Lansdowne student accepted into 18 colleges with $2 million in scholarships

Laila Johnson was accepted into every single school for which she applied, winning $1.8 million in pledged monies for her psychology studies.

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A student from Lansdowne, Delaware County, located just outside of Philadelphia, has been accepted into 18 colleges and awarded nearly $2 million in college scholarships. 

Laila Johnson was accepted into every single school for which she applied, winning $1.8 million in pledged funds for her studies. She said she decided to target so many schools to broaden her options and explore majors. 

High school senior Laila Johnson secured nearly $2 million in scholarships and won entry to every single college for which she applied. (KYW)

Graduating from Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, Johnson plans to major in psychology. She had a 4.0-grade point average for all four years of high school and also participated in several extracurricular activities.

“I’ve been in newspaper, I’ve been bowling,” Johnson told a local news outlet. “I also had a job as well in my career, but when the pandemic hit I had to leave my job, unfortunately.”

She plans to be a child psychologist. 

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Last year, another teen from the region was awarded $1.2 million in scholarships after graduating early from high school. Angelica Malone, a graduate of Delaware State University Early College High School in Dover, attributed her scholarship success to choosing schools that suited her needs versus prestigious Ivy League institutions.

“There are people with better scores than me and better GPAs, but I think I just applied to the right schools,” Malone said. “A lot of people want to go to Harvard, but they’re not going to give you a full ride because it’s so competitive.”

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A 2016 Money magazine article noted that among the ways to win lots of college scholarship money are to apply for local scholarships, to write a compelling personal essay and to choose scholarships that may require a lot of upfront work. “Scholarships with essays over 1,000 words often have fewer than 500 applicants,” the article notes, “compared to the 5,000 students who enter easier scholarships.”

As for Johnson, she is reportedly planning to choose a school in Pennsylvania to be close to her family. She is currently debating between Temple University, West Chester University, Neumann University and Penn State University. 

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