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N.Y. student accepted into all 8 Ivy League schools

By McClatchy News Services

LAST UPDATED: 01:31 p.m. HST, Apr 01, 2014

MELVILLE, N.Y. >> Seventeen-year-old Kwasi Enin of Shirley, N.Y., took a shot at -- and won -- what amounts to an academic royal flush: He applied to and was accepted at all eight Ivy League schools.

But the William Floyd High School senior said he never thought he'd land slots in the class of 2018 at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale. He hasn't decided where he'll attend, but would cross Long Island Sound to attend Yale in New Haven, Conn., depending on the financial aid package offered.

Kwasi said he thought he'd just give it the old college try and "maybe two or three of them" would bite, he said. The eight Ivy League colleges are among the nation's most selective institutions of higher education. As an example of what Kwasi accomplished, Harvard has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the country at just 5.9 percent for the fall of 2014 -- 2,023 students out of 34,295 applicants.

For Kwasi, applying to a competitive college wasn't exactly a gamble. He has an SAT score of 2,250 out of 2,400, which places him in the 99th percentile for all students taking the exam. He has taken and scored high on many Advanced Placement exams. He is an athlete, a shot putter, in fact, and his baritone voice can belt out a tune when he's not playing viola for the school orchestra.

Still, he said, "I've never heard of someone getting all eight."

He has now surpassed the accomplishments of some of his uncles and cousins, who were accepted to several Ivies. "I always thought they were far better than me academically," Kwasi said.

He began hearing from each of the schools on March 27, the date when tens of thousands of anxious students log onto the schools' websites to see if they have been accepted. Kwasi had already been accepted to Princeton in December, but he hoped to make the cut at a few more.

Brown: Yes. Columbia: Yes. Cornell: Yes. And the yesses kept coming. "I was like -- this can't be happening."

By session's end, about 5 p.m., he had checked six Ivy League schools and then received an email at about 5:30 p.m. from Harvard -- a school he thought would never accept him.

"It has to be the one to reject me," he said as he sat in his high school library Monday, still incredulous. "They're Harvard."

And if that was not enough, he also gained acceptance to Duke University, Stony Brook University, SUNY Geneseo and Binghamton University.

Administrators at William Floyd were proud but not surprised by Kwasi's perfect Ivy League acceptance rate, saying he is an academic standout.

"You could see the potential that Kwasi had back then and to see it all come together is truly spectacular," said Barbara Butler, principal of the school who also taught Kwasi for six years. "He has it all together -- he's extremely intelligent, hardworking, well-rounded and humble."

Ebenezer Enin, Kwasi's father, a nurse, said Kwasi -- who wants to study medicine -- was raised, along with his sister, to strive for excellence.

"We are very proud of him," he 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."

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GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on April 1,2014 | 12:43PM
kuniagirl wrote:
Why do you even have to go there, as if Kwasi Enin got in b/c of his race, taking the place of some well qualified Japanese or Korean kid? He's no lightweight? 2250, high AP scores, interesting ECs, well-spoken.
on April 1,2014 | 01:11PM
GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on April 1,2014 | 03:17PM
kuniagirl wrote:
Ok, I'll bite: "which races were feeling threatened?" If I flunk English, it's because you didn't want to be clear about your meaning.
on April 1,2014 | 05:34PM
letsgotrippin wrote:
And of course, each year there are plenty of Asian-Americans with much higher SAT and AP placement scores and equally admirable extracurricular accomplishments who don't get into ANY of the Ivys. Just goes to show you that the bar is not the same for all races. And that's because too many Asian-Americans are extremely well-qualified and prepared, and are already overrepresented at the best universities as it is (20% enrollment at the Top 25 US universities, although Asian-Americans are only 5% of the total US population). Whereas VERY few African-American students perform at the level of Kwasi. For example, African-Americans represented 10.5% of all SAT takers in 2012, but only 1.2% of those who scored 700 or higher on the Math, Reading and Writing sections of the SAT.
on April 1,2014 | 02:20PM
kuniagirl wrote:
If we're going to talk about different performance bars, talk about legacy admissions--kids of alumni. Studies have shown that being a child of an alum will add a significant bump to your likelihood of getting in: in one study, if you're 40% likely to get in on your own merits, legacy admission will bump you up to 60%. There are far more legacy kids walking around selective institutions, 10-25%, than URMs. Maybe they all had top notch grades & SATs, maybe not.
on April 1,2014 | 03:21PM
st1d wrote:
kwasi, some people need the school's prestige to bolster their post-study careers. rest assured that the ivy league schools need the prestige of hosting you to bolster their collegiate reputations.

go with the best full ride you can get. the schools will benefit in the long run. they know that once you are graduated your lifetime earnings will include generous donations to the school's endowment funds.

on April 1,2014 | 07:10PM
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