“Since I am the first person who got into NYU, a top 20 university, from my school, instead of creating a toxic atmosphere for competition, I might have motivated a lot of my juniors to see that they can get in as well,” says NYU Class of 2026 admit, Soubhagya Daspattanayak.
Getting into college is hard enough for domestic students as is. When a student is applying as an international student, it’s even harder. Meet Soubhagya, a student from India and one of the first students in his school’s history to get into a Top 20 college.
He is a Model U.N. leader and at one point, the youngest member of the Girl Up organization. Under the U.N. Soubhagya completed 90% of his extracurriculars virtually.
NYU accepted only 12.8% of applicants in 2021, making it one of the most selective and well-known colleges in the country.
How did Soubhagya did it with no third-party help, no consultants, and no college counselors with knowledge of U.S. college admissions? He shares highlights from his college app experience.
What was your high school experience like?
In my high school, I did not find a lot of people who were supportive of this idea of going abroad. Even if I told anyone today that I got into university abroad and I’m trying to go there, they would probably laugh it off as a joke. It’s the whole mindset that we’re born into: a lot of people think that it’s easier to get into universities abroad.
That’s not the case. There’s so much competition and toxicity in high school. Regardless of where you come from, high school is a really toxic place to be. That should not impact you. You should do your work regardless of what other people say. That only just gives you another reason to do better in life, to show them that you can do so much better regardless of where you come from.
Despite the toxicity in your high school, you got into NYU. Huge congrats! What do you think stood out about your application?
I personally feel like my extracurriculars and my essays were the cherry on top of the application. The reason I chose NYU as my ED option was because a lot of their alumni told me that getting selected into NYU depended heavily on the way you do extracurriculars. NYU itself has a lot of communities; they have so many collaborations with other organizations for students to work with. And NYU wants to see that you have started something similar to that during your high school journey. I had collaborations with