top of page
A student receiving help from a consultant

Case Studies

At Bentham Admissions, we believe that every student has a unique story that can lead to success in the competitive world of college admissions. Our approach is centered around understanding and highlighting each individual's distinct journey, transforming their experiences into compelling narratives for top colleges and universities. Our case studies showcase how strategic positioning, personalized guidance, and a deep understanding of the admissions landscape have helped our clients achieve their dreams. From redefining academic focuses to accentuating unique extracurricular passions, each story is a testament to the power of a customized approach in navigating the college application process.

Asian Client admitted to Cornell by focusing on urban design and her story of being a first-generation American

The client came to us in the second month of her senior year. She was enrolled at a public high school for the arts as a clarinetist. 3.85 unweighted GPA, 35 ACT, rigorous course load with 8 AP courses. Worked for a congressman, medalled in state and national clarinet competitions, created an eco-friendly park in her town, completed the COSMOS program at UC Davis learning about city planning and environmental impact, represented her city in the Miss Orange County contest, yearbook copywriter, worked in her family’s sushi restaurant.


This client was interested in animal science, but as this is a highly competitive major, she took our recommendation to use other aspects of her profile and positioned herself as a double major in urban studies and landscape architecture.  As a female, she was a compelling applicant in Urban Studies, a male-dominated area of study. 


Because she fell below a 4.0 with two Bs during the pandemic, Bentham encouraged her to write the additional information essay offered by the Common App for students whose performance was affected by the pandemic or other forces beyond their control. She wrote a poignant essay about doing her remote learning on the bar while working in her parents’ restaurant. As first-generation immigrants, her parents expected her to put the family restaurant first. With Bentham’s guidance, the client transformed this essay into her personal statement, focusing on balancing her obligations and studies, and standing up to her parents, first-generation immigrants with a strong cultural belief in family obligation, in order to pursue her academic and professional dreams.

Outcome: Accepted Early Decision to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell.

Caucasian female admitted to UCLA as a major in American Studies.

This client is a female at a competitive public high school. 3.91 unweighted GPA, 4.5 weighted GPA, 1420 SAT, with not a particularly rigorous course load. She was awarded regional trophies in tennis, was team captain, vice president of her school’s Unicef program, and had other public service.


This client began working with Bentham in the fall of her Senior year and presented an interest in history. Recognizing that she was interested in an oversubscribed field, especially at selective institutions, and her SAT score of 1420 was somewhat low for a highly competitive school, Bentham looked for a connection to a less popular major within the student’s profile. After an extensive review of the student’s materials and an initial conversation, Bentham suggested that the student apply as an American Studies major.


At Bentham’s direction, the client tailored her essays to American studies, emphasizing her deep interest in American history, culture, and contemporary American issues.

Outcome: Accepted into the College of Letters and Science at UCLA.

Asian Student Uses Lifelong Passion for Public Transit to transfer to the University of Chicago

The student, a Japanese national at an American University, came to us in the fall with an interest in transferring to the University of Chicago. The client had various interests, but Bentham advised him to position himself as an Urban Studies candidate, because it is a less popular major, and because he had a deep and unusual passion for it. He wrote essays about memorizing all the timetables for trains going in and out of Tokyo, and his passion for airports. At Bentham’s encouragement, he used all available resources to educate himself about the University of Chicago’s urban studies program.

Outcome: Accepted for transfer by the University of Chicago, majoring in urban design.

Hispanic student from Catholic School focuses on public policy rather than finance to get into Notre Dame

The client, a Hispanic female at a private Catholic school, began working with Bentham in the fall of her senior year. She boasted a 3.93 GPA and 1550 SAT and was Student Body President, but she had few AP courses. She participated in mock trial, led the finance and investment club, and was a peer tutor.

The client is interested in business and finance, but because this is an extremely competitive major,  and her business and finance extracurriculars were relatively weak, Bentham considered the client’s involvement in student government and suggested a declared major of Public Policy.

At Bentham’s direction, the client tailored her essays to public policy, and began working for the reelection campaign of a local congressman.

Outcome: Accepted regular decision at Notre Dame as a political science major.

Fishing enthusiast nets admission to Johns Hopkins with Climate Science positioning

This client began working with Bentham in the spring of his Junior year. He attended a public magnet high school, a 4.88 weighted GPA, 3.96 unweighted, and 1520 SAT. The student took very few AP courses and not many extracurriculars - soccer, school newspaper, and minor public service.

The client was interested in business, but given his gender, background, and other factors, and his lack of business-related extracurriculars, Bentham directed him towards a declared Environmental Science major, considered the client’s involvement in boating, fishing, and oyster habitat restoration, and suggested he position himself as an Environmental Science major. 

At Bentham’s direction, the client centered his personal statement on fishing for mullets and witnessing the effects of climate change on local islands and fisheries. He tailored the rest of his essays to his authentic passion for environmental protection and his interest in science.

Outcome: Accepted Early Decision into the Department of Environmental Science and Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

bottom of page