LAURINBURG –A Scotland County High School senior has been accepted to not one, but two Ivy League schools.
Carrie Dean will have to decide whether she wants to attend Yale or Brown University.
At the top of her class with a 4.8571-weighted GPA and an un-weighted 4.0 GPA, Dean was shocked nevertheless to win admission to the two prestigious schools.
She was notified of her acceptance online.
“It was a week or so before I got them in the mail,” Dean said. “I left the website open for two hours and kept looking at it. It was surreal.”
Ivy League colleges are among the nation’s most elite. For many of the schools, acceptance comes rarely, even among the USA’s top students. Brown accepts about 9 percent of applicants. Yale accepts just 6.3 percent.
All eight universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, place in the top 15 of the U.S. News & World Report 2016 university rankings, including the top four schools and five of the top nine.
Dean has not decided between the two schools. She returned from visiting Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island on Thursday. She heads to Yale University’s New Haven, Connecticut campus on Monday.
“It was really, really beautiful and the people were really nice,” she said of Brown, which was founded in 1764.
Dean said she thinks that once she visits both campuses, one of them should feel like the place where she will want to spend her college career.
“I hope I get the feeling of this is where I want to be.”
Dean said she applied to about 10 colleges. Among those who denied her were Davidson, Stanford and Dartmouth. She was wait-listed by Duke, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt.
“I thought there’s no way I can get into Yale when Duke thought I was worth a wait list,” she said.
The youngest of three girls, Dean said he parents — Alonda Harron-Dean and Scott Dean — are proud but also a little apprehensive about her so far from home. She moved to Laurinburg when she was 8 from San Diego.
“They know I can handle myself. I have a job … I put gas in my own car,” she said. “I think they trust me, but feel that it’s really far away.”
Although she’s excited, Dean admits she is a little fearful as well.
“It’s just really scary because it is a lot of unknowns. Rhode Island and Connecticut are really far away. It’s scary because I’m not going to know anything about living up there. I don’t know anything about living in snow. I hate the cold.”
Dean is not sure of the kind of career she wants to pursue.
Immunology was once a choice. She has a lot of interest in history.
“I thought about working in museums but I’m also aware that is not the most promising job field. That’s a possibility.”
Brown has a program that she will able to participate in that allows students to curate museums on campus.
“So right now if somebody ask me it will probably change. But I have some vague ideas of where I want to go.”
She plays the clarinet in band, which she has been in since sixth grade. She is also in Color Guard. She also participated in a Winter Guard group in Greensboro this past year.
“Band and guard are basically all I do,” she joked. But she then listed a few clubs she is active in. She also works as waitress two or three nights a week.
Her advice to other students is to be diligent.
“A lot of it comes down to how hard you are willing to work for something. You don’t have to be a genius to be a success in public school. You just have to willing to do the homework and put in the work and stay up late finishing projects if you need to,” she said.
Dean said her mom is also a driving force for her to do well in school.
“I admire her work ethic and how much she does for other people. Even when I get in the car, I have to put my seat belt on because I think my mom would be disappointed,” Dean said.