When a senior at William Floyd High School in Shirley, N.Y., applies to an Ivy League school, it’s a big deal; to be accepted is huge.
So when Kwasi Enin, a 17-year-old violist from the school, applied to all eight Ivy League colleges, it was enormous. When he was accepted to all eight? Absolutely exceptional.
"My heart skipped a beat when he told me he was applying to all eight," says Nancy Winkler, a guidance counselor at the school. In her nearly three decades as a counselor there, she told USA Today that she had never seen anything like it.
Enin began receiving the application replies several months ago, and with the arrival of an e-mail from Harvard last week, he had been accepted to every one.
"It's a big deal when we have students apply to one or two Ivies,” Winkler said. “To get into one or two is huge. It was extraordinary."
Such a college coup is extremely rare, say school counselors – students infrequently apply to all eight because each college is looking for such different qualities in prospective students. And acceptance letters are hard to come by even for the county’s top students; Cornell University admitted 14 percent of applicants, Harvard accepted just 5.9 percent. Enin was also accepted to three State University of New York campuses and Duke.
Enin, a first-generation American from Ghana, ranks 11th of 647 in his high school class and scored 2,250 out of 2,400 on his SATs, putting him in the 99th percentile for African-American students.
Overall, he has "a lot of things in his favor," says college admissions expert Katherine Cohen, CEO and founder of IvyWise, a college consulting business.
Aside from being male – more college applicants are female and schools, especially elite ones, are struggling to keep gender ratios even – he will have completed 11 Advanced Placement courses by the time he graduates. He plays music and sings in the school's a cappella group. And somehow, he finds time to volunteer at Stony Brook University Hospital's radiology department.
He plans to pursue music and medicine; his parents are both nurses who received their degrees from local public colleges.
“I’m thinking of being a cardiologist or neurologist,” said Enin. “A doctor is a community leader, a protector, someone who people turn to ... when they need help.”
Enin said that Princeton has offered the most generous aid package so far, but he has yet to receive aid offers from Columbia, Cornell or Harvard. Either way, he'll need to accept his place in the class of 2018 by May 1.
“He's sitting in a very good place right now,” says Cohen.
We’re guessing Enin agrees.
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