Applying for college is a nerve-racking experience for most high-school students. But for Arianna Alexander, the A+ student courted by 26 schools, the situation is significantly different, as she was offered $3 million in scholarships.
The Chicago valedictorian was accepted to virtually all Ivy League schools and despite the high costs of a college education, Arianna Alexander may be living proof that elite schools are attempting to aid lower-income students with outstanding results.
Arianna graduated from Kenwood Academy where, Alexander explains, all students receive tremendous support from the teaching staff. This high-school is renowned for its exceptional results, especially when it comes to helping students apply and get into elite colleges. But aside from application assistance, the Kenwood Academy also helps students ensure they can pay for their education.
This year, the 371 graduates earned scholarships worth $39.6 million (and Arianna Alexander is one of the three students included in the academy’s Gates Scholars Program, which ensures that low-income minority students receive the funding they require).
“We ensure you that over four years, if the student has performed academically, that we’re going position them well for the next step along the academic journey,” Gregory Jones, Kenwood Academy Principal explains.
Arianna Alexander’s first choice university was the University of Pennsylvania. With the help of the scholarship money she received, the valedictorian will be able to study business at her first choice school.
Her GPA (grade point average) is 5.1 (which means that Arianna Alexander managed to obtain a GPA that is 1.1 points higher than what a normal straight A student would have achieved). This academic record ensured that the humble, hardworking girl would be courted by most Ivy League schools.
But apart from the University of Pennsylvania, many other Ivy League colleges have picked up on the necessity of financially helping low-income students attend their classes. Stanford University, for instance, has announced that all accepted students whose overall income was under $125,000 would receive tuition-free education.
And Stanford isn’t alone in this mentality shift. MIT and Harvard have also enforced similar policies.
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