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College Affordability and Preparedness

Limmy Shares His Top Tips for College Applicants


Daniel Lim shares college admissions and application advice on his @Limmytalks social media platforms and is currently developing, a platform aimed at democratizing college admissions guidance. We spoke to him about what current and soon-to-be college applicants can do to improve their chances of getting into their ideal schools.

Daniel Lim

Creator, @Limmytalks

“Find what you love to do, both for yourself and for your college application.”

What made you want to create content about applying for college?

I realized the transition from high school to college is the first major life event for most people. Knowing how important (and stressful) it can be, I wanted to help kids and parents navigate this period with as much knowledge as possible. As an immigrant to the US, there’s a lot I didn’t know which looking back, I wish I did – that’s why I love doing what I do.

If you had your way, what changes would you make to the college application system?

I would make the admissions process completely transparent. Open dialogue between admissions offices and students, transparency about what universities are looking for, and possibly even universities providing feedback on students’ profiles early on would be something I want to see. That’s actually what we’re working on at Dreamschool.

What are some common denominators among good college applications?

Solid grades (top 10% of your class), 1,500+ SAT score, solid extracurriculars, a well thought-out essay, and signs of authenticity and — most importantly — maturity throughout an application. Admissions officers want to make sure you won’t flunk out, have issues, or not find something to work for at university.

Is there anything you would have changed about your college experience or the way you applied to colleges?

If I knew what I knew now, I would’ve followed my intuition more and tried to find things I truly loved to do. Being a big tennis fan and making movies since childhood, I wish I had started making content about tennis — maybe I would’ve been doing something completely different now!

Being so stiff about being on the medicine track prevented me from doing things I wanted to that would’ve been beneficial to my college application. As for how I approached the process, I don’t think I would’ve change too much — I’m pretty happy about how it turned out.

If you could give college applicants one piece of advice, what would it be?

If you’re an underclassmen, find what you love to do, both for yourself and for your college application. Admissions officers have a great sense of knowing when a student loves what they do — and you can speak so much about it in your essays. A big part of maturity is knowing what you like and don’t like.

If you’re an upperclassmen, I’d give the same advice but slightly different — self reflect and think deeply about who you are. Find yourself. Know who you are and aren’t, what drives you, and what you want and don’t want. It’s way easier to approach the admissions process once you’ve done some self-work. For me, this was super important — I needed self-contemplation before my essays reflected who I actually was.

You can get more college admissions advice from Limmy by following him on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.

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