April 20, 2020 – Craig McFarland, a senior at Stanton College Preparatory School, is the newest member of a very exclusive club: The “I Was Accepted into Every Ivy League University In The Country Club.”
The Ivy Eight– Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University — all want McFarland to be a member of their class of 2024.
In fact, every single college that McFarland applied to accepted him, including Duke University, Emory University, Georgia Tech, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Stanford University -18 acceptances in all. He also received full scholarships to Florida universities including Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, the University of North Florida, and the University of South Florida.
For McFarland, this has been an unreal experience.
“I never would have ever imagined getting accepted into any Ivy League university, let alone all eight,” McFarland said in an email to his principal.
He went on to write that he was equally surprised at being accepted into every university where he applied. A lot of the credit, wrote McFarland, belongs to the faculty and staff at Stanton.
“I wanted to thank you infinitely, especially for leading a school that has helped me become so successful,” he wrote in his letter to Stanton Principal Nongongoma Majova.
He continued: “It is because of leaders like you and schools like Stanton that students can be so successful. I especially wanted to extend my most sincere thanks again to Mrs. Griner, Dr. Renfroe, and Mr. Ingram for having written me my teacher letters of recommendation and to Ms. Szymczyk and Ms. Watanabe who guided me not just as counselors, but as role models and personal advisors. Lastly, I wanted to thank Mr. Normeus, Mrs. Crespo-Lowery, and Ms. Hohne for being personal role models for me and always supporting me through all my personal and academic endeavors.”
McFarland’s accomplishments don’t stop with his college acceptances. He’s also a National Merit Scholar scholarship winner, Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship winner, and one of 24 Ron Brown Scholar finalists who will be receiving a $40,000 scholarship to the school of his choice
Even as he celebrates these accomplishments, McFarland says he does not want to be defined by them.
“While I obviously don’t deny the importance of grades and test scores, I find it more important to define yourself by more substantive metrics,” he said. “You should define yourself by the friends you’ve made in high school, the number of laughs you’ve had at sleepovers, or the amount of sushi you can down in one sitting. Yes, your GPA and academic metrics are important, but should you solely define yourself by those? Never.”
While the standout student hasn’t quite yet made his decision on which school he will be attending, he has decided to pursue a degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Philosophy or Linguistics, as he is considering a career in medicine or law. McFarland has narrowed his college acceptance list down to his top four schools: Florida State University, Harvard University, Stanford University, and Yale University.