College admissions: Kwasi Enin aces the Ivys, all of them. Now what?

Kwasi Enin – a Long Island high school student who 'trained to be a high achiever right from when he was a kid,' his father says – now waits to see if 'yes' comes with enough financial help.

Mel Evans/AP/File
A person walks with an umbrella at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., Dec. 9, 2013. Kwasi Enin, a Long Island high school student, was first accepted to Princeton in December.

March can be a trying month for college applicants – unless that applicant is Kwasi Enin, a Long Island high school student who has swept the proverbial table of college admissions.

Kwasi, from Shirley, N.Y., has been accepted to all eight Ivy League schools: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Kwasi was first accepted to Princeton in December. Six more Ivies followed, all of them congratulating him on admission. Harvard was the last to let him know about his application. On March 27, at 5:30 p.m., Harvard told him, yes.

"I was like – this can't be happening," he told Newsday.

He told the New York daily that he had hoped to get into "maybe two or three” of the Ivies but had never expected to get into all of them. He had also counted on a rejection letter from Harvard, he said.

College admission, especially at Ivy League schools, is reputed to be something of a gamble, because each school uses its own criteria – often inscrutable to the public – to pick its incoming class, and admission at one elite college is seldom a portent of entrance at another.

For those reasons, even a top student usually applies to just the one or two Ivy League schools that have admissions criteria he or she appears to meet best, according to Nancy Winkler, a guidance counselor at William Floyd High School in Mastic, N.Y., where Kwasi is a student.

"My heart skipped a beat when he told me he was applying to all eight," Ms. Winkler told USA Today.

"It's a big deal when we have students apply to one or two Ivies,” she told USA Today. “To get into one or two is huge.”

All of the Ivies that admitted Kwasi accepted less than 15 percent of applicants to their 2018 classes. Harvard, the most selective of the schools, offered admission to about 5.9 percent of hopefuls.

Kwasi, who scored a 2250 out of 2400 on his SAT, as well as scoring high on Advanced Placement tests, is ranked 11th in his high school class of 647. A first-generation American whose parents are from Ghana, he is also a shot-putter, a baritone singer, a viola player, and a hospital volunteer.

He plans to pursue a career in medicine, he told Newsday.

Kwasi has not decided which school to attend and is still waiting to see financial aid packages, according to Newsday. He added, though, that he liked Yale.

"We are very proud of him," Ebenezer Enin, Kwasi's father, told Newsday.

“He's been trained to be a high achiever right from when he was a kid,” he said. “So far, he has proved himself."

Kwasi was also accepted to Duke University, as well as to SUNY schools Geneseo, Stony Brook, and Binghamton, N.Y.

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