High school student goes 8 for 8 in Ivy League college admissions
NEW YORK (CNN) — A New York high school student has made it to the Elite Eight in a different sort of March Madness.
Kwasi Enin of Shirley has been accepted by the eight Ivy League schools — Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton and Cornell — and then some. He will have his choice as the decision deadline of May 1 approaches.
“I simply thought I would apply,” Enin told Long Island Newsday. “I was hoping to get one or two. Then they all came, and I said, ‘There’s no way.’”
Enin scored a 2250 out of a possible 2400 on his SAT, placing him in the 98th percentile across the country, according to The College Board. He’s also ranked 11th in his class at William Floyd High School, a public school on Long Island, according to his principal, Barbara Butler.
Butler said Enin is not only a model academic student but also plays three instruments for the chamber orchestra, sings in an a cappella group, throws shot put and discus for the high school’s track and field team, participates in student government and has had a lead role in school plays since the ninth grade.
“Usually kids are good athletes or good musicians or good actors, but they don’t have all three and then on top add student government. It’s a balancing act. He somehow finds time to do it all and then volunteer at a local hospital,” Butler said.
Butler has been Enin’s principal for six years in both middle and high school.
“He is an incredibly modest, humble and respectable person,” Butler said. “He is incredibly dedicated and he has his priorities straight. He takes advantage of whatever opportunity he is afforded.”
Dr. Rachel Rubin, the founder of Spark Admissions in Massachusetts who also previously served on admissions committees at selective universities, said the feat is extremely rare.
“It’s quite atypical,” Rubin said, adding that most students do not apply to all of the Ivy League schools.
“Standardized test scores and good grades will get a student in the door to have their application read,” Rubin said. “But it’s their extracurricular activities, leadership experience, exceptional talents, recommendation letters and personal essays that will move a student from a pile of ‘maybes’ to a pile of ‘accepted.’”
Harvard’s acceptance rate, among the most selective in the country, was just 5.9% for the applicants to the class of 2017, according to its admissions site.
Enin was also accepted to Duke University and three State University of New York campuses, according to Newsday.
Although Enin has yet to make a decision, there seems to be a frontrunner.
“I think my preference is Yale. They seem to embody all the kinds of things I want in a college: the family, the wonderful education, the amazing diverse students, and financial aid as well. So I think Yale has all that for me right now. I still have to compare all these schools—these wonderful schools.”
After receiving all of the acceptance letters, how did he feel?
“Pride and appreciation and thankfulness for everyone who helped you in the whole process, from the one who gave you the idea to helped you with your essays to all of your teachers helping you with your grades and whatnot, all the way down to your counselors,” Enin told Newsday. “And of course your family, your parents, for all that they do.”
CNN’s Laura Ly contributed to this report.
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