Higher Education This 18-year-old Opoku Ware graduate gained admission to 8 top US universities

The student who was also a contestant for his school in the 2017 National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) gained admission to 3 Ivy League schools and 5 other prestigious tertiary institutions.

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Samuel Mensah gained admission to 8 top universities in the United States play

Samuel Mensah gained admission to 8 top universities in the United States

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A former student of Opoku Ware School in the Ashanti Region has gained admission to 8 top universities in the United States of America (USA).

The student who was also a contestant for his school in the 2017 National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) gained admission to 3 Ivy League schools and 5 other prestigious tertiary institutions.

The three Ivy League schools out of the lot are Princeton, Dartmouth and Columbia universities. The other 5 are Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Williamson and Vanderbilt universities.

In a Facebook post, the US Embassy shared the news of Samuel’s academic strides with the rest of Ghana.

In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, Samuel Mensah said he was very happy for this feat.

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“I’m really excited at the prospect of going to some of the best universities in the US and consequently in the entire world. Going on full scholarship merits that response so I am very excited and very happy about the whole thing.”

From somewhere in mid-March, he began learning he had gained admission to eight universities in the US, all on full scholarships.

Samuel said the journey to achieving this feat has not been easy. He said he had to prepare for the SATs (Scholastic Assessment Tests), right after he finished High School in May 2017. Afterwards he had to go through the application processes.

“During October, November, December, that’s when we put together the essays, recommendation and all that is required for the applications,” he recalled.

 

He said he received some help from Education USA and Afex Test Prep with his essays and financial aid applications.

“Because the whole [American] system is sort of different from how our university system works, it’s confusing, and that is where they come in with their expertise. When we get a problem, we ask them questions and all that. They had workshops and seminars that we attended,” he explained.

Even though Samuel gained admission to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) he dropped out to focus on his application

“It takes a lot of determination. Back when we were in school, a lot of people said they would do the Brilla [Science and Maths Quiz] but along the way, they fell off. It was a lot of work. When we completed, there were a lot of people who also said they would write the SATs. Most of them, when we started they weren’t really getting the thing. They were like; this is too difficult.”

“Even when we started applications, there were people who had written the SATs, but they said this is too difficult. We were writing about 12 essays for a single school and those kinds of things, and they were like, nah. It takes a lot of perseverance, a lot of determination, focus and drive,” Samuel stated.

“It’s tiring. I know people who tried for about two or three years before they got into a school with scholarships. It’s work. It is for those who will persevere to the end. But no matter whatever you put in, the reward at the end is much more than what you put in so it’s worth it.”

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Samuel disclosed that his choice will “most likely” be Stanford University in California. In 2017, Stanford was ranked 5th best out of 1,387 schools in the US

“I am more academia inclined. As at now, I am thinking about going to grad school and pursuing a Masters degree and PhD,” he noted.

 

Samuel whose father is a librarian and mother a businesswoman are happy their son has gained a scholarship to the US. He said his siblings understand the magnitude of what he has achieved, unlike his parents.

“My parents, they didn’t really understand. My sisters understood the magnitude of what I had done. For my parents, they really didn’t understand. They were like he has gotten a scholarship and all that, but they didn’t understand the Ivy league and that kind of thing.”

 

Samuel attended nursery and basic education at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Basic School, before moving to Opoku Ware.

Samuel, who will turn 19 later in April 2018, was understandably elated about what lay ahead of him when citinewsroom.com spoke to him.

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