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Alumni Profiles and College Admissions
In 2017, Pioneer Research Program selected high school scholars from 20 different countries including

Bahrain, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States, and Zimbabwe.

They conducted research in 27 different fields.

As of May 8, 2017 of the 320 Pioneer research scholars who applied to college, 223 have reported their college entrance test scores with the following averages:

Average SAT:
Evidence-Based Reading=725,
Mathematics = 786
Average ACT: 34
(International students)
Average TOEFL Score: 112
Average IELTS Score: 8



The college admissions information below was reported as of May 8, 2017 by 240 of 320 Pioneer research scholars who applied to college this year.

Universities and colleges with
admission rates of 9% and lower
Pioneer Scholars:
100
Total acceptances
60
Students accepted
29%
% students accepted
  • Brown University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Columbia University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northwestern University
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Yale University
  • Yale-NUS College
Universities and colleges with
admission rates of 12% and lower
Pioneer Scholars:
148
Total acceptances
99
Students accepted
43%
% students accepted
  • Brown University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New York University Stern School of Business
  • Northwestern University
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Williams College
  • Yale University
  • Yale-NUS College
Universities and colleges with
admission rates of 15% and lower
Pioneer Scholars:
204
Total acceptances
124
Students accepted
54%
% students accepted
  • Amherst College
  • Barnard College
  • Brown University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Colby College
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New York University Stern School of Business
  • Northwestern University
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of California—Berkeley
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Williams College
  • Yale University
  • Yale-NUS College
Universities and colleges with
admission rates of 18% and lower
Pioneer Scholars:
292
Total acceptances
153
Students accepted
67%
% students accepted
  • Amherst College
  • Barnard College
  • Brown University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Colby College
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Middlebury College
  • New York University Stern School of Business
  • Northwestern University
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Rice University
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of California—Berkeley
  • University of California—Los Angeles
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Williams College
  • Yale University
  • Yale-NUS College
Universities and colleges with
admission rates of 20% and lower
Pioneer Scholars:
324
Total acceptances
164
Students accepted
71%
% students accepted
  • Amherst College
  • Barnard College
  • Brown University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Colby College
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Middlebury College
  • New York University
  • New York University Stern School of Business
  • Northwestern University
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Rice University
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of California—Berkeley
  • University of California—Los Angeles
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Wellesley College
  • Williams College
  • Yale University
  • Yale-NUS College
Universities and colleges with
admission rates of 25% and lower
Pioneer Scholars:
358
Total acceptances
173
Students accepted
75%
% students accepted
  • Amherst College
  • Barnard College
  • Bates College
  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Colby College
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Middlebury College
  • New York University
  • New York University Stern School of Business
  • Northwestern University
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Rice University
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of California—Berkeley
  • University of California—Los Angeles
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vassar College
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Wellesley College
  • Williams College
  • Yale University
  • Yale-NUS College
Pioneer scholars in the spotlight
Every 2017 Pioneer Scholar shines in their own way.The following students responded to our editor’s invitation to feature their accomplishments, and we welcome all Pioneer Scholars to share their stories and pictures with the community by sending an e-mail to info@pioneeracademics.com.



