Teen Ronald Nelson Jr. Was Accepted To Every Ivy League School, But He Turned Them All Down For A Smart Reason
If you're a junior or senior in high school, you might want to sit this one out, or else you might tear your hair out in sheer jealousy. Highschooler Ronald Nelson Jr. was accepted to every Ivy League school, but he turned them all down in favor of a state school, Cosmopolitan reports. Oh, and in doing so, he also rejected Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Washington University, and New York University, because what kind of overachiever would Nelson be if he rejected just the Ivy Leagues?It
sounds like something you fantasized about when you were in the depths of despair while applying to colleges in high school, but for Nelson, the decision was very real. "It took a lot of soul searching for me to push that 'accept' button," he told Business Insider. "Of course there's a bit of uncertainty."It's not difficult to see how Nelson would be accepted to so many universities; his resume is enough to make any school counselor sob with happiness. In addition to being a National Merit Scholar and having exceptionally high test scores, he took 15 AP classes while attending Houston High School and graduated with a 4.58 weighted GPA, Business Insider reports. Did you know that was possible? Because I had no idea GPAs even went that high.
<img alt="" src="http://33.media.tumblr.com/08d1d9a519cba2b941f11eede4ac3cd0/tumblr_inline_mp0eeppR8w1qz4rgp.gif" class="article-body-image" title="Image: http://33.media.tumblr.com/08d1d9a519cba2b941f11eede4ac3cd0/tumblr_inline_mp0eeppR8w1qz4rgp.gif"/>He's also senior class president, a National Achievement Scholar, and plays the alto saxophone. Despite his various and sundry accomplishments, however, none of the Ivy Leagues offered Nelson any merit scholarships, despite their claims to meet the demonstrated financial need of accepted students. This was a major factor in Nelson's decision to reject their offers of admission, because he plans on attending medical school after college, which is a pricey endeavor even without student debt from a bachelor's degree. "I was looking toward my long-term education and not just my short-term goals," he told the Today Show.
So what school is attractive enough to entice Nelson away from admission to some of the best schools in the U.S.? Perhaps surprisingly, it's not another top-20 school. This fall, he will be attending the University of Alabama, which offered him a full scholarship as well as admission to their highly selective honors program. According to Business Insider, he could even potentially receive stipends for studying abroad, and goodness knows those are hard to come by. Visiting the campus during the admissions process helped finalize his decision.
"It was kind of amazing being around so many like-minded students, which is why I think I'll be able to have a similar situation [to an Ivy League school]," he told Business Insider.Although some question his decision, Nelson has wise words for the naysayers. "The Ivy League experience would certainly be something amazing, to make these connections, and have these amazing professors," he said. "But I really do think I'll be able to make the same experience for myself at the college I chose."Nelson is clearly as smart as his test scores imply, because as any undergraduate knows, college is what you choose to make of it. Somehow, I get the feeling that Nelson will make the best of whatever schools he attends in the future.Images: gemini-dragon-gifs/Tumblr