Kwasi Enin of Shirley, N.Y., was accepted by all eight Ivy League colleges and chose Yale University as the college he will attend this fall. / James Montalto, William Floyd High School
Kwasi Enin has his pick of the USA's elite colleges, but the one he says has the sweetest song won his heart: Yale.
Enin, 17, made international news last month when USA TODAY and other news media reported that he'd been accepted by all eight Ivy League colleges, an extremely rare feat.
A senior at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, N.Y., Enin plans to attend Yale University in New Haven, Conn., this fall. He announced his decision Wednesday at a news conference in the school's gymnasium.
Getting into just one of the eight is a feat - Cornell University, which accepts a larger share of applicants than the other seven, admitted 14% in its most recent round. At the other end, Harvard admitted 5.9%. Enin also earned slots at Duke University and three State University of New York campuses.
He visited Yale last week and says he was blown away by the music scene on campus - he says it has the strongest music program of all the Ivy League schools - and a commitment to giving undergraduates research and travel opportunities. He looks forward to singing in one of Yale's dozens of a capella groups and playing in one of its orchestras, he says.
A first-generation American from Shirley, N.Y., who sings and plays the viola, Enin plans to study medicine and music. After visiting four of the eight schools, he says, at Yale "I met people who were just like me - diverse in both science and music â?? and they told me how manageable it is doing both."
Enin declined to provide details about the financial aid he'll receive from Yale but says he got similar offers from all four schools that were at the top of his list. "I'm very satisfied with my offer," he says of Yale. "They're very generous on their aid."
Enin's story, which broke this month, made him an instant celebrity, getting interview offers from around the world. He appeared on Late Night With David Letterman to read the comedian's "Top Ten Ways to Make Your College Application Stand Out." No. 1: "In the part that says, 'For Office Use Only,' write, 'Accept.' "
Enin is the son of Ghanaian immigrants who came to New York in the 1980s and studied nursing at public colleges. He ranks No. 11 in a class of 647 at William Floyd, a large public school on Long Island's south shore. His SAT score, at 2,250 out of 2,400 points, puts him in the 99th percentile for all test-takers. He will have taken 11 Advanced Placement courses by the time he graduates this spring.
He says he has been amazed by the "craziness" of some of the reactions to his story. Many commenters noted that Ivy League schools often reject other candidates with higher SAT scores and class rankings. A few readers said that as the son of recent African immigrants, Enin has bypassed much of the struggle that African-American teenagers experience.
One commenter, Humza Azam, said, "I have better stats," noting a 2,260 SAT score and No. 5 rank in a class of more than 800. "Only one Ivy. Rejected almost everywhere else, save a few (University of California campuses) and Carnegie. I'm not African American. Yes. Race matters."
Enin says critics of the admissions process "shouldn't look at it as 'you deserve to be in.' " Ivy League colleges, he says, aren't necessarily looking for "the elite of the elite." Rather, he says, the decision often turns on whether a candidate is a good fit. "Statistics, of course, get you into the door â?¦ but they're picking people they feel will fit their class best," he says. "It's not all numbers - it's the person behind the application."
Perhaps sensing, even at age 17, that first impressions don't always work out, Enin says he's not ruling out transferring to one of the other seven. "I feel that Yale fits me the best right now in my life, but where the future takes me I don't know," he says. "They're great schools, all of them."
Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com
Read the original story: Ivy League whiz kid picks his college: Yale