By James Nye 21:10 GMT 30 Apr 2014, updated 18:13 GMT 01 May 2014
In a move reminiscent of LeBron's The Decision, the New York teen offered places at all eight Ivy League schools held a press conference on Wednesday to announce Yale was his choice.
Seventeen-year-old Kwasi Enin announced his eagerly awaited decision at William Floyd High School on Long Island and declared that Yale's music program is what swayed his decision.
The senior hit international headlines last month when he revealed he had been accepted to every single Ivy League college backed by his parents who are both nurses and emigrated to the United States from Ghana in the 1980s.
Scroll Down to Read his Application Essay
Enin scored 2,250 out of 2,400 on his SAT. He was also accepted at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania.
His incredible feat beat the odds - Harvard only accepted 5.9 percent of applicants in during this round and Cornell, which accepts more than the other seven schools, still only takes 14 percent.Related Articles
Enin plans to study music and medicine and said of Yale, 'I met people who were just like me - diverse in both science and music - and they told me how manageable it is doing both.'
The teen said he is looking forward to singing in one of Yale's capella groups and playing in one of its orchestras.
'I'm very satisfied with my offer,' he said of Yale. 'They're very generous on their aid.'MUSICAL MOMENTS IN THE ESSAY
'A wrong decision can be the beginning or end to a lifestyle. In the seventh grade, I nearly ended my music career by opting to select a simple course- Music in Our Lives- that met the state music requirement, But this decision would have left me empty.
'While onstage as Big Jule of Guys and Dolls during my favorite musical, I helped create a wonderful atmosphere in the school auditorium by singing and dancing.
'With improvement and balance comes success, and music taught me all of these virtues.
'Whenever I perform. I become immersed in the conversations between performers and the audience.'
At the news conference in the school gym, Enin thanked his parents and educators who helped him along the way.
'Without their assistance, I would not be in this position,' he said to NBC New York. 'I would not have had the initial drive to strive for excellence.'
His mother said her son is 'proving himself to be on the right path.' She and her husband have sought to instill "strong moral qualities" in Enin and his sister since they were young, she said.
'We are so proud and so excited about all that he has achieved,' she said.
His father said he has always been strict about his children's academics.
'I told him, 'Look, your worst grade in school should be a 95,' he said.
Earlier this month, the admissions essay penned by Enin was released.
In the biographical statement he submitted for the Common Application, he wrote about how music is 'the spark of my intellectual curiosity' and helped him connect to his community through plays.
'While onstage as Big Jule of Guys and Dolls during my favorite musical, I helped create a wonderful atmosphere in the school auditorium by singing and dancing,' the essay reads.
He goes on to tout his involvement in the local men's Doo Wop group as well as the chamber ensemble.
'With improvement and balance comes success, and music taught me all of these virtues,' he wrote.
'My haven for solace in and away from home is in the world of composers, harmonies and possibilities.'
'The self-guided journey known as music in my life excites my mind every day. My heart sings every day because the journey is already wonderful. Although I hope that my future career is in medicine, I love that I still have much to learn about and from the world of music.'
The 17-year-old from Long Island, who had already been accepted early into Princeton, got into Brown. Columbia, Cornell, Yale and Dartmouth on March 27.
By 5pm that day, he had six Ivy League colleges offering him a place at their institutions, and then the toughest of them all, Harvard, sent the William Floyd High School student an email.
The university has an acceptance rate of only 5.9 per cent - meaning only 2,023 of the 34,295 applicants will get in - and they wanted Kwasi.
'I was like - this can't be happening!' Kwasi told Newsday.
He told The New York Post that much of his success is a result of his hovering 'helicopter parents', who both work as nurses after moving to America from Ghana in 1980.
'He's an amazing kid. He's very humble,' his father Ebenezer Enin said.
'He's been trained to be a high achiever right from when he was a kid.
