Tai Nguyen deserves a round of applause for winning the $1,000 College Raptor scholarship! His winning essay included details about his college journey and we just had to know more.
Here is our Q&A interview with scholarship winner Tai Nguyen!
Tell us about yourself!
Hey! I’m Tai Nguyen and currently a senior at Mountain View High. When not working on bettering myself, I can be found exercising, on a bike ride with friends, or online playing games. I love sports and am a 3 sport varsity athlete (cross country,
wrestling, and swimming) throughout my high school career, being captain for cross country and wrestling.
On the weekends I attend Boy Scout meetings and help out my troop. As an Eagle Scout, I continue to help my troop grow and rank up. I also help teach Vietnamese and Buddhism at a temple to younger kids. Having gone to the same Saturday school, I felt inclined to give back and help the community that has helped foster my fluency in Vietnamese.
During my week after school, I head off to work at In N Out Burgers, to gain experience in a work setting, as well as work on communication and teamwork skills.
What do you want to study in college?
I look forward to studying either business or some sort of management in college. I do not feel any strong pull towards any specific career, but I believe that if I learn proper management skills, I can branch out and pursue what I want later in life. The general skills learned in that field is applicable to everywhere in life, and hence I believe that is a great starting point for my future.
What were your most important factors in a college before and after using College Raptor?
One of my top factors in finding a college before was prestige. I had a huge list of super well-known colleges, and I was eagerly looking to apply to all of them. After stumbling upon College Raptor, I realized that there was much more to college than its name. The price along with the student life became much more important to me after using College Raptor. I took into consideration the application fee along with the full 4-year enrollment costs.
Along with evaluating the costs, I took a look at the student life and realized that many colleges I had picked did not have the atmosphere that I was looking for. Some were extremely strict and competitive, while others were party schools. In the end, my priorities shifted and student life became my top factor with cost coming in second.
Do you think Raptor reduced your stress or saved you time in the college search process?
Definitely! The site was super easy to use and the side-by-side comparisons just made scrolling the hardest part. All the colleges were lined up, catered to my preferences and data. Price tags were shown clearly, as well as admission rates, and links directly to the school to check out should I want to learn more. This saved me a lot of
time jumping from one school site to another.
What schools are you considering now?
I was accepted to UC Irvine, UCLA, and West Point, and have decided to commit to West Point. With College Raptor’s help, I narrowed down my list to 3 colleges, that met my ideal vision for college.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to fellow students also searching for colleges?
The prestige is only temporary. Your life is not defined by where you go to school, but how you use your education. And of course, don’t be daunted by the whole application process. Remember to relax, breathe, and take some much need breaks during the stressful essay writing sessions!
Thank you for sharing your story, Tai! And congratulations again on your win. Curious about College Raptor’s scholarship? Check out this link for the latest scholarship application news.