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Teens launch site to help trade inside info on college applications
Want to get into a fancy college?
Try writing a college essay about being a first-generation high school graduate and the first member of your family to go to college.
That got one city public high school student into every school she applied to, including Columbia University, New York University and Boston University.
Speaking Swahili got another New York City high school student into Stanford University and MIT.
What didn't work for another was submitting an optional essay on a subject that was too similar to the topic for the piece that was required for the application.
The quirks of college acceptances and rejections have always been a mystery - until now.
Five brainy Brooklyn Tech High School seniors have launched myCollegeStat.com to help students get into college.
"We realized there was a demand for this kind of information," said Kyle Wong, 18, of Bay Ridge, the company's co-CEO, who will study economics at Stanford University in the fall.
Their junior class friends kept asking him and four friends about their high school stats - GPA, SAT scores and extracurriculars.
"We feel that colleges don't want to expose this information because [not making it public] helps their brand to be exclusive," said myCollegeStat.com executive Awad Sayeed, 17, of Flatbush.
He's planning to study entrepreneurship at Baruch College.
"Everything is in their favor, and we think that's not right," said Sayeed.
The five Techies set about compiling statistics from the country's 100 best colleges and universities, as ranked by US News & World Report.
They are now compiling profiles of college applicants with data supplied by students who register with the site.
The smart young businessmen began with a plan that already has paid off.
They each won $3,000 toward college in a business-plan competition - the first year of the competition for Junior Achievement of New York.
Presenting to the judges, among them venture capitalists, helped them develop their plan further, the students said.
For their part, the judges found the students' talents "very impressive," said Junior Achievement board member Chris Andersen, who put up the money for the competition to encourage entrepreneurship among students.
"I joked with one of my fellow judges, 'This is not supposed to be a recruiting event for us, but if [they] wanted to work at my shop for the summer, I would certainly find room for them,'" said Andersen