For one hardworking student, 2014 was a miracle year. Kwasis Enin, a senior from Long Island, recently made headlines for his acceptance into not one, not two, but all eight Ivy League schools. This great success was national news as it is fairly uncommon for a student to even apply to all eight Ivies — forget about getting into them all. CEA’s students had an amazing time calling their extended family and friends to tell them the news of their acceptances this past year — imagine giving a press conference and referencing LeBron James’ decision to “take [his] talents to Miami” when telling the entire world you’re going to Yale. Pretty darn cool.
So what was Enin’s recipe for pulling off this amazing feat, when so many students have to fight tooth and nail to get into just one Ivy? The simple answer is, hard work. The first-generation Ghanian American took 11 AP classes in his senior year, while also playing the violin and engaging in a variety of other extracurricular activities including volunteering and singing in the school a capella group. He got a 2,250 on his SATs and was known by educators and administrators for his dedication to his studies. His admissions essay was a sincere reflection of his passions and personality, discussing his love of music and how it has taught him to be a better leader, teammate and friend.
Enin also was probably very lucky. As so many students are familiar, acceptance into any college often depends on the confluence of many different factors. What specific holes is your first-choice institution looking to fill the year you apply? (Do they need a violin player, for example?) Who else from your local community is applying to your target schools? What kind of mood was your admissions officer in the day he/she picked up your application? So many variables are out of your control. The one thing you can do is work hard on your studies and other activities that enrich you as a person, and nail that college essay to make sure they best of your personality shows up the day your application is assessed.