Mpilo Norris
2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar
High school:
Choate Rosemary Hall, US
Pioneer Research Paper:
Comparative Inquiry Into Western Liberal Democratic Values
Attending institution:
Yale University
Mpilo Norris is a Pioneer Alumnus from the United States who will be attending Yale University this fall. Being both a strong leader and a scholar,Mpilo was elected to head Choate’s Student Council as the 2017/18 Student Body President. During this time, Mpilo was selected to be a Pioneer Scholar and conducted research on western liberal democratic values.
Hannah O’Toole
2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar
High school:
Monte Vista High School, US
Pioneer Research Paper:
Trophic Cascades Caused by Overfishing Analysis and Prevention
Attending institution:
Boston University
Born in San Francisco, and a proud alum of Monta Vista HS and Pioneer Academics, Hannah O’Toole’s research focused heavily on what her environment had taught her Growing up by the coast, and from a neighborhood focused on environmental protection, Hannah wanted to bring her knowledge to the rest of the world. Working on overfishing complications in her paper, “Trophic Cascades Caused by Overfishing Analysis and Prevention,” Hannah explored the ripple effects caused by overfishing.
Jiho David Yoo
2016 Summer Pioneer Scholars
High school:
Seoul International School, South Korea
Pioneer Research Paper:
The Study of Biology: How Biology Gives Rise to Sexism
Attending institution:
Cornell University
Amiel Dixon
2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar
High school:
Achievement First Brooklyn High School, US
Pioneer Research Paper:
Social Justice and Activism in African American communities
Attending institution:
Stanford University
Amiel Dixon took her Pioneer experience to heart and used it to not only further her academic skills, but to give her the information she needed to become a stronger activist in the world. Her research topic was devoted to social justice and activism in African American communities. Amiel used her own deep rooted experiences in her culture and her neighborhood to fight back against the injustices in the world, and she will continue to do so at Stanford University in the fall.
Enci Liu
2016 Spring Pioneer Scholars
High school:
International Department of the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, China
Pioneer Research Paper:
Chinese Tracking: An Unexploited Hotspot with Underlying Benefits
Attending institution:
Stanford University
Kevin Calderon
2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar
High school:
Scholars` Academy, US
Pioneer Research Paper:
The Relationship between the Molecular Structure of Insecticides and their Biological and Environmental Implications
Attending institution:
Stanford University
While some people focus on the big picture, Kevin Calderon focuses on the small - the microscopic, to be exact. His research, titled ‘The Relationship Between the Molecular Structure of Insecticides and their Biological and Environmental Implications,’ looked at the connection between insecticides and the danger they pose to the world around us. Through his time with Pioneer, he developed a better understanding of both molecular and interpersonal interactions. Kevin, who attended Scholars Academy in New York, will be continuing his academic journey at Stanford University.
Kexin Zhao
2017 Spring Pioneer Scholars
High school:
Beijing National Day School, China
Pioneer Research Paper:
The Development of Folk Music in Modern China
Attending institution:
Brown University
Wendy Wu
2017 Spring Pioneer Scholar
High school:
High Technology High School, US
Pioneer Research Paper:
Sustainable Urban Development
Attending institution:
Harvard University
Born to two architect parents, Wendy has been surrounded by a passion for design and creation her whole life, and she applied this desire to her studies at Pioneer. Focusing on Green Architecture in her research paper entitled “Sustainable Urban Development,” Wendy shares her aspiration to combine our natural and man-made worlds into a single bio-organic world.Wendy maintains a deep passion for ecology and sustainable living; this passion is what propelled her to greatness in Pioneer, and will continue to propel her in her time at Harvard.
Samantha Maguire
2016 Summer Pioneer Scholar
High school:
Carondelet High School, US
Pioneer Research Paper:
Research into Human Genetics and Precision Medicine
Attending institution:
Brown University
When Samantha Maguire was accepted into Pioneer, she was finally granted the opportunity she had longed for since she was nine: conducting research in the area of biology and genome studies. Samantha’s stellar Pioneer experience lead her to becoming a co-author on a paper spearheaded by the very professor she worked with in the program. This achievement made such a large impact on Samantha’s life that she is now preparing to move from Carondelet High in California to join her professor at Brown university, where they can continue their research together.
Xiangyu Zheng
2017 Spring Pioneer Scholar
High school:
International Department of the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, China
Pioneer Research Paper:
Ethical Considerations of State Responsibility toward Refugees: Analyzing China’s Refugee Capacity from a Socio-Economic
Institutions admitted:
Duke University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Northwestern University, Pomona College, UCLA, University of Southern California, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, Washington University in St. Louis, Yale-NUS College
Despite living and attending school in Guangzhou, China, Xiangyu had always felt connected to the global community and the welfare of humanity. Drawing on personal experience and his cultural background, Xiangyu conducted his Pioneer research on China's moral obligations towards Syrian refugees. His paper was titled "Ethical Considerations of State Responsibility towards Refugees: Analyzing China's Refugee Capacity from a Socio-Economic Perspective," and dealt with the humanity factor of refugees and the cultural integrity of both the Syrian community and the Chinese host community. Xiangyu focused heavily on his desire to not only raise public awareness of the humanity issues regarding Syrian refugees, but to also draw attention to the realistic consideration that emerges from the encounter of diverse cultural communities.Xiangyu is still deciding which school he would like to attend in the fall.
Zheran He
2017 Summer Pioneer Scholars
High school:
Beijing No. 2 Middle School, China
Pioneer Research Paper:
The Brother as an Other: Redefining Otherness through Examining the Similar
Attending institution:
Stanford University
Omar Ramos
2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar
High school:
