The chance of one high school student getting accepted into one U.S. Ivy League school can range anywhere from five per cent to 15 per cent, depending on the school, Business Insider reports.
But what are the chances that four students get accepted into all eight Ivy League universities?
That’s right, four teens – Ifeoma White-Thorpe of Rockwell, N.J., Cassandra Hsiao of Los Angeles, Calif., Martin Altenburg of Fargo, N.D. and Ivan Vazquez of Boise, Idaho – were all accepted by Brown, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Dartmouth.
At first, 17-year-old White-Thorpe thought she was Harvard-bound since it was the first school that officially sent her an acceptance letter, she told ABC News.
— Liberty Museum (@LibertyMuseum) April 5, 2017
But then more letters began rolling in.
“I was shaking, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh,’ like this might be eight out of eight and I clicked it and it said ‘Congratulations’ and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’”
On top of the elite eight, the Morris Hills High School student was also accepted into Stanford University.
“Whatever school she decides to go to, she will continue on doing great things and will leave her mark on this world and make it a better place,” Tod Toriello, principal of Morris Hills High School, told ABC News.
According to CBS News, White-Thorpe is student government president at her school, places high in her advanced placement classes and is known for her writing and poetry. Recently, she also won first place in the National Liberty Museum’s Selma Speech & Essay Contest.
Now she’s not sure which school she’ll choos but says it will most likely come down to which school can offer her the best financial aid.
She wants to study biology and become a cardiologist, ABC News said.
Much like White-Thorpe, 17-year-old Hsiao was also in disbelief when she received her acceptance letters. On top of that, she was also accepted into Stanford University, John Hopkins University, University of Southern California, Northwestern University, New York University, Amherst College and several others.
“It’s completely surreal,” she told NBC News. “I opened them one after another and they all were saying, ‘Congratulations! Congratulations!’ And I know that is something special.”
Hsiao emigrated from Malaysia when she was five years old.
She attends Orange County School of Arts (OCSA) and holds a 4.67 GPA and scored 1540 on her SATs. She is one of two student body presidents and editor-in-chief of her school’s magazine.
“She’s multi-faceted,” Josh Wood, OCSA director of creative writing, told NBC News. “She’s such a go-getter and makes opportunities for herself.”
Then there’s Martin Altenburg of Fargo North High School, who in addition to the eight Ivy Leagues was also accepted into Stanford and MIT.
“I wanted to just apply to as many schools as possible because … I wasn’t sure where I’d get in and where I wouldn’t get it,” he told WDAY 6 ABC.
The straight-A student likes to keep himself busy and fill his days with sports, activities and other interests.
Cross-country, swimming, track, orchestra (he’s a violinist), chamber orchestra and math competitions are just the tip of the iceberg. He is also a co-founder and one of the co-chairs of the Fargo Youth Initiative.
According to WDAY 6 ABC, most of the schools are offering him full financial assistance. He is still undecided on where to go but says he is leaning towards either Stanford, MIT, Harvard or Princeton.
Rounding out the club is Vazquez, a senior at Capital High School in Boise.
“In the ninth grade I’d see these articles like oh ‘New Jersey teen’ or ‘New York teen gets into all eight Ivy Leagues,’” he told KTVB. “And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh like they must have cured cancer or something.’”
First came Harvard, then Yale, Princeton and then the others.
And while it may have seemed out of touch then for Vazquez, his perspective soon changed when his older brother was accepted to Brown.
“You can’t go wrong with any of them, so I just decided I’m going to take my chances, see what I can get and just hope for the best,” Vazquez says.
According to KTVB, Vazquez takes courses that challenge him, is involved in his school and takes part in varsity sports.
And just like his clubmates, Vazquez has yet to make a decision.