Student X Gets into Barnard, Early Decision!

Barnard - Early Decision

Student X grew up around the world. She started working with us in 9th grade and got accepted to her dream school, Barnard, Early Decision!

Application Persona

The artist and activist who uses art to drive social change

High School Location






Areas of Interest


Extracurricular Activities

  • Artist and Social Media Manager
  • Volunteer and Fundraiser
  • Architecture Research with Columbia Professor
  • Co-Head of School’s Art Board
  • Pianist
  • Graphic Design and Marketing Internship
  • Assistant Editor of Yearbook

The Challenges

  • Student X did not have a competitive transcript.
  • When Student X started working with us, she did not have any particularly strong academic interests. This was normal, as she was only in 9th grade!
  • Though Student X was an art student, she did not want to go to art school; she wanted to go to a reputable college with a strong art program. She needed to become more than an art student.
  • She also participated in a lot of different activities from art to dancing to music, and had a hard time prioritizing what to focus on. She was very busy!

How Did InGenius Prep Help?

Candidacy Building:

  • Counselor Assignment: We paired Student X with a Former Admissions Officer from Columbia and the Pratt Institute. Student X and her Former Admissions Officer shared a passion for the arts.
  • Relationship-Building: The work started off by really getting to know each other on a deep level, building trust, and figuring out Student X’s interests, passions, and goals. They did this through video chat meetings and relationship-building exercises.
  • Scheduling and Academic Planning: Student X’s Former Admissions Officer planned every aspect of her high school experience—from course selection to test scheduling to free time.
  • Time Management: Student X was busy and attended boarding school. So, her Former Admissions Officer created a time utilization spreadsheet to help her track her activities and spend her time wisely.
  • Educational Development: Throughout high school, Student X’s Former Admissions Officer worked on developing her as a student, friend, and member of the community. He did this by assigning her reading and writing projects, and helping her with her reflection, analytical, and discussion abilities.
  • Application Persona Development: Student X’s Former Admissions Officer worked with her to develop secondary interests to art. It wasn’t enough to just be interested in “art”; she needed something else—to be passionate for a cause or subject that she could use her art to support.
  • Interest Exploration and Development: When Student X started working with us, she was already interested in art, music, dance, and social media. Our goal was to further develop her current interests and help her identify and explore new passions.
    • Art Exploration: Though her Former Admissions Officer did not help her with her actual artwork, he helped her think about her art in more depth. He encouraged her to:
      • Consider what she wanted to accomplish with her art.
      • Think about what message she wanted to share with the world.
      • Use art as a way to express herself.
        • Art Studio Visits: He planned art studio visits for Student X, coached her on how to prepare for these unique opportunities, and worked with her to reflect on the experiences.
        • Art Competitions: He did research on impressive art competitions and then encouraged Student X to enter.
    • Social Media: When she started working with us, Student X was an outstanding artist with an impressive Instagram page. While working with us, her Former Admissions Officer coached her on how to build her online presence even more:
      • He assigned her social media exercises to learn more about what other successful accounts have done.
      • He helped her create a schedule for her postings.
      • He coached her on how to engage with her followers to build a community.
      • Most importantly, he encouraged her to develop a purpose for her social media postings. He wanted her online presence to make an impact on society.
      • When it was time to apply to college, Student X had more than 36,000 followers on Instagram! This is incredibly impressive! With a touch of a button, Student X can reach and positively impact thousands of people.
  • Academic Enhancement: Student X’s Former Admissions Officer wanted to balance out her average transcript and enhance her academic profile. So, he suggested an Academic Mentorship to accomplish this.
  • Academic Mentorship with Lecturer at Columbia: We connected Student X with a lecturer at Columbia. After their first session, Student X’s mentor put together a comprehensive plan complete with goals, learning objectives, schedule, and assignments.
  • Major and Program Exploration: Though Student X was an artist, she did not want to go to an art school (like RISD, for example) or major in art. Part of her Former Admissions Officer’s focus was to help her identify a potential major. This would help guide her academic work and the school list process later on. To help, he sent Student X information about different universities with art programs, schools with interdisciplinary options, and dual-degree programs.
  • Application Counseling: During the summer before senior year, we introduced a Graduate Coach from Princeton to Student X’s team and they started Application Counseling. After several years of working together, Student X, her family, and counselors decided to apply to Barnard, Early Decision.

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