Q&A Interview with Scholarship Winner Christine Yuan

Congratulations are in order for College Raptor’s most recent $1,000 scholarship winner, Christine Yuan! We had a chance to interview her about her college planning experience. Here’s what she had to say.


Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I will be a college freshman in the fall. I am spending this summer working. I have a lot of small hobbies. I have around my room (like stacks of origami paper and bracelet-making string), but I mostly enjoy playing video games, playing the piano, and trying new foods.

Tell us about your college search journey. 

Christine Yuan Scholarship Winner

I dreaded the college application process so I put it off for a while, but I had a good idea of what I wanted from the very beginning. I probably started thinking seriously about it in early October, which is pretty late because by then, early decisions were well on their way.

I knew I wanted to stay in-state to be close to my family, and that I would be reliant on financial aid, but I also wanted to go somewhere competitive. The best schools in California include a few privates but largely the UC’s, so I focused on my UC application. I decided against applying to privates in general because the application process was much more intense and time-consuming, and these schools cost a lot more than public schools.

What College Raptor tool(s) did you use? 

I used the College Raptor College Match tool to help get a general idea of what schools I should be applying to, and I found the method of comparison that this tool provided very helpful. Something that stood out to me was how College Raptor took into account factors that other college search tools typically overlook; factors such as your desired. location as well as income and assets of both yourself and parents are crucial parts of the college search process.

What did you think when you heard you won a scholarship? 

I was pretty happy and relieved; it meant that the time I took to apply to various scholarships paid off in the end and that I would have to stress about money a little less in the future.

What have been any challenges you have faced in the process? 

In the college application process, the biggest challenge I faced was motivation to write about my character. I am someone who would rather let results like academics speak for themselves, so I struggled a lot and disliked recalling events in my life and how that would showcase who I was as a person.

I did not start until the week before UC applications were due (which isn’t good time management), but I recognize I needed the months prior to sort out my thoughts and pinpoint aspects of my character.

What are you most looking forward to in college? 

I’m looking forward to having more independence in my day-to-day life; I think it’d be a fun experience to live without my family and keep myself accountable to studying and taking care of myself.

What’s a piece of advice you would give to an upcoming HS graduate? 

I would suggest figuring out the colleges you are looking to apply to as soon as possible and taking into account all your options so you have the opportunity to apply Early Decision if you want to. However, I didn’t start early (I started my essays in November and I am convinced they are better than if I started in August), so it is absolutely alright to take your time in figuring out who you want to portray yourself as.

I would also look into the cost of attending, and if the school would provide you financial aid if you need it, as debt is something that will continue to affect you after you graduate.


Congratulations again, Christine!

If, like Christine, you’d like some help in your college search, sign up for a free College Raptor account! With it, you can:

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