By Allegra Tepper
While seniors count down the days until the ever-anticipated April 1 finish line arrives, some college decisions are already trickling in, and each of the three High Stakes seniors have been able to exhale in the comfort of knowing that they will indeed be going to college.
Taylor has heard back from six schools and thus far has five acceptances under her belt.
From the University of California, Taylor received acceptances to the Irvine and San Diego campuses. The daughter of a UCLA graduate school professor, Taylor said she was a little surprised to learn that she was rejected but always knew the school was a long shot.
“When I heard I didnât get in, I really started to regret not auditioning in music or acting,” Taylor said.
“I thought it would hurt my application and I might not be able to compete, but now Iâll never know.”
However, the more disappointing outcome came from USC.
“I was accepted to the [College of Letters, Arts and Sciences] but was denied admission to Thornton,” Taylor said. “It came at a really bad time; combined with [other rejections from school-related auditions], I started to question if I really was any good at what I want to do with my life.”
The bittersweet acceptance was offset, though, by an acceptance from Bennington College, complete with a generous and luring financial aid package. From her current set of choices, which also includes Pepperdine University, Taylor thinks Bennington leads the pack.
Her only apprehension lies in the fact that Bennington is not only across the country in Vermont, but is also a world away from the Harvard-Westlake experience.
With a student body under half the size of Harvard-Westlake, Taylor worries the seclusion may prove to be a big shock.
As for the next few weeks, Taylor is eagerly awaiting decisions from several colleges, most importantly Williams and Scripps.
Nevertheless, the primary concern remains aid packages, and for that reason above all else, Bennington might have Taylor hooked.
March proved to be fruitful for Shawn, who heard the first of five recent acceptances, coming from Vanderbilt University. Soon after came Irvine, USC, Emory and Washington University in St. Louis. Despite bad news from the University of Chicago, UCLA, and UCSD, Shawn sees these past few weeks as victorious.
“Iâve reached my goal with these acceptances,” Shawn said. “I wanted to get into a top 20 school, not necessarily to go there, but to prove to myself that I could do it.”
The spread came as a surprise to Shawn, who expected an acceptance from San Diego.
He was hopeful for Vanderbilt and Emory, but never expected an admission from Washington University.
With three top 20 schools down, Shawn has decided to keep an open mind as long as he can to weigh out his options.
Although he spent the weekend at Vanderbilt for a multi-cultured visitorsâ weekend, and was pleasantly surprised by how much fun he had, he still doesnât think any one school of the three stands out from the others.
Like Shawn, Annabelle also received surprisingly good news from top-rated schools. Her biggest achievement thus far was an acceptance to Cornell University, one of her top choices.
She also learned that she was accepted to Wesleyan University, a highly selective college that Annabelle and her dean had placed on her safety list. The University of Chicago offered Annabelle a place on their waitlist, but she doesnât suspect that she will further pursue a place there now that she has earned a spot at Cornell.
“At this point, USC, Stanford and Columbia are the only schools Iâd consider over Cornell,” Annabelle said.
*Names have been changed