High school student who just got into all 8 Ivy League schools shares 4 keys to success

Victor AgbafeCourtesy of Victor AgbafeCape Fear Academy student Victor Agbafe.

High school senior Victor Agbafe just got into all eight Ivy League universities and has some great advice for students hoping to copy his feat.

“Life is a roller coaster ride, and if you keep trudging forward and put forth your best effort, things are going to end up the way they should,” Agbafe said. “Always stay positive, stay focused, stay humble, stay hungry — those are the keys to success.”

Currently a student at Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington, North Carolina, Agbafe applied to 14 colleges — all eight Ivies, as well as other top schools such as Stanford, Duke, and Emory — receiving acceptances to each one.

“If you look at the acceptance rates of these schools, it’s just so difficult to get into even one,” he said. “So I would have been happy at any one of them.”

Agbafe — a devout Catholic — said he made the sign of the cross and looked upward when he realised what he had accomplished. He credits his achievements to having a strong support system in both his family and his community.

“It wasn’t about that I did this, it was a positive thing for my family, my school, my community,” Agbafe said.

At Cape Fear Academy, Agbafe serves as Student Body President, plays on the basketball team, and participates in various other extracurricular activities. He wrote his Common Application essay on participating in his school’s Day of Silence, and how “the rights of the LGBT community ties in with human rights.”

Although all of the Ivy League schools release their admissions decisions on the same day, Agbafe had known for weeks that he was probably going to be successful, receiving likely letters from most of the Ivies. He had also applied early to Harvard, getting accepted in December to its non-binding early action program.

He hasn’t made any decisions about college and is weighing the pros and cons of each school, as well as scholarship offers. However, he said he is strongly considering Harvard, Yale, and Stanford.

The 17-year-old plans to become a neurosurgeon after he finishes college and medical school, eventually going into public policy. To this end, Agbafe said he was looking for a school with strong government, economics, and science programs.

Agbafe said he was inspired to go down this path after watching Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future,” and learning that the actor came down with Parkinson’s disease when he was only 29 years old.

He wants to explore questions such as “how can I use that platform for treatments, how can I make it available for everyone in all communities.”

Like several other high school students who gained acceptance letters to all eight Ivies, Agbafe is a first-generation American; his mother came to the US from Nigeria.

“I just feel that there’s a strong sense of the opportunity available to us,” he said. “Our parents remind us that there have been a lot of people before us who have had to make a lot of sacrifices.”

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