US student Kwasi Enin is first to successfully apply for places at all eight Ivy League universities

Son of immigrant nurses achieves clean sweep of America's elite colleges

Los Angeles

He has an academic test score that puts him in the top one per cent of students, competes as a shot putter for his school athletics team and even plays the viola in the orchestra, so it likely came as little surprise to his teachers and family that Kwasi Enin would be accepted by an Ivy League college. What might have shocked them, however, is that he got into all eight.

In a rare feat, the 17-year-old student from William Floyd High School, a state-run school on Long Island, in New York state, applied to and was accepted by Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania. “By applying to all eight, I figured it would better the chances of getting into one,” he told the New York Daily News.

Enin’s parents are both nurses who emigrated from Ghana to New York in the 1980s. Their son also has his sights set on a career in medicine, saying he aspires to be a cardiologist or a neurologist. He already volunteers in the radiology department at a local hospital – when he isn’t scoring top marks in exams or singing in the school’s a capella group, that is.

Enin, who is ranked at number 11 in his year of 647 students in William Floyd’s schools district, comes from an academic family: some of his uncles and cousins were also accepted to more than one Ivy League college. “I’ve always thought they were far better than me academically,” he said in an interview with Long Island’s Newsday.

The Ivy League is a group of eight prestigious private universities in the North-east of the US. It takes its collective name from a collegiate athletic conference – the league in which the schools’ sports teams compete – but the term has come to refer simply to the schools themselves, which are considered among the best in the world. Times Higher Education named six of them among the top 20 in its 2013-2014  world university rankings. They are also some of the oldest schools in the US, and seven of the eight were founded during the colonial period.

Collectively, the eight colleges accepted less than 9 per cent of their applicants this year. At 5.9 per cent, Harvard has the lowest acceptance rate of any college in the country, accepting just 2,023 applicants from  more than 34,000 in 2014. Enin’s feat is particularly rare because each of the eight colleges is thought to admire slightly different qualities in its prospective students.

Enin had already been accepted to Princeton in December, but heard from each of the remaining seven schools last Thursday, 27 March, the date on which most such colleges issue their offers. The last offer came from Harvard, at around 5.30pm. “It has to be the one to reject me,” Enin thought. “They’re Harvard.” But he was wrong.

Nancy Winkler, Enin’s guidance counsellor, told the New York Daily News, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my 15 years as a high-school counsellor. He’s going to be a leader in whatever he chooses.”

Like his classmates, Enin will be expected to make his choice of college by 1 May. He was also accepted by four prestigious, non-Ivy League universities, but says he is leaning towards Yale, which is in New Haven, Connecticut. “They seem to embody all the things I want in a college: the family, the wonderful education, the amazing diverse students and the financial aid as well.”

Yale’s alumni include Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer prize winners and four US Presidents, including both George Bushes and Bill Clinton, who met Hillary Rodham (now Clinton) when they were students together at Yale Law School.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
News
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
news
News
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
news
News
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Software Developer - Norfolk - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Software Developer - Norf...

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?