High school senior Alexander Roman got into all eight Ivy League universities this year — but he won’t attend one in the fall.
Instead, the Harding Senior High School student is heading from St. Paul, Minnesota to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he’ll be a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By the end of his admissions process, he had whittled his choices down to four universities, out of the 20 colleges he got into — MIT, Stanford, Princeton, and Harvard.
“The biggest part [of choosing MIT] was the atmosphere … everyone seems connected on campus, like they all knew each other,” Roman told Business Insider.
Roman likes MIT’s comparatively small size, as well as how “everyone seems focused in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] fields.” Roman said he was 90% sure he would study something in STEM, majoring in either applied physics or environmental engineering.
Despite MIT’s prestige, Roman admitted it was difficult to give up the “Ivy League student” moniker that would have come with some of his other choices.
“It was definitely extremely difficult to choose MIT considering I got accepted to every Ivy League school,” he said. “But being at MIT is just like going to an ‘Ivy League’ school for me. The thing about choosing a college is choosing the place that you feel you can become the best person you can be at the end of your four-year journey, and I definitely think that MIT will do that for me.”
Like many of the other high school seniors who got accepted to all eight Ivies this year, Roman is the child of an immigrant. His father was a teenager when he came to the US from Mexico.
“One of the reasons he wanted to come here was so when he had kids they could have a good education,” Roman said. “To get a job they want to have, not that they need to have.”
When Roman graduates in four years, he’ll be the first in his family to do so.
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