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Harper, Class of '18-- St. Olaf College
Road to College

Which university are you planning to attend and what influenced your choice?

I will be attending St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. I chose St. Olaf because I was looking for a strong community, similar to the one I am a part of at Concordia, where I would have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of academic and artistic interests. St. Olaf also has extensive study abroad programs, which was very important to me in making my decision.

Was there a particular program that interested you when choosing where to apply?

I applied to five schools (St. Olaf College, Macalester College, Occidental College, Pacific Lutheran University, and Trinity University) and was accepted at all of them. I chose these schools because they all have very strong liberal arts focuses and are committed to allowing their students to push their academic curiosities and take time to figure out what they want to study. As someone who is going into college undeclared, it was really important to me that any school I choose have a strong liberal arts philosophy, a wide variety academic options, and a dedication to helping students find their passions.

Was there a particular program that interested you when choosing where to apply?

My junior year internship in the elementary school really helped me to understand if education could be the right path for me. Education is still definitely on the table, but I'm not positive that that is what I want to study. This year my Applied Global Development class has gotten me really excited about the possibility of pursuing work in the effort to solve major global issues. I have found that I am very passionate about seeing areas of need and helping to find sustainable solutions, but I am not sure how that can be translated into a major.

In your opinion, what made your application(s) stand out? 

I think one major thing that made my application stand out was my focus on my sense of identity. I'm American born and raised, but I have attended all of high school in China and my Puerto Rican heritage is extremely important to me. It is not easy for me to answer the question "Where are you from?", and I think that is something that set me apart from other applicants.

What excites you most about college life?

I am most excited about the new connections I will make in college. Just like there are many people at Concordia who I will stay connected to for years to come, I have no doubt I will meet many life-long friends and mentors at St. Olaf, which to me is really exciting.

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