A group of undergraduates band together to create a means of assisting high school students in their grueling college applications.
College applications are arguably one of the most stressful periods of a high school senior’s life, but a startup created by undergraduates themselves, is determined to help students prepare for the college entrance examinations and screening processes. Daesun Yim (MIT ’14), Chris Tian (NYU ’14), Atharv Vaish (Caltech ’14), and Ronak Gandhi (UPenn ’14) have created Uncommon App, a service that coaches high school students on how to build résumes, write essays, obtain teacher recommendations, and handle interviews—all from a local perspective. Daesun Yim explains:
Our consultants are from local high schools; they know the area, they know the teachers. Though college consulting is a field that sits well with the experiences of this group of college students, all too often it gets a bad rap for creating students who don’t pursue their true passions and instead participate in activities wholly for the sake of getting into college. Uncommon App is careful to avoid doing this, and include the following in their consultants’ manuals: ‘Your applicant shouldn’t overload on extracurriculars with the hope of compiling an impressive laundry list of activities and achievements. Instead, you should be helping your students find meaningful commitments.’