'We have been encouraging him to be an all-around student. So far, he has proved himself.'READ MORE
Here's the college essay that got a high school senior into all 8 Ivy League schools
Kwasi Enin Yale University StudentREUTERS/Shannon StapletonKwasi Enin, then a high school senior, smiles after announcing he will attend Yale University during a press conference at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, New York April 30, 2014.
Last year, then-high school senior Kwasi Enin found out he had been accepted to every college he applied to — including all eight Ivy League schools.
As Ivy League admissions decisions come out this week, we thought it would be a good chance to review what exactly these exclusive universities are looking for.
How did Enin pull off this impressive feat? The Long Island student scored a 2250 on his SAT, had taken 11 AP courses, and was in the top 2% of his graduating class, but that doesn't necessarily show him fully as an applicant. The answer could be in his college application essay, which The New York Post published last year.
Enin's essay examines the impact music has had on his intellectual and personal development. "My haven for solace in and away from home is in the world of composers, harmonies, and possibilities. My musical haven has shaped my character and without it, my life would not be half as wonderful as it is today," he writes.
Enin eventually chose to attend Yale, where he's a freshman.
Common App Draft 04- A life in music
A wrong decision can be the beginning or end to a lifestyle. In the seventh grade, I nearly ended my music career by opting to select a simple course-Music in Our Lives-that met the state music requirement. But this decision would have left me empty. With the help of Ms. Brown, my then orchestra teacher, I was able to not only meet the basic requirement, but also continue the beginning of my musical journey. I am now a violist who has joyously played for nine years. I also now take music in my life. It is the first self-taught-and the longest-course I have ever taken.
Music has become the spark of my intellectual curiosity. I directly developed my capacity to think creatively around problems Ave to the infinite possibilities in music. There are millions of combinations of key signatures, chords, melodies, and rhythms in the world of music that wait to become attached to a sheet of staff lines and spaces. As I began to explore a minute fraction of these combinations from the third grade onwards, my mind began to formulate roundabout methods to solve any mathematical problem, address any literature prompt, and discover any exit in an undesirable situation. In middle school, my mind also started to become adept in the language of music. Playing the works of different composers, such as Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch and Coriolan Overture by Ludwig Van Beethoven, expands my diverse musical vocabulary, my breadth of techniques and my ability to practice in order to succeed in solo performances.
Music has also become the medium for my roles in the community. While onstage as Big Jule of Guys and Dolls during my favorite musical, I helped create a wonderful atmosphere in the school auditorium by singing and dancing. Whenever I perform, whether as a bassist in Men's Don Wop Group or as a violist in Chamber Ensemble, I become immersed in the conversations between performers and the audience. As I become lost in these conversations, I create blissful memories in which I am truly part of my community's culture-and eventually its history.
Photo from http://3chicspolitico.com
It is a well-known fact that admissions to Ivy League schools, already the most competitive undergraduate and graduate programs in the country, have recently become even more competitive. This phenomenon is due in large part to several factors, including an increased emphasis on accepting international students, an increased number of high school graduates seeking admission to Ivy League schools, as well as a broadening of the criteria that makes an applicant truly “worthy” of acceptance to an Ivy League school. Though the first two of these factors are well outside the control of high school students, the story of Kwasi Enin, a Long Island teenager who was accepted to all eight Ivy League schools, provides interesting and compelling insight into the third. If you have been following this story, then it is already clear to you that Enin’s success is not a result of luck or simple good fortune but rather a product of planning, preparation, and hard work.
A popular misconception among high school students and the parents of high school students is that you need a perfect SAT score in order to even be considered for admission to an Ivy League school. In fact, some Ivy League schools (specifically Harvard, as was explained to me by their school representative when I myself was a fresh eyed, naïve high school senior) are notorious for rejecting more perfect score applicants than they accept. While a high SAT or ACT score, coupled with an equally and consistently high GPA, is absolutely necessary to be considered a competitive applicant, today those two things are simply not enough to guarantee admission to an Ivy League school.
