Colgate University, Molecular Biology

Name: Nevin Zinalova Yusufova
Home City/Country: Sevlievo, Bulgaria
U.S. Institution: Colgate University, NY
Academic Degree: BS
Major: Molecular Biology

Why did you choose to study in the United States?
The main reason why I chose U.S. education is named OPPORTUNITY. Studying in the U.S.A. would be best for me because it offers a liberal arts curriculum that would allow me to satisfy my curiosity about various disciplines. It also encourages the type of community work that I am eager to continue doing. And last but not least, in the U.S. I will be part of a diverse student community, I will be able to make lots of friends and at the same time I will be an ambassador of my home country Bulgaria.

How did you prepare for applying for admission with financial aid?
The key to success is to know how to structure your time. I spent my high school years preparing for the SAT exams, getting involved in extracurricular activities and earning high grades at school. Being engaged in various activities, made me a well-rounded student with clear academic goals.

How did you assess the colleges you applied to?
First, I took into consideration their rankings and reputation. Another important factor was the financial aid, offered for international students. Also, I sought for colleges with a liberal arts curriculum and a strong department of biology and chemistry.

How did you make your application stand out?
The leadership positions I had taken in my school and community, my SAT scores and my essays helped me to stand out. When presenting my self-portrait with both my personal and academic interests, I tried to show my enthusiasm and devotion.

What distinguished you from the other successful candidates?
In contrast to most science-oriented students, I like meeting new people and being involved in activities such as student council, camps, and youth conferences.

What was the most useful information you learned about how to present yourself successfully to colleges?
It is said, honesty is the best policy. Avoid being pompous. Reveal your true identity. Gaining valuable experience is often a long process. Students should describe the progress they have undergone and how it influenced their lives.

What mistakes did you make in the application process?
I was impatient and I wanted to be ready with all application forms in a short time. Later I realized that the longer the application process took, the better the final result was.

How are you preparing for a successful career upon graduation?
My future career in Molecular Biology is a field known for its out-of-the-box thinking. That is why, at high school, I tried to bridge different disciplines such as Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Mathematics. Being innovative and open-minded are characteristics that will definitely help me in my future career.

How are you preparing to give back to your country?
On graduation, I am planning to come back to Bulgaria to apply the knowledge and experience in the field of science I have gained.

Do you have any advice for prospective international students on how to maximize their chances to qualify for financial aid?
Before applying, students should have a clear idea of how much money their families can invest in their education in the U.S. I believe that need-based financial aid is an appropriate policy for international students who can’t meet the cost of attendance.

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