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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Jerry Liu (’24) gets accepted into MIT

Jerry+Liu+%2824%29+achieves+his+dreams+by+getting+into+MIT.
Yatin Bayya
Jerry Liu (’24) achieves his dreams by getting into MIT.

With an acceptance rate of just 4.8%, admission to colleges like MIT is becoming increasingly competitive. However, Jerry Liu (‘24) finds his spot in MIT’s class of 2028.

As a rising physics major, Liu is part of many extracurriculars to better his chances at admission.  He is a member of the Math and Physics Club, USAMO Honorable Mention, part of the USA Physics Team, USACO Platinum, and AVJournalism

“I was targeting specifically for MIT. Since a young age, that was my dream school and [my activities] were targeted to try and get into MIT. A lot of my school work didn’t take that much time out of my day, and I spent a lot of time doing math and physics and extracurriculars,” said Liu.

The Road to MIT

Representing the USA at the International Physics Olympiad Competition, the US Physics team chooses students selectively. Members are selected based on results from the F=ma Exam, before sending them to an intensive training camp.

“Last summer, I was accepted into the US Physics team, which put me in a really good spot. I also went to the Research Science Institute summer camp and [did] some research at MIT. I think that helped me stand out,” said Liu.

The Research Science Institute (RSI) is a selective program that takes students to intensive week-long STEM classes at MIT’s campus. Students also have the opportunity to conduct science and engineering research.

“My project specifically involved automating a system with lasers and it was a lot of grinding. My research paper ultimately got me a top 5 research paper award at RSI. It was a lot of research and gave me a lot of engineering experience,” said Liu.

Among the qualities that MIT looks for are collaboration and initiative. The Umlaut Foundation, Liu’s non-profit organization, offers various services such as college buddies, drop-in classes, and discovery lectures.

“The Umlaut Foundation is a non-profit foundation that my cousin initially started, and then she passed it down to me when she went to college. It’s an organization providing free tutoring services to foster youth through mainly online applications like Zoom. For Umlaut, we got over 300 students to tutor and also have 50+ volunteer tutors as well,” said Liu.

Acceptance

Acceptance rates to top colleges have been declining with more students applying and more competition. MIT’s acceptance rate has dropped from about 10% to less than 5%. 

“Obviously, I knew I had a bigger chance to get into MIT, but I also knew nothing was guaranteed, so I was still extremely nervous and couldn’t sleep the day before the decision came out. When I got it, I was like really really excited,” said Liu.

Unlike most other colleges, the MIT application is not on CommonApp and has its own portal. It consists of five short essay prompts and a limit of four activities to mention. 

“After submitting, it felt kind of revealing because, personally, I don’t like writing college applications. Start writing your college applications early. I don’t think I started early enough, and I was struggling. I am a procrastinator,” said Liu. “[After getting accepted], I definitely have been more chilling. Senioritis has hit me really hard. I have been spending more time hanging out with my friends and doing other stuff.”

 

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    Amogh BelgalFeb 29, 2024 at 6:12 pm

    Very well written yatin!

    Reply