Midlothian High School, US
Pioneer Research Paper:
Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango: Musical analysis of a Contemporary Epitome of Tango
Attending institution:
Stanford University
Despite living and attending school in Midlothian, Texas, Omar has always felt a connection to the music of the world. Drawing on his cultural and personal background, Omar conducted his Pioneer research into the cultural and notational musical theory behind Tango.His paper, entitled “Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango: Musical Analysis of a Contemporary Epitome of Tango,” dealt with the cultural and musical history of his favorite music style. Omar successfully expressed not only how the music style came to exist, but the social unrest and turmoil that was so intrinsic to its creation. Omar will be attending Stanford this fall.
Full list of college admissions
  • American University
    1
  • Amherst College
    6
  • Babson College
    1
  • Bard College
    6
  • Barnard College
    3
  • Bates College
    2
  • Boston College
    18
  • Boston University
    13
  • Bowdoin College
    3
  • Brandeis University
    8
  • Brown University
    8
  • Bucknell University
    2
  • California Institute of the Arts
    1
  • California State Polytechnic University, ​Pomona
    1
  • California State University —​ Fullerton
    1
  • California State University — Los Angeles
    1
  • California State University — Northridge
    1
  • Carnegie Mellon University
    15
  • Case Western Reserve University
    10
  • Catholic University
    2
  • Chapman University
    1
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
    1
  • Claremont McKenna College
    2
  • Colby College
    7
  • Colgate University
    4
  • College of the Holy Cross
    3
  • College of William and Mary
    12
  • Colorado College
    2
  • Colorado School of Mines
    1
  • Columbia University
    4
  • Cornell University
    16
  • Dartmouth College
    6
  • Davidson College
    1
  • Deep Springs College
    1
  • Dickinson College
    3
  • Duke Kunshan University
    1
  • Duke University
    8
  • Durham University
    5
  • Eckerd College
    1
  • Emerson College
    1
  • Emory University
    8
  • Fordham University
    2
  • Franciscan University
    2
  • George Washington University
    4
  • Georgetown University
    2
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
    12
  • Grinnell College
    3
  • Harvard University
    2
  • Harvey Mudd College
    3
  • Haverford College
    4
  • Hult international Business school
    1
  • Imperial College London
    3
  • Johns Hopkins University
    12
  • Kansas State University
    1
  • Kenyon College
    1
  • Kings College London
    3
  • Lafayette College
    1
  • Lehigh University
    1
  • Leiden Universitat (Netherlands)
    1
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
    1
  • Macalester College
    1
  • Manhattan College
    1
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
    1
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    2
  • McGill University
    2
  • Middlebury College
    6
  • Millsaps college
    1
  • Mount Holyoke College
    1
  • National Taiwan University
    1
  • New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)
    1
  • New York University
    27
  • New York University Stern School of Business
    3
  • Northeastern University
    10
  • Northwestern University
    14
  • Oberlin College
    7
  • Ohio State University
    5
  • Olin College
    1
  • Oxford University
    1
  • Pennsylvania State University—​University Park
    3
  • Pitzer College
    1
  • Pomona College
    3
  • Princeton University
    3
  • Providence College
    2
  • Purdue University
    10
  • Quinnipiac University
    1
  • Reed College
    2
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    2
  • Rice University
    9
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
    2
  • Rutgers University
    1
  • San Diego State University
    1
  • Santa Clara University
    1
  • School of Visual Arts
    1
  • Scripps College
    1
  • Smith College
    6
  • Spelman College
    1
  • St. Anselm’s
    2
  • St. Olaf College
    1
  • Stanford University
    10
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
    1
  • Swarthmore College
    5
  • Syracuse University
    1
  • The College of New Jersey
    1
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    2
  • The University of Edinburgh
    4
  • The University of Hong Kong
    4
  • Tufts University
    4
  • Tulane University
    4
  • University College London
    5
  • University of Bath
    1
  • University of Bristol
    1
  • University of British Columbia
    1
  • University of California —​ Riverside
    2
  • University of California—​Berkeley
    19
  • University of California—​Davis
    16
  • University of California—​Irvine
    12
  • University of California—​Los Angeles
    35
  • University of California—​San Diego
    31
  • University of California—​Santa Barbara
    19
  • University of California—​Santa Cruz
    5
  • University of Cambridge
    6
  • University of Chicago
    12
  • University of College London
    1
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
    1
  • University of Florida
    3
  • University of Georgia
    2
  • University of Illinois—​Urbana-​Champaign
    20
  • University of London
    1
  • University of Manchester
    1
  • University of Maryland
    1
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
    1
  • University of Miami
    1
  • University of Michigan—​Ann Arbor
    6
  • University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
    1
  • University of North Carolina—​Chapel Hill
    20
  • University of Notre Dame
    3
  • University of Nottingham
    1
  • University of Oregon
    1
  • University of Oxford
    1
  • University of Pennsylvania
    9
  • University of Richmond
    2
  • University of Rochester
    9
  • University of South Florida
    1
  • University of Southern California
    28
  • University of St. Andrews
    3
  • University of Sydney
    1
  • University of Texas at Austin
    3
  • University of the Pacific
    1
  • University of Toronto
    2
  • University of Virginia
    15
  • University of Warwick
    1
  • University of Washington in Seattle
    6
  • University of Waterloo
    1
  • University of Wisconsin—​Madison
    14
  • University of York
    1
  • Vanderbilt University
    14
  • Vassar College
    11
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
    1
  • Washington and Lee University
    1
  • Washington University in St. Louis
    17
  • Wellesley College
    2
  • Wesleyan University
    8
  • Williams College
    5
  • Worchester Polytechnic Institute
    1
  • Yale University
    6
  • Yale-NUS College
    4
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