Following in the footsteps of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and writer Amitav Ghosh, making the Doon School proud is its student Pulkit Agarwal, who has received seven Ivy League admission offers from Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, UPenn, Brown, Cornell and Darmouth. The 17-year-old has received offers from Stanford, the University of Chicago, Georgetown, Duke, Wesleyan and Northwestern as well
“I am obviously overjoyed with the results. I had applied to about 20 universities of which 15 have given me offers. Most of them have also been generous with finances,” begins a visibly excited Pulkit at the other end of the line. Harvard is giving the youngster a scholarship of $61,000 (approx `38 lakh) a year.
With his parents being doctors, Pulkit says that right from a young age, he was conditioned to regard academics as being very important. His Scholastic Aptitude Test score was 2,360 out of 2,400. Pulkit, who is pursuing an international baccalaureate at Doon School, Dehradun, says, “The curriculum at our school helped me explore a lot of interests besides my academic pursuits. I studied English, German, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and Economics at the school. Besides this, I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, which helped boost my profile.”
On deciding to go abroad to study, he says, “Right from Class X, I had decided that I would study abroad. It is not that we lack good quality education here. But I wanted to make use of the liberal arts education that is being offered there. I have also heard a lot about the robust facilities they have there, not to forget the practical experience and the opportunities for research.”
On the admission process, he says, “I sat with my school career counselling team and we deliberated on the universities and choice of subjects. I had essays as part of the admission process where I was asked to explain about the good I would bring to the university, how much I would contribute to the surroundings, how my goals and ambitions fits that of the university and the like. There were some Skype interviews and personal interviews in the university offices in Delhi.”
Though not having decided yet on which Ivy League college to pick, Pulkit is leaning towards Economics at Harvard quite a bit.