Consider Kwasi Enin’s unparalleled success. Enin scored only a 2250 out of a possible 2400 on the SAT, and did not graduate in the top ten of his high school’s graduating class (he is reported to have graduated 11 th out of a class of 647); despite not having the absolute top tier 1%er stats that you might expect of a student admitted to all eight Ivy League schools, Enin nonetheless accomplished this remarkable feat. This should lead interested parents and students to ask the obvious question: how, then, did he achieve this?
The real reason for Enin’s unprecedented success stems not from his superb GPA and SAT score; many students with equally or even more impressive academic credentials are regularly denied admission to the Ivy League. The reason for Enin’s success is, in four years in high school, he molded himself into the ideal Ivy League undergraduate candidate. Let’s review this in a bit more detail.
By all accounts Enin was a stellar high school student both in and outside of the classroom. Enin’s list of extracurricular activities is one of the most impressive that I have ever seen. Enin was a varsity Track & Field athlete, a member of his school’s theatre troupe (regularly starring as the lead in school plays from freshman year onward), a member of an a cappella group (for some reason, Ivy League schools go gaga for a cappella), played three instruments for his high school orchestra, was actively involved in student government, AND he managed to find time to regularly volunteer at a local New York hospital. This is not to mention his equally versatile academic interests: he is currently planning on pursuing a career path in medicine, with dreams of one day being a successful MD, but would like to sustain his current level of involvement in the musical arts as well (according to him, this is the primary reason he selected Yale over the other Ivy League schools).
These activities are consistent with the advice you might have seen in College Compass’ What does it really take to get into the Ivy League ? series. Students who are serious about being accepted into an Ivy League school should follow the example set by Kwasi Enin. Specifically, as outlined in our Ivy League series, students must excel both in and outside of the classroom; it is no longer enough to have fantastic grades. This means students should focus on obtaining leadership positions, or at least positions of importance, in their extracurricular activities. Even more specifically, students should target extracurricular activities that allow them to demonstrate to admission officers that they are versatile and well-rounded. In Kwasi Enin’s case, he was able to show admission officers that he was capable of excelling in an athletic context, an artistic context, and an academic context. This is how Kwasi Enin got accepted into all 8 Ivy League Schools.
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Have you heard the SAT is changing? Learn more about the new SAT here. Interested in learning more about college admissions? Find out more with College Compass. your guidebook to the college admission process.
His father, Ebenezer, thanked all those at the high school who encouraged his son. "We are grateful for all the inspiration," he said.
"People think Kwasi is like an angel or somebody who was sheltered. Really, we gave him a lot of freedom, even though at the same time we were very strict with him in terms of academics and the way he behaved. We only pray that going forward he will stay focused and not be distracted."
Referring to Kwasi's 14-year-old sister, Adwoa, their father said: "I told her, Look, I believe you can do better than him."
Enin scored 2250 out of a possible 2400 on his SAT, placing him in the 98th percentile across the country, according to The College Board. He's also ranked 11th in his class at William Floyd High School, a public school on Long Island, according to his principal, Barbara Butler.
"I applied knowing that going to any of the Ivy League schools would be wonderful," Enin told CNN earlier this month. "I thought if I applied to all eight, I figured I'd get into one. but from the first one onwards I said, 'This can't be happening!' I was shocked seeing all these acceptances under my name."
Butler said Enin is not only a model academic student, but also plays three instruments for the chamber orchestra, sings in an a cappella group, throws shot put and discus for the high school's track and field team, participates in student government and has had a lead role in school plays since the ninth grade.
"Usually kids are good athletes or good musicians or good actors, but they don't have all three and then on top add student government. It's a balancing act. He somehow finds time to do it all and then volunteer at a local hospital," Butler said.
Butler has been Enin's principal for six years in both middle and high school.
"He is an incredibly modest, humble and respectable person," Butler said. "He is incredibly dedicated and he has his priorities straight. He takes advantage of whatever opportunity he is afforded."
