Florida teen decided to shoot her shot, and all eight Ivy League schools accepted her

“I had no idea that I would get accepted into all of them," said 17-year-old Ashley Adirika.

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A Nigerian American teen has been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools.

“I just decided to shoot my shot at all of them and see if it would land,” says Ashley Adirika, who got accepted into Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale, CNN reports. She was also accepted at Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Emory. 

“I had no idea that I would get accepted into all of them,” the 17-year-old Florida resident told ABC News. “On Ivy Day, I remember crying a lot and just being extremely surprised. The tears just started to come out. Like they started to flow out.”

Added Adirika who chose Harvard, “My siblings and I were just really excited, like screaming, jumping around. It was crazy,” she added. 

“Before the college application process, Yale was actually my top choice. But when I did further research for what I want to do specifically, which is explorations in policy and social policy and things of that nature, Harvard just had a better program,” Adirika said.

The young scholar, who was a debate champ at Miami Beach Senior High School, plans to major in government this fall. 

While she will leave Florida for Massachusetts, Adirika will continue her work with Our Story Our Worth, the organization that she founded out of necessity. It empowers young girls and women of color in the Miami Beach area, and she has her sights on a national expansion.

“When I was in elementary school, I had the privilege of being a part of a mentorship program for girls. I was mentored by women in college and they taught me important skills, instilled confidence into me and gave me the outlet I needed to express myself. I will never forget the sense of solace that their support gave me,” she wrote on the organization’s website, according to CNN

“Unfortunately, as I … continued into middle and high school, that sense of solace began to fade. There was a lack of programs available for girls, much less those of color.”

Harvard University campus TheGrio
Harvard University campus. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Newsmakers)

Adirika counts herself lucky to have a resource like Our Story Our Worth just as she counts herself lucky for making the cut at all of the Ivys. Her sentiment is understandable because acceptance rates at the country’s most elite universities continues to decline, dating to the COVID pandemic two years ago. So much so that many schools have stopped “promoting key admissions data, including acceptance numbers and demographic breakdowns,” per The Harvard Crimson

Since 2018, all of the nation’s Ivy League schools have accepted less than 12% of their applicants. According to CNN, at Yale, 4.5% of applicants were admitted, while Columbia accepted 3.7%. Harvard had the lowest number in the university’s history with 3.2%. Many social media users have attributed the decline to scores of applications from unqualified students being largely rejected.

Numerous factors have contributed to the low acceptance rates at Ivy League schools from switching to remote classes to canceled entrance exams and suspended SAT and ACT requirements. Conversely, applications soared. Columbia, for instance, received more than 60,000 applications. 

According to The Atlantic, acceptance rates at the top 50 colleges in the United States have decreased from an average of about 36% in 2006 to the current rate of around 23%. 

The rates at Ivy League colleges for the class of 2025, CBS News has reported, are:

Meanwhile, Adirika plans to join the debate team at Harvard and plans to attend law school after her undergraduate studies.

“I am really passionate about policy and using policy to empower communities. And so in the short term, for me, that looks like becoming a lawyer,” she said. “But in the long term, I want to use that as a platform to do work in policy.”

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