Next Chapter: Seniors accepted to competitive schools


Sarah McKelvy, Staff Reporter

Opening the computer, a small wave of anticipation and anxiety settles in. College admission decisions have been sent out and plans for the future all depend on what opportunities you will be presented with… or kept from. You open the letter and see the golden word: accepted.

“When I opened the acceptance letter, I was shocked and confused but then I felt extremely excited.” Recent Princeton acceptant, Bryan Dam said.

There are eight Ivy League schools: the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Cornell University, Brown,  Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, and Yale University. Ivy league schools are set apart from other institutions due to their standards for academic excellence and extreme selectivity. However, the top academic universities in the nation aren’t exclusive to Ivy Leagues. Colleges like Stanford, MIT and Duke also only accept students who meet exceptional standards. 

“I chose to apply for Princeton because of their generous financial aid program,” Dam said. “I also liked how you declare your major sophomore year at Princeton.”

When applying to colleges, students are recommended to apply for 3 types of schools: safety, match and reach. Because of Bryan and Anamika’s academic success, they were in the top 6% of their class and therefore guaranteed admission to most Texas universities including UT and A&M. This allowed them to apply to more competitive schools.

“I also applied to Stanford, the UC’s, Princeton, Harvard Cornell and then a few more,” Stanford acceptant Anamika Chinnakonda said.

This level of success didn’t come without some sacrifices. These students often stayed up very late or pulled all-nighters to study and maintain their GPA and rank. However, in the end, their hard work paid off.

“I used to not sleep that much and work way longer,” Chinnakonda said. “Freshman year I used to go to bed at like 3am everyday.” 

While they are not fully committed to any university, they now have a wide range of opportunities available to them. When  reflecting on their journey, they had some useful advice to share for future students wanting to attend highly competitive colleges such as Ivy League universities.

“Be yourself and do what you are interested in. It makes writing the essays easier if you are truly passionate about what you do,” Dam said.