Rachel Rubin, the founder of Spark Admissions in Massachusetts, who also previously served on admissions committees at selective universities, said the feat is extremely rare.
"It's quite atypical," Rubin said, adding that most students do not apply to all the Ivy League schools.
"Standardized test scores and good grades will get a student in the door to have their application read," Rubin said. "But it's their extracurricular activities, leadership experience, exceptional talents, recommendation letters and personal essays that will move a student from a pile of 'maybes' to a pile of 'accepted.' "
Harvard's acceptance rate, among the most selective in the country, was just 5.9% for the applicants for the class of 2017, according to its admissions site.
Enin was also accepted to Duke University and three State University of New York campuses.
Enin admitted all along that he favored Yale.
"I really liked their sense of family, relationships between undergraduates and professors, and the residential college," he said earlier this month. "They also have a strong biomedical engineering program, which is a wonderful combination of biology and creative tools that doctors and health care professionals can use."
Enin added that Yale also has a strong music program, one of his beloved hobbies that he hopes to continue when he isn't hitting the books in college.
He hopes to one day pursue medicine, a dream of his that just so happens to align with his parents' careers.
His parents, who immigrated from Ghana in the late 1980s, are both nurses and pushed Enin to receive the highest grades possible and follow his dreams.
"Health care is a prominent field that satisfies people beyond finances and edifies people and is about moral development," he said.
His advice for future applicants?
"Follow your passions in high school and not just follow suit for what you think can get you into these schools," he said. "Develop your outside interests -- not just academics."
On March 27, students from across the country heard back from Ivy League colleges about whether they were accepted or not. Among them was Kwasi Enin, a 17-year-old student from William Floyd High School in Long Island, who got accepted to every single Ivy League school. Knowing the extreme amount of luck and skill it takes to get into just one, the fact that Kwasi was able to get into one, let alone eight, is an incredible achievement.
Unfortunately, some saw this event as an opportunity to deride and discredit him, rather than to celebrate his gifts and talents.
From USA Today to TFM. many commenters obsessed over Kwasi’s race or immigrant status. Without even getting to know who he was, the commenters felt this was an open invitation to dismiss his acceptances as a product of affirmative action, based on the fact that he didn’t get perfect SAT scores or wasn’t ranked number one in his class.
USA Today News did little to show us who Kwasi the person was. Unlike the New York Post. which posted a copy of his admissions essay online detailing his passion for music, USA Today gave a list of extracurriculars, some class grades and a quote about his desire to study medicine. In the process, we never get the opportunity to learn why Kwasi is unique. Instead, we just get a list of statistics that ignores any of his potential holistic qualities.
By reducing him to only his class rank or SAT scores, these commenters opened up harsh criticisms based on superficial qualities. Even worse, USA Today unnecessarily brings up his ethnicity. College admissions expert Katherine Cohen, who USA Today quotes in their piece, perfectly characterizes this issue when she claims that part of his uniqueness is that “[h]e’s not a typical African-American kid.”
When describing his stats, USA Today mentions that his score of 2250 “puts him in the 99th percentile for African-American students.” How about the 99th percentile for all students? Isn’t this an extreme accomplishment for any individual regardless of their race?
However, even though getting a 2250 for anyone is a difficult achievement, criticizers have found fault in his lack of a perfect score. Hell, I’m an Asian-American who got 2210 on my SAT. Despite the 40-point difference, my acceptance was not littered with shocks of surprise or comments from others about how I did not “deserve” to get in.
Additionally, USA Today later decided to remove Cohen’s quote in the original article without comment or mention of their revision (which can be found here. on a copy of the original piece). This is an example of shoddy reporting at its worst. Sweeping these views under the rug or censoring them without explanation is not only poor reporting, but also tries to cover up and hide the flaws of the world that we live in today.
