As envelopes both triumphantly fat and discouragingly skinny make their way to the mailboxes of high school students the world over, one student in particular has an extraordinary reason to celebrate. Kwasi Enin, a senior at William Floyd High School in Mastic, New York, was accepted by all eight Ivy League schools: Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.
Being accepted by just one of those prestigious institutions would be an incredible accomplishment, but Enin, who scored 2250 out of a possible 2400 on the SAT and is ranked 11th in his senior class, managed to wow the admission officials at all eight of them—as well as at four additional schools.
In an interview with CNN, Enin described his surprise as the acceptance letters started rolling in.
“I applied knowing that going to any of the Ivy League schools would be wonderful,” said Enin. “I thought if I applied to all eight, I figured I’d get into one . . . but from the first one onwards I said, ‘This can’t be happening!’ I was shocked seeing all these acceptances under my name.”
In addition to his academic achievements, Enin is both musically and athletically inclined. According to his principal, Barbara Butler, who also spoke with CNN, Enin sings in an a cappella group, plays three instruments, and is on his school’s track and field team. To top that all off, he is also active in theater and student government.
Enin’s college admission experience is proof positive that the acceptance game is about a lot more than numbers like your GPA and standardized test scores. He buoyed his applications with a host of extracurricular activities, and he also wrote one heck of an application essay. There may not be a formula that will guarantee your admission to the school of your dreams, but striving to be a well-rounded student and finding ways to allow your unique voice to shine through in your applications will help.
It may be easy to look at someone else’s accomplishments and feel like you can’t compete, but don’t let Enin’s one-in-a-million success get you down. Instead, let his story inspire you as you hone in on the best school for your interests, goals, and personality. There are hundreds of excellent colleges and universities out there, and the only name that’s going to matter on your diploma is yours.