'I thought Harvard would reject me'

UNITED STATES - Students apply to Ivy League schools and hope they will be lucky enough to get into one.

But Kwasi Enin, a 17-year-old New York student, has achieved something others can only dream about: He has been accepted to all the eight Ivy League schools, Newsday.com reported.

The eight schools are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale.

"By applying to all eight, I figured it would better the chances of getting into one," he said.

He has not decided which school to go to, but is inclined to attend Yale, depending on the financial aid package offered. He has until May 1 to decide.

His first acceptance letter came from Princeton in December last year and the last from Harvard, last Thursday.

"I thought Harvard would be the one to reject me," the New York Daily News quoted him as saying.

As an example of what Kwasi accomplished, Harvard has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the US, at just 5.9 per cent. That makes it 2,023 students out of 34,295 applicants.

He scored 2,250 out of a possible 2,400 for his SAT, placing him in the 99th percentile across the country, according to The College Board.

He is also ranked 11th in his class at William Floyd High School, a public school on Long Island, according to his principal, Ms Barbara Butler, CNN reported.

He is an athlete, a shot putter and the baritone can belt out a tune when he is not playing viola for the school orchestra.

Said Ms Butler: "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."


She said: "He somehow finds time to do it all and then volunteer at a local hospital."

Kwasi, who wants to study medicine, has now surpassed the accomplishments of some of his uncles and cousins, who were accepted to several Ivy league schools.

He said: "I always thought they were far better than me academically."

Kwasi's parents, both nurses, emigrated to the US from Ghana in the 1980s.

In the world of academia, Kwasi is a "rock star", Mr Stephen Friedfeld, co-founder of AcceptU, a college admissions counselling group, told The Wall Street Journal.

Said Mr Friedfeld: "He sounds like a dream student."

Kwasi and his sister were brought up to strive for excellence, said his father, Mr Ebenezer Enin.

He said: "We are very proud of him. 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."

This article was published on April 3 in The New Paper.

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