We recently spoke to Kwasi Enin, a 17-year-old senior from William Floyd High School, who was recently accepted into all eight Ivy League universities.
Hello, Kwasi. First we would like to congratulate you on your accomplishments. Now, can you tell us the schools that you applied to?
Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Brown University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, SUNY Binghamton, Stony Brook, and Geneseo.
So what made you decide to apply to all of these schools?
I had motivation from numerous sources! Mrs. Natalie Sheppard, my good uncle Gilbert, and Mrs. Nargi. I wanted to reach for these top schools because I know in all of them, there is a world of opportunity that I could dive into. With that education, I could give myself the strong foundation for the rest of my life, and friendships that will benefit me forever. All of them was just so I would have the best chance of landing one of them.
Now out of all of these schools, you got accepted into all of them right?
Well, we just want to say again, congratulations. That’s quite the achievement.
Thank you so much! I do hope I bring pride into our community.
Now, I’m guessing that your grades are pretty good. How did you do in your classes and the SAT? Do you think they played a big part in your acceptances?
2250 SAT, and I am ranked 11/647 after all my honors and AP classes. I am fairly confident that they make up the primary bulk of my acceptance. Everyone who is admitted has to prove themselves academically to these colleges first
Wow, that’s great!
Thank you! I did try hard for that SAT.
Speaking of SAT, what did you do to prepare for it? Lots of students are always looking for pointers and tips.
Oh, I studied out of the SAT Blue book (finished every test about twice with a second book included), Kaplan’s SAT book, and the Princeton review book. It was mostly a matter of learning the skills for the test through the informational parts of the book. Then, I just kept burning through entire tests right before an SAT sitting, and sections of tests for the weeks proceeding. I was burned through 3-4 tests the week of an SAT sitting.
When the letters started trickling in, how did you feel?
When, I had convinced myself that no one ever gets all eight. So, I was convinced that I would face a rejection or two. Or many. But, I was accepted early action into Princeton and that had most of my glee alongside the online decision! The rest just added to my happiness, but Yale is my #1!
That sounds very ambitious. It’s great advice for anyone wanting to excel on the test. For anyone applying to college, it’s known that schools are always looking for well-rounded individuals. With all of that studying and preparation, do you even have time for extra-curricular?
Oh yes! I tortured myself with those tests, because of how little time I had. Let’s see… There is Musical Theater, Winter/Spring Track and Field, Chamber Orchestra, Men’s Soundsations A Capella group, Volunteering at Stony Brook Hospital in the Radiology Department, and until recently, community service in the YMCA Leader’s Youth Club. Oh, and who can forget Youth and Government!
How do you juggle your academics and those activities?
I try to do homework whenever I can during those programs. Otherwise, I just learned to be very efficient at getting it done once I got home for good on a given day. Which is usually around 8.
You said Yale is your #1. With all of those schools wanting your enrollment, have you been tempted by any other offers? Or is Yale still your #1?
Ah, I do have to work out some financial things here and there with some of the colleges. So, I can’t consider them really until then. At the moment, I just debate with the offers I have been given and my preference of school. That mostly leaves the battle between Yale and Princeton, but I will likely choose Yale if it can reach Princeton’s aid.
Let’s say money isn’t an issue, what’s your #1 pick dream school?
Then Yale all the way!
Yale is a great school, and still pretty close to home! What makes you want to attend Yale?
Oh yes, it is only a car ride and ferry away! Yale is a very liberal school, in terms of the freedom they offer their students. I would have until end of sophomore or possible beginning of junior year to declare a major. Other than the natural benefits of a school of the Ivy league level, they specifically also have wonderful musical opportunities, which a big plus to me. I love their dormitories, which are almost Hogwarts-esque with their fireplaces and whatnot. And the main word I have understood from my campus visit about the school is: family. The college is very much into the residential college student and an undergraduate focus when it comes to professor instruction. Between having a Dean advisor and residential college master, the school is very structured around giving each undergraduate a nurturing home. Those are all qualities that I find to make up the school’s beauty.
If it looks like Hogwarts, I’m sold! It does have a beautiful campus and a great culture. So now, I’m sure you’ve been asked this a lot during senior year: what do you want to be?
Why, become a medical doctor! That has been the goal since I was a little boy.
That’s great! It’s a great field. Any specialization yet in mind? Too soon?
I have not locked into place on that yet, because I have so much time to figure it out! If anything, I do think I have peculiar interests in Neurology and Cardiology. And their respective practices in surgery.
Brain and the heart, can’t go wrong there! So did you take any AP courses, like chemistry or calculus?
Oh yes! Let’s see..
9th: AP Chemistry,
10th: AP Biology and World History
11th: AP US History, Language and Composition, and Physics B
12th: AP Physics C: Mechanics, Environmental Science, Calculus BC, Literature and Composition, and Government and Politics.
Wow, let’s hope you get some credit for those and they transfer!
That is the cruelty of all things. The Ivy’s basically don’t give credit for AP tests. They cannot be in your major, and if that qualification is reached, they usually have to be a 5 to count. And let’s see!
Now, we don’t want you to leave anyone out. So, do you want to give a shout-out to anyone who’s helped you along the road of your academic success?
My parents of course, Mrs. Sheppard, My uncle Gilbert, Mrs. Nargi, and Mr. Flynn. I have to also just generally thank every music teacher I have had for instilling into me my love of the beautiful art form. It will follow me throughout life. Also, every honor/AP teacher for their continual effort to watch us high achieving high schoolers push our minds to their current limits. Without all these people, and my good friend and viola teacher Gregory Williams, I would never be where I am today.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with Tri Hamlet News.