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Kwasi Enin: The college essay that got Kwasi Enin into 8 Ivy League schools

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Kwasi Enin is the 17-year-old Long Island student who was accepted to all eight major Ivy League schools. Kwasi Enin appeared on Friday night’s David Letterman show and merely seeing him in person was sufficient to want to have him as part of an Ivy League school. Not only is Kwasi a visibly well-educated muscular athletic young man with a baritone voice, but he is also not from “a land of white bread,” as reported by the Huffington Post on April 4.

Kwasi Enin has undeniably the right statistical characteristics to get into an Ivy League school. Kwasi is a first-generation American. His parents emigrated from Ghana to the U.S. in the 1980s, and both of his parents studied at local colleges to become nurses. Kwasi wants to become a physician.

Like it or not, as the Huffington Post article points out, “in a fantasy world there is no racism, but this is the USA and there is in fact much latent and outright racism.” And that certainly applies to Ivy League schools – unfortunately.

Ivy League schools do not publish their admissions policy, but across the United States it has become quite evident that race does matter when it comes to being admitted to a college. Add to that the factors of Advanced Placement courses, SAT scores, and extracurricular activities, getting into a college of one’s choice is more a statistical matter than a performance matter.

Kwasi Enin has picked the winning numbers in the lottery. He has the right family background, the right AP courses, an SAT score of 2,250 out of 2,400 (which places him in the 99th percentile for all students taking the exam), he is an athlete, has a baritone voice, and he plays the viola for the school orchestra.

Still, all of the above might not have been sufficient enough to get accepted into all eight Ivy League colleges -- Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale – if it would not have been for Kwasi’s college application essay in which he weaved it all together for the colleges – or did he?

“A wrong decision can be the beginning or end to a lifestyle,” is Kwasi’s first sentence of his essay which was published as “Common App Draft #4 - a life in music” by the New York Post. Kwasi’s first sentence does what every good essay writing program like The Essay Writer teaches – begin with an attention getter.

After getting the reader’s attention in his first sentence, Kwasi continued to write what college application examiners want to read. He gives credit to the person that has made a difference in his life, how and why it affected him, and he talks about his “life’s journey.” Besides using keywords like “journey,” Kwasi uses phrases like “intellectual curiosity,” “creativity,” “capacity,” “infinite possibilities,” and “success” in his second paragraph. His third paragraph focuses on “my role in the community,” covering “school, town, and state.” His fourth paragraph covers the topics of education, nurture, leadership, teamwork, friendship, success, “maximum potential,” “learning experiences,” and the importance of balance. And lastly, as it should be, Kwasi’s last paragraph covers “his solace” and “the world of composers, harmonies, and possibilities.” And again, as every essay writing program teaches, in your last paragraph you circle back to the beginning, repeat your major subtopics, and you point to the future.

“My haven for solace in and away from home is in the world of composers, harmonies and possibilities. My musical haven has shaped my character and without it, my life would not be half as wonderful as it is today. It was a wise decision to turn down the course Music in Our Lives. The self-guided journey known as music in my life excites my mind every day. My heart sings every day because the journey is already wonderful. Although I hope that my future career is in medicine, I love that I still have much to learn about and from the world of music.”

From a parent’s point of view, one might argue that Kwasi is “the good son.” According to the New York Post, “the Long Island teenager who got accepted into all eight Ivy League colleges was whipped into shape by his strict mom and dad — who hovered nearby, encouraging him to push himself.” Kwasi says that his parents were “helicopter parents. They monitored everything. They said, ‘You have a mind, and you can do it. Always do your best’,” said Kwasi and added that “they taught me 95 percent isn’t good enough . . . I’m proud, honored, appreciative.”

Undoubtedly, Kwasi Enin did a nice job in his essay by following each step of a good essay writing program and by adding keywords and key phrases that Ivy League colleges might want to hear. However, since some English teachers might argue that he “buttered it up” a bit too much, one wonders if it was really the essay that got Kwasi Enin accepted into the eight Ivy League colleges.

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