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Student With 2 Best-Selling Books, 4.2 GPA & 1560 SAT Gets Rejected From Harvard, MIT, Yale & Princeton

Photo: TikTok/@limmytalks/Twemoji via Canva Elements
man explaining that overachiever was rejected from several colleges

We all are under the assumption that if you work hard in life, it will pay off. But sometimes, no matter how much you achieve, opportunities will pass you by. Such is the case with one overachiever who accomplished more in a couple of decades of life than many will in an entire lifetime.

The situation was shared by a TikToker named Limmy who reviews college applications on the app. He started the video by saying, “This is the most insane college application I’ve ever seen in life!” before proceeding to detail all of the accomplishments that young man had made.

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The student is a best-selling author, a stellar academic and an all-around high-achiever.

According to an email shared by Limmy, the teen is the author of two New York Times best-selling math books, "10,000 books sold for $300,000." 

He was "featured in a national TV documentary," he was awarded a "Strogatez Prize for Math Communication," and he was featured on the Arab America Foundation 20 Under 20 list. He has also obtained a faculty’s "best student award," he was the winner of the "Grand Award at the County Science Fair," and he is a two-time National Chemistry Olympiad Finalist as well as getting third Place in the National Science Bowl.

The achievements don't stop there as he also placed third in the MIST Nationals Math Olympics, he has 200,000 followers on his math and physics page, he's a Science Team Founder & Captain, he was a Wolfram intern at 17. He was a docent at The Smithsonian Institution and was on Varsity Wrestling & Football teams. No big deal.

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If that weren’t enough, the man graduated with a 4.2 GPA and scored 1560 out of 1600 possible points on the SAT. To put that into perspective the average male has a grade point average of 2.9 and the average SAT score in 2022 was 1050.

The accomplished student naturally expected to be a shoo-in with any college he chose, so applied to several, including, Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Caltech, Carnegie Melon, NYU, Columbia, Northwestern, and Duke University. Limmy looked at the list of schools and guessed which ones the man got accepted into, assuming it would be most of them.

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A second video was then uploaded to see if the student got into every school that viewers expected him to be accepted into. He did well overall, getting into places like NYU, Stanford, West Point and Washington University. However, many were stunned to see that Harvard, MIT, Yale, and Princeton had opted to reject his application. A few of the colleges placed him on a waiting list.

There are a number of reasons the high-achieving student might have been rejected from several Ivy-league colleges. Some commenters suspected that the schools thought he would do well with or without being admitted and decided to give other students who were less accomplished the opportunity.

Others thought the fact that the man was Asian played a part in the multiple rejections. This exclusion of Asian applicants came up in 2015 when a group sued Harvard University claiming that at least 100 students had been rejected because Asian Americans must have better academics than members of other demographics to get in. But with the limited information on the admissions process, it’s hard to say if the man’s race played any role.

Being an extraordinary student doesn’t make acceptance into an elite college a gimme. A 2019 study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that 43% of white students who got into Harvard were admitted because they were athletes, children of faculty and staff, and had relatives who donated or were legacy students.

Tens of thousands of applicants are rejected from Ivy League schools every year, so it’s given that some very qualified students will be passed on. Excellence is important, but so is passion, personal development, social skills, and the perception of how you will fit into the university’s vision.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.