INDIA: Kolkata boy achieves perfect score in SAT, gets calls from 7 top US varsities

Examsguru- KOLKATA: A 19-year-old boy from the city has received admission offers from seven top US varsities, most of them Ivy League, after achieving a perfect score in SAT, the standardized examination for admission to American colleges. Arunavha Chanda, who appeared for this year’s class XII board examination from Delhi Public School Ruby Park, is so baffled that he can’t make up his mind with just nine days to go before the deadline.

Torn between Harvard, Stanford and Columbia University, Arunavha wishes he could study at all three. “Time is ticking but I haven’t been able to decide yet because it may turn out to be the most crucial decision of my life,” he told TOI.

Arunavha had applied to eight US universities and got through seven — Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Cornelle, Georgia Institute of Technology and Dartmouth College. He has got prestigious scholarships from Columbia and Duke and financial aid from the rest as they do not offer scholarships at under-graduate level.

In fact, the only college he did not get invited to is MIT and that too because he could not submit a project on time because of his board exams.

Arunavha and his mother Bani, a doctor and hospital administrator who gave up her job to take care of him when he was in class V, are now researching on the universities to check which has the best to offer. His father Amitabha is a consultant neurosurgeon.

The mother-son duo has discovered that Harvard has produced the largest number of billionaires; Stanford has been a breeding ground of entrepreneurs; and Columbia has Nobel laureates swarming the campus. “We are now studying the work being done by the professors and alumni and what opportunity I may get there,” Arunavha said.

At Columbia, Arunavha has been offered the prestigious C. Prescott Davis scholarship, awarded to the best engineering/applied sciences students across the world. As a CP Davis scholar, he has the opportunity to enter the university as an elite student and work on projects alongside 102 Nobel Laureate alumni and faculty. Duke has offered him the Karsh International Scholarship, the first to an Indian.

Getting scholarships as international students in undergraduate courses in US universities is very difficult with institutions looking for high SAT scores, a brilliant academic record through high school, exceptional academic and extra-curricular achievements and performance in interviews.

Arunavha sailed through with a perfect 2400/2400 in SAT, scoring full 800 in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics Level II. Having topped every year from class II to XII, scoring over 90% in all subjects, his academic record was exceptional. In addition, he has won gold medals at Olympiads and achieved international ranks of 4 and 7 in Cyber Olympiads and has figured among the top 10 in Science and Math Olympiads. Arunavha is also a three-time national champion in quizzing (he won the Limca Book of Records Quiz 2011 at the national level), was the school head boy, president of the Interact Club and a stage actor.

“I think I will do my undergraduation from one university and postgraduation from another. While Stanford is where I would want to do my postgraduation since it has a culture of spawning entrepreneurs, something that I want to be, it is a toss-up between Harvard and Columbia,” he said. Arunavha wants to study Computer Science and Engineering, do a second major in Mathematics and a degree course in Theatre,

A football buff and diehard Chelsea fan, one factor playing on his mind is the trip to New York that the Boys in Blues make each year. “Since Columbia is located in New York, it offers an opportunity to catch my favourite team in action, Live!” he said.

News Source: India Times

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