Columbia International College Student Admitted to World’s Top Universities
On April 1, 2010, Tracy Xu could think about nothing but university. She had sat through a day of classes filled with a mix of excitement and anxiety and getting home and turning on her computer was the only thing on her mind. Xu was sitting on the cusp of her future, waiting for the clock to strike 4:00 p.m. At 4:00 pm, she would find out if she had been admitted to the universities of her dreams.
This year, universities received a record number of applications. In what has proven to be the toughest year in history for admission to top universities, competition was stiff. Xu knew that she was a good student, but she didn’t know which of the universities she had applied would offer her First Year spot for September 2010. Xu would soon find out.
Admitted to the World’s Best
Xu is one of Columbia’s top students and ranks among the top 5 of her graduating class. She has always dreamed of attending a top university in the United States and now her dream has come true. The May 2010 graduate has been accepted to some of the world’s top universities despite stiff competition.
Xu has been accepted to:
• The University of Chicago
• Duke University
• McGill University
• Queen’s University
• The University of Virginia
The University of Chicago and Duke University* are two of the world’s top 15 universities. They turned away many talented students this year, Xu was not one of them. The University of Chicago only admitted 18.38% of 19,370 applicants, while Duke admitted 14.86% of its 26,770 applicants. Xu’s exemplary application packages, extracurricular participation and academic success impressed admission committees.
In one of Xu’s admission letters, the Director of International Admissions said “In the largest and most competitive of applicant pools, your abilities and accomplishments stood out to me and the rest of the admissions committee. Your application was a thrill to read.”
Xu is delighted that she has been accepted to some of the world’s top universities. “It feels good knowing so many years of hard work have finally paid off. It’s very satisfying. I know I am on the track to a great life,” says Xu.
University Placement Office (Stepping into Her Future)
Prior to enrolling in Columbia, Xu had a dream which she did not know how to achieve. “Before I came to Columbia, I had universities in mind but I was not doing things to get me into university. I had no idea what I should do and I needed guidance. Columbia’s UPO (University Placement Office) was so essential to my application process; I don’t know where I would be without the help of the University Placement Officers.” She credits the Office with offering guidance, encouragement and a listening ear.
University Placement Officer Mr. Patrick says “Tracy is one of the top five graduating students this semester. She is hardworking, conscientious and persistent. She continually strives for excellence in everything she does.”
Xu hopes to study Biology at university however she says that she will be keeping her academic options open.
A Student Leader
After completing Grade 10 at Beijing Hui Jia Private School, Xu enrolled at Columbia in August 2008. Soon after her arrival, Xu became involved with Columbia’s Leadership Program. In her first semester, she was a Student Council Class representative. In her second semester, Xu became a school prefect and in the fall of 2009 Xu was elected Student Council President, a position she still holds.
“The Student Leadership Program at Columbia is great. It gives everyone an opportunity to grow, succeed and learn to be a leader. It has boosted my confidence and taught me that there are always opportunities; one just has to look for them,” says Xu, “I never imagined I could be the Student Council President before I came to Columbia. But now I am.”
In addition to her Student Council responsibilities, Xu is also a peer tutor for four different subjects – English, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics – and she has been a Student Mentor and Orientation Leader.
A High Achiever
Xu’s teachers say she is an exemplary student and they are not surprised that she has been accepted to many world-renowned universities.
“Right from the minute she joined the Grade 11 English course I could tell [Tracy] was talented. She is articulate, and has excellent critical abilities. She was writing university level essays in 4U English. I reviewed her university application essays and they were good. They came across as fresh and original,” said Dr. Newman, who was her 3U and 4U English teacher. He is very excited about the news.
Xu says that her teachers at Columbia inspired her to work hard and that she found them very passionate. She attributes her success at Columbia to staying on top of her work and believes that not procrastinating has played a big part in her strong academic performance. She advises fellow students to do their work early and ask questions when they need help.
The Columbia Difference
Xu believes the Total Care Education System® at Columbia has helped her focus on her studies. “It is nice to know that your life is taken care of. There is always a meal waiting for me and I don’t have to worry it,” she says. According to her, the great thing about Total Care® is that “your parents know someone is taking care of you. Someone is always keeping an eye on you and checks that you are doing what you are supposed to do. Your parents can check if you are going to school or not, unlike some other schools where you might be skipping for days and nobody knows.”
Xu also appreciates the international environment at Columbia “Being at Columbia has really widened my world view. Here you meet people from countries you have never heard of,” she says, adding that “In my other schools we did not have as many international students as Columbia. I didn’t really get a sense of other people’s culture. Here I see students singing and dancing to their music. That is something we never do in China.”
Xu looks forward to attending university in September.
Congratulations on your acceptances Tracy! We are very proud of you and wish you continued success in the future.
* World University Rankings
University of Chicago – 7
Duke University – 14
(courtesy of QS World University Rankings, 2009)
U.S National University Rankings
University of Chicago – 8
Duke University – 10
(courtesy of U.S. News & World Report, National University Ranking, 2010)