It’s been a big week in academic news: A total of three high school students now say they’ve been accepted to all eight Ivy League universities.
CNN reports that Martin Altenburg of Fargo, North Dakota became the second student this week to be accepted into all of the top-tier schools, while Idaho’s KTVB reports that Ivan Vazquez, from Boise, is now the third.
Ifeoma White-Thorpe, from New Jersey, said she received word earlier this week that she had also earned the distinction.
“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 in,” Altenburg said, speaking to CNN affiliate WDAY. He was also accepted into Stanford and MIT, which are not Ivy League but are among the nation’s most prestigious and selective schools.
Acceptance into all eight Ivies is very rare, but Altenburg, Vazquez and White-Thorpe have joined a small, elite crew of academic achievers.
According to CNN, Altenburg, a senior at Fargo North High School, keeps busy both in and outside the classroom. He’s active in cross-country, track, swimming, orchestra and symphony, among other notable extracurricular activities.
Vazquez tried a similar strategy. He told KTVB that while he initially wanted to attend Harvard, “you can’t go wrong with any of them,” so he applied to all eight. He also offered a bit of advice for other students.
“Just believe in yourself, you can do it. Just get involved in your school,” he said. “Colleges love to see that you’re getting involved, no matter in what way, as long as you push yourself and just do what you love.”
These three students will get to take their pick among Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Dartmouth and Brown. None have yet decided which of the prestigious institutions they will attend.