What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How attainable is getting into RSI?

This might be a long shot, but I'm super interested in the Research Science Institute (RSI). It's known for being insanely competitive, right? Anyone have an idea about the acceptance rate or any tips for a hopeful student like me?

11 days ago

You're correct that the Research Science Institute (RSI) is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate usually around 3-4%. That means they select roughly 50 out of the many hundreds of applicants, most of which are top-of-the-line students, each year. Now, don't let these numbers discourage you, but rather let them serve as motivation to make your application as strong as possible!

For starters, RSI emphasizes STEM research, so showing a strong background and commitment to STEM is crucial. If you have significant achievements in these fields, such as high performances in competitions (think AMC and AIME or even higher like USA Olympiads) or original research published, those would definitely strengthen your application. However, if you don't have those yet, starting a science research project or getting involved in math competitions can be good first steps.

Next, make sure your application essays are well written. Considering you have limited space to convey who you are and why you are a good fit for RSI, every word and sentence should be meaningful and impactful. Explain why you are passionate about STEM, how you have pursued that passion, and how you plan to further it in the future. Avoid falling into cliches, make the essays personal and specific to your experiences.

Moreover, RSI does video interviews in the final round. If you reach this stage, prepare thoroughly for this part because it's where the admissions committee will get to know you more personally. Be ready to talk about your past experiences, projects, and passion for STEM. Try doing mock interviews with mentors or teachers to build confidence.

Since RSI is quite the "Tier 1" extracurricular in that it indicates exceptional achievement at the national level, it's, in fact, no easy feat to land a spot. However, with meticulous preparation, dedication in STEM, and portraying your genuine interest in your application and interviews, you stand a chance to seize one of those coveted spots. Good luck!

11 days ago

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