Arianna Alexander: High School valedictorian offered spot by 26 colleges

Colleges offered $3m in scholarships to Chicago student

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The Independent US

Some people just make it look easy.

While many if not most students fight to get a place in the college they want, Arianna Alexander of Chicago found herself with no shortage of offers.

Indeed, the Kenwood Academy's valedictorian has picked the University of Pennsylvania after receiving 26 invitations and three million dollars in scholarships. Six of of the offers were from Ivy League institutions.

"I was very organised and that helped reduce the stress," the 18-year-old told The Independent of her success. "I had a plan and I stuck to it."

Her father, Pierre Alexander, said Arianna was the youngest of four children and that he and his wife had tried to instill the importance of education in all of them. "It has been a long process and we are delighted," he added.

The school's principal, Dr Gregory Jones, said the young woman had achieved her success through hard work and the support of a "great family". And she was not the only student at the school to see success.

"In total the class of 2015 has received $40m in scholarships - that is among a graduating class of 360 students," he said.

He added: "I am extremely happy for the students and their families."

The Associated Press said Ms Alexander was the subject of collegiate competition that is typically reserved for students who excel at shooting basketballs or else throwing footballs.

The various schools offered a total of more than $3m in scholarships to Ms Alexander alone because of her academic record. Her grade point average was 5.1, or 1.1 points higher than she would have achieved had she merely achieved straight "A"s.

Ms Alexander has said she wanted to be an entrepreneur and open four restaurants after graduating from the university's Wharton School of Business.

She said she was very excited to be attending college but that she would miss her famiy. She added: "We have already planned our Thanksgiving Day reunion."

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