Valedictorian With 5.6 GPA Rejected From Every Top University She Applied To

She got rejected from her dream schools