GRE scores, Vida was accepted to her dream school
“I have really low GRE scores. I got a 143 and a 145 in Quantitative and 154 in Verbal, which is really low for a lot of policy schools that I’m applying to. I have about three to four years of work experience, and I’m 25, so I’m still in the lower end of the classic route. But, as long as you peek in other areas or as long as you show the admissions committee that, ‘this is who I am as a person.’ Because they take a holistic approach. In India when you apply for graduate school or Ph.D., there’s usually an examination, they have to give. So you pass that, then you’re good. But in the US, they prefer to see you as a whole, who are you as a person. So if you’re able to tell the outcome that ‘this is who I am, and this is why I went to school, and this is why I fit into your school,’ I think that you’re good.”
Vida found her true self shined as she worked with us to develop her CV:
“My CV saw great improvement. I have never been good at writing CVs and I’ve never been good at listing down my accomplishments, because sometimes I feel like, ‘Oh, do I sound arrogant? Am I talking too much about myself? Or am I not selling myself enough?’ Like it’s either of the two extremes. So in my CV, I that’s where I see the most growth. My true self was really brought out with my accomplishments without sounding too arrogant.”
With refined essays and an improved application strategy, Vida was accepted to several top policy schools:“So, having been through the process in 2015, I knew that my essays were going to be a game-changer for me… A lot of schools, ask you a question, ‘Based on your experience, how would you answer this question?’ So for me, I have so many experiences. I don’t know which one to choose. I don’t know which one would be best to answer this particular question. So that’s where the consultants were a lot of help, they helped me understand like, ‘Oh, this experience is good. This is good, but not for this question, but for this other question.’ Well, so far, I’ve received acceptance into two schools and NYU has a really low acceptance rate, and I got in with a 297 score.”