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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Securing a big scholarship to an Ivy League Institution

Olivia’s journey from Jaipur to Dartmouth College, supported by a substantial scholarship of $70,000 per year, highlights her remarkable dedication and work ethic. Dartmouth, an Ivy League University, represents an elite group of higher education institutions renowned for their academic excellence, outstanding faculty, amazing infrastructure, and a great alumni network. With admit rates of 3% to 6%, admission to these universities requires top grades, excellent co-curricular activities, community involvement, and leadership experience.  While Ivy League education offers unparalleled networking and academic opportunities, the financial burden can be daunting, often amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses. 

Reflecting on her journey, Olivia acknowledges the pivotal role this scholarship plays in fulfilling her dream of studying abroad. “Since I was a kid, my father had told me that if I wanted to go abroad, it would have to be on a scholarship, otherwise it wasn’t possible.” She explains, “I didn’t think something like this was possible. Being able to study at an Ivy League, go abroad, and receive a scholarship to learn, contribute, and grow in such an esteemed institution was a distant dream that, now actualized, has taught me that I am capable of anything I truly aspire with adequate hard work, correct mentorship and unwavering hope. I want to use this feat to set the path for not only my family but also for lower to middle-class students with limited finances.” 

With an impressive array of International Baccalaureate (IB) subjects including Economics HL, Math AA HL, and Psychology HL, as well as a SAT score of 1520, Olivia’s academic journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence. She intends to major in Psychology and the Cognitive Sciences, with an intended minor in Economics, Public Policy, and Vocal Music in college. She is passionate about understanding human behavior, involvement, and interaction within society, and believes that by understanding the functioning of the human brain, one can unlock solutions and resolve countless global challenges, from technology to climate change. Her research endeavors have further fuelled her interest in the field, demonstrating a keen intellect and a thirst for knowledge beyond conventional boundaries.

When looking for ways to expand her interest in psychology through research and strengthen her profile, Olivia came across Scholarly. “I always had the misconception that research was an academic pursuit only for college students. Scholarly was the first avenue that helped me challenge this notion of mine and learn about research methodologies and academic writing as a high schooler.” Working under Prof. Stanislaw Kolek, Scholarly’s research program helped her to channel her burgeoning interest in psychology into a tangible research project: “The Impact Of Music Choice On Distracted Driver Behaviour.” This innovative study not only helped her to combine her two contrasting interests in Music and Psychology but also allowed her to address real-life issues through college-level learning. 

Beyond her academic pursuits, Olivia’s commitment to social impact is exemplified by her project Vakalat AI. Recognizing the need to democratize access to legal information, Olivia collaborated with a classmate to develop Vakalat AI: an AI-powered chatbot making legal aid and information accessible to any individual in India at no cost. Her project has received funding and national recognition for its potential to impact low-income families across India from esteemed institutions like Harvard University and the YLAC Social Action Incubator. As Olivia gets ready to join Dartmouth College in Fall 24, she carries with her not only a wealth of academic achievements but also a profound sense of purpose and commitment to making a difference in the world. Her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring scholars everywhere, reminding them that with perseverance, passion, and a thirst for knowledge, no dream is beyond reach.

In Olivia, we see not just a scholar, but a trailblazer destined to make a lasting impact on society and a strong role model for middle-income, ambitious students aiming to achieve their dreams despite their resounding limitations. 

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