Overall, when we use this rhetoric, we create this expectation that African-American students are incapable of being phenomenal, that this fantastic achievement was only special by virtue of his race. However, it is even worse when we try to pretend that these views and beliefs do not exist within our society. An unfortunate reality of the world we live in today is that racism exists. While all steps should be taken to reduce it, by ignoring it those of us who do not hold these views do the opposite — we pretend that there isn’t a problem at all.
All in all, we really do not know much about who Kwasi Enin is, nor what his entire application looked like. We are not the Ivy League admissions boards, and trying to validate or dismiss his merit based on a few articles is a ridiculous mistake.
That being said, congratulations to Kwasi and to all of the other lucky students who got accepted to their dream colleges. Be ready for some of the greatest years of your lives. Don’t let the assumptions of others undermine you and your accomplishments.
Benjamin Dinovelli is a sophomore from Mystic, Conn. He can be reached email@example.com.
Kwasi Enin's college essay by New York Post. Like us on Facebook for more stories like this! RELATED New York Student Accepted to All 8 Ivy League
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Kwasi Enin [is] the 17-year-old Long Island student who was accepted to every Ivy
League school and whose own essay is now public, thanks to the New York Post. It is very much a college essay — flowery language, Big Ideas, lessons learned — but it also worked.
Enin writes about his love of music — he plays violin, bass, and has a good voice, too — stretching the refined extracurricular into a story about leadership, community, and bringing joy to the world by singing and dancing in a production of Guys and Dolls. “Music has become the spark of my intellectual curiosity,” he writes. “I directly developed my capacity to think creatively around problems due to the infinite possibilities in music.” (Don’t be jealous.)Search this Blog Upcoming A+ Events
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The William Floyd High School senior, who plays violin, said the school met his financial aid needs, which was an important factor to him, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Enin also offered advice to other high school students: “You need to have your passion, the things that you love doing most, to push yourself as far as you can go.”
He said his ultimate goal is to become a successful doctor.
Kwasi Enin announced April 30, 2014, that he will attend Yale. (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)
Enin, the first-generation son of immigrants from Ghana, began hearing from the schools March 27.
Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania all said yes. He was also accepted by SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Geneseo, Stony Brook University, and Duke.
He also sports impressive credentials in and out of the classroom with a 2250 SAT score, a rank of 11th in his graduating class, skills as a track and field athlete, and a penchant for playing the violin.
Enin’s credentials gave him his pick of schools, but as experts explained the shoe is typically on the other foot.
“A kid who has an international background, who is an underrepresented minority, who is an athlete, a musician, great community service, a legacy, those are chosen up to 80 percent,” College Consultant, Andy Lockwood explained.Excerpts From Enin’s Application Essay
• “A wrong decision can be the beginning or end of a lifestyle. In the seventh grade, I nearly ended my music career by opting to select a simple course — Music In Our Lives — that met the state music requirement. But this decision would have left me empty.”
• “I am now a violinist who has joyously played for nine years. I also now take music in my life. It is the first self-taught and the longest course I have ever taken.”
• “There are millions of combinations of key signatures, chords, melodies and rhythms in the world of music that wait to become attached to a sheet of staff lines and spaces. As I began to explore a minute fraction of these combinations from the third grade onwards, my mind began to formulate roundabout methods to solve any mathematical problem, address any literature prompt, and discover any exit in an undesirable situation.”
• “Playing the works of different composers, such as Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch and Corolan Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven, expands my diverse musical vocabulary, my breadth of techniques and my ability to practice in order to succeed in solo performances.”
• “Whenever I perform, whether as a bassist in Men’s Doo Wop Group or as a violinist in a Chamber Ensemble, I become immersed in the conversations between performers and the audience. As I become lost in these conversations, I create blissful memories in which I am truly part of my community’s culture and eventually its history.”
• “The most important task of a leader is to create harmony between each member of the group, which reveals the group’s maximum potential. With improvement and balance comes success and music taught me all of these virtues.”
Enin said that he plans to spend the summer “being a kid” before heading to New Haven in the fall.