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Sal Khan's story: Exploring college options

Sal Khan shares his personal journey of exploring college options. He emphasizes the importance of researching various schools with your academic interests in mind and applying to a diverse range of colleges. Sal's story highlights the value of being proactive, open-minded, and well-informed when choosing a college to pursue one's passion.

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  • winston baby style avatar for user mely arias
    how can i get into an ivy league university?
    (5 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Matt Stefely
      These tips are going to sound generic, but they are very true:
      Study hard to get good grades and test scores
      Find a hobby or extracurricular activity to excel in
      Take part in leadership opportunities (Boy Scouts, tutoring, sports team captain, etc)
      PRACTICE YOUR WRITING (this is under appreciated, and very important to show what kind of person you are in short essays! How else will they know about your hobby, volunteering, and leadership?)

      Inborn talent is obviously helpful, but absolutely not necessary! With hard work, you'll be surprised what you can do! HOWEVER, you do NOT want to go to an Ivy league school if it is too difficult for you; your grades will suffer, which will negate any prestige you could have from going to an elite university, and you will end up having very little fun!
      (22 votes)
  • male robot hal style avatar for user Sai Ritwik
    What does it take for a foreigner(in my case an Indian) to get into one of the Ivy League colleges?What would one recommend-staying in my country and going to an IIT(The best engineering institute in India) or aiming for an Ivy League college if I want to become an engineer?
    (5 votes)
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    • piceratops seed style avatar for user Adalmiina
      You have to show that you've taken rigorous academic courses, but also demonstrate continuous commitment to extra curricular activities (at least 1). I don't see why you couldn't apply for both, and then make the decision once you've received acceptances. At the end of the day, it comes down to your preferences. You could also look at employability rates of the colleges, and internship opportunities.
      (3 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Sophia Ryan
    How do I find out about international qualifications to enter US universities - specifically Cambridge International Exams (CIE)?
    (6 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user 1693874
    what should i do if i am a new student at high school and newly migrated to america and want to get scholarship at college?? how does it work?
    (3 votes)
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    • duskpin sapling style avatar for user Av Lapointe
      I suggest getting to know all of your teachers very well, doing extra credit, getting great grades, extra community service hours never hurts too. Also join different clubs that will help with your intended major and clubs that show leadership. Throughout all of this, make your guidance counselor your best friend because they are the ones who know about how to get all of the different scholarships that are right for you. Also, while you're picking out a collage, talk to their financial department, they'll have tons on the different scholarships you can apply for there.
      (2 votes)
  • piceratops seed style avatar for user Shoaib Ryan
    What about international admission?
    (2 votes)
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    • leaf green style avatar for user Mr Mills
      Choose a college that you would like to attend. Obtain a copy of their admissions requirements. It should contain a section about international admissions. Also, network with other students from your country who have already done what you want to do.
      (4 votes)
  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user lara ross
    being in A-levels ( Cambridge system ) , what is required from me to apply to ivy league university ?
    (3 votes)
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  • female robot ada style avatar for user Katey Gordon
    My University/ College is not brick or structure nor does it have a name. That's because I am a homeschool College/University level student I teach myself, I document, Develop a academic portfolio my professors​ are on videos , My tests are the skills I use in volunteering , and without paying very little in my education

    What I needed
    Pens, Binders , Paper , highlighters , Math sets ,art supplies and internet connection

    Here is a short insight into the courses I am taking

    Life Skills
    Career navigating
    Drawing and sketching
    Graphic design
    HTML and CSS
    Cloud based technology

    Other plans for future
    Interior design
    Fashion design and sewing
    Humanitarian courses

    All the courses were on Khan Academy and various free online courses 
    Due to health restrictions I can't meet the requirements so instead no different then being home schooled in highschool. I am doing something different then the traditional University and College setting I am a self learner who realizes I don't have to let my challenges get in the way I have just taken a unique path something different from others.  

    My question is can I design my own Homeschooling College/ Universitie studies at home? Would I be accepted for not having a traditional degree? The thing is I don't plan to work in medical career field or anything specific I am not on the traditional career path and have unique circumstances that prevent me so when I realized students can be homeschooled for elementary, highschool why not College / Universitie level ? I'm​ seeking to be a lifelong volunteer and deep focus is in the arts the problem is many roles need a bachelor degree in arts for being selected for volunteer roles can applying a academic portfolio of work, online website and statements of accomplishments be enough?
    (3 votes)
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  • piceratops tree style avatar for user Kenna
    As someone who loves history, what courses (or classes per-say) are best for a double major for History and Education? I'd love to have a career as an Education Director focusing in 19th century.
    (3 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Hitesh.kotian
    What is the jobs for Physician (Gravity) ?
    What is the jobs for Astrologist (study of space)?
    (2 votes)
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    • leaf red style avatar for user grahambgriffin
      The jobs for a physician are basically amything related to the medical field from being a pediatrician to a sports doctor. The jobs for an astrologist are travelling gypsy and scam artist. However, sarcasm aside, I'm going to assume you meant physcist and astronmer. A physcist has a wide variety of availabe career opprotunties including: architecture, any engineering field, research/academia, and working in mathematics for an institute like NASA. Astronmers are much more restricted, largely being confined to research/academia and curators/workers in observatories. The occasional lucky astronomer could also get a job in an institue like NASA or the military.
      (3 votes)
  • leafers ultimate style avatar for user abartsch
    What do environmental engineers do (I understand the general idea, but not the specifics)?
    (3 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user

Video transcript

- When I was seven years old, I saw my uncle doing his homework. He was a student at the University of New Orleans studying to be an engineer. I asked him what his homework was, he said it was calculus. I said, "Well, what do you need that for?" He said, "Oh, I'm studying to be an engineer." And I remember this conversation vividly, he remembers none of it. I then asked him, "Well, what does an engineer do?" And he says, "Well, an engineer builds things, "anywhere from cars, to planes, to boats, "to computers, and whatever else." I said, "Well, that's what I love doing." "I want to be an engineer." And it just got in my head, well, that's what I should be doing. He immediately said, "Well, if you want "to be an engineer, you should go to MIT." And then, I remember literally saying, "Well, then I will go to MIT." Not knowing what MIT was, where it was, what it stood for, anything. But it was just in the back of my mind, and by the time I got to high school, it was still there, and at this point, I knew that it was a good engineering school up in Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But then, the more that I asked around and realized this is going to be a pretty competitive thing, but I did buckle down more with my studies. But my junior year when I sat down with my guidance counselor he said, "Where are you going to apply?" I said, "I'm going to apply to MIT." And he said, "Where else are you going to apply?" And I said, "No, I think I'm just going to apply to MIT." My guidance counselor said, "Well, do you realize that no one "from our high school has ever gotten in to MIT." That "There's about five people in our state," I was in Louisiana, "who get in every year." "Maybe you should, you know "you have a shot, but maybe you should "apply to a few other places." At first, I was a little dismissive. "Oh, no. If I don't get in, "I'll just wait a year and apply again." And he's like, "No. You really should apply "to more places." So my process was pretty imperfect. I said, "Okay, well let's see." Locally, I grew up in New Orleans. There's Tulane, very good school in New Orleans. Let me apply there. My sister was at Brown, another excellent school. I said, "Let me apply there. That's where my sister is." And then, several of the really good students from my high school, the last several years, have gone to Rice in Houston, which also was a very good engineering school. So I said, "I'll apply to Rice, as well." You know, lucky for me, with this kind of ad hoc process, just knowing who I knew, it did work out. Obviously, I did get into MIT eventually... or I got into MIT, so that worked out. But I think in hindsight I would've done it a little bit differently. I probably would've broadened the number of applications I put out there. I probably would've put... done more research on... What were all, not just basing on what my uncle happen to have told me or what one or two friends happened to tell me. I probably should've done more research on what are all of the top engineering schools. I would've discovered that Standford has an excellent engineering department. Princeton has an excellent engineering department. Cornell, Georgia Tech, I could go on, and on, and on. So it would probably make sense for me to apply to more schools, and also to have more kind of diversity, in terms of, how hard it might have been to get into the different schools. You know, if I was redoing it today, I probably would apply to maybe at least seven or eight schools especially because it's gotten even more competitive now. But yeah. That's how I had thought about it at the time.