Beating The Ivy League Acceptance Rates

April 04, 2016

Ivy League schools are notoriously hard to get into. For many high school students, getting into one of the Ivy League schools is the ultimate payoff for all the community service work they were involved in, the sports and extracurriculars they participated in, and the AP classes they studied for.

The Ivy League receives over 250,000 applications every year, but only about 20,000 Ivy League acceptance letters are sent out. The chances of one student getting into every Ivy League school are very slim, and yet, there is always a high-achieving high school student out there that beats the odds. We’ve all heard about of the last 2 Ivy Sweeps by Long Island high school students, and this year, we have Brittany Stinson - the girl who got in to 5 Ivies and Stanford, with a compelling essay about her time at Costco.

Brittany Stinson is a high school senior from Concord High School in Wilmington, DE. Since she shared her common application essay with Business Insider, the internet has been buzzing about how an essay about the bulk goods grocery chain, Costco, has gotten her accepted to Yale, Cornell, UPenn, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Stanford. The essay wasn’t just a long grocery shopping list, but glimpse at the intellectual curiosity Stinson possesses. In less than 1,000 words, she eloquently boasted her knowledge, pondered the philosophy of freedom, and questioned the norm. Here are a few excerpts:

Managing to break free from my mother’s grasp, I charged. With arms flailing and chubby legs fluttering beneath me, I was the ferocious two­ year old rampaging through Costco on a Saturday morning. My mother’s eyes widened in horror as I jettisoned my churro; the cinnamon-­sugar rocket gracefully sliced its way through the air while I continued my spree. I sprinted through the aisles, looking up in awe at the massive bulk products that towered over me. Overcome with wonder, I wanted to touch and taste, to stick my head into industrial­-sized freezers, to explore every crevice. I was a conquistador, but rather than searching the land for El Dorado, I scoured aisles for free samples. Before inevitably being whisked away into a shopping cart, I scaled a mountain of plush toys and surveyed the expanse that lay before me: the kingdom of Costco.

While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the ‘all beef’ goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old. I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty­three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will? I experienced a harsh physics lesson while observing a shopper who had no evident familiarity of inertia’s workings. With a cart filled to overflowing, she made her way towards the sloped exit, continuing to push and push while steadily losing control until the cart escaped her and went crashing into a concrete column, 52” plasma screen TV and all. Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jackson’s controversiality. There was no questioning Old Hickory’s dedication; he was steadfast in his beliefs and pursuits – qualities I am compelled to admire, yet his morals were crooked. We both found the ham to be more likeable–and tender.

She has yet to share her final college decision, but wherever she chooses to go, we hope she never loses the passion and and intellectual curiosity she demonstrated in her essay. More than anything, that drive will take her to many more exciting places than just the Ivy League.

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Sources: Business Insider

About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


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Accepted to Yale, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, BU, JHU, GWU, Drexel, UConn

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I'm an undergrad at Yale, probably going to major in something humanities-related, possibly linguistics.

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