“I was like, apply to eight; hope I get one.”
Kwasi Enin, a seventeen-year old high school senior from Shirley, New York, took a one-in-a-million chance when he applied to all eight Ivy League schools in the U.S.
"I simply thought I would apply," Enin said. "I was hoping to get one or two."
Imagine his surprise when he began receiving acceptance letters at the end of March ... for all eight schools.
"There's no way," Enin said when the letters began arriving from Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton, and Cornell.
Enin was placed in the 98th percentile across the country when he scored a 2250 out of 2400 on his SAT. However, it wasn't just Enin's scores that got him noticed.
"Standardized test scores and good grades will get a student in the door to have their application read," said Dr. Rachel Rubin, founder of Spark Admissions in Massachusetts. "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.'"
At William Floyd High School on Long Island, as well as being ranked 11th in his class, Enin plays three instruments for the chamber orchestra, sings in an a cappella group, has lead roles in school plays, throws shot put and discus for the track team, and participates in student government.
"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," said principal Barbara Butler, who has been Enin's principal in both middle and high school.
Enin is a first-generation son of immigrants from Ghana. Some of his uncles and cousins have also been accepted into several Ivy League Schools ... but not all eight of them.
Ebenezer Enin, Kwasi's father, said Kwasi was raised to strive for excellence.
"We are very proud of him," Ebenezer said. "He's an amazing kid. He's very humble. He's been trained to be a high achiever right from when he was a kid. We have been encouraging him to be an all-around student. So far, he has proved himself."
"You have a mind, you can do it," Enin's parents always told him, he said.
Enin has yet to make a final decision, but he seems to be leaning more toward one Ivy League school.
"I think my preference is Yale," he said. "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."
Enin was also accepted into Duke University, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Geneseo, and Stony Brook University.
"[I feel] pride and appreciation and thankfulness for everyone who helped [me} in the whole process, from the one who gave [me} the idea to helped [me} with [my] essays to all of [my] teachers helping [me] with [my] grades and whatnot, all the way down to [my] counselors," Enin told Newsday. "And of course family, parents, for all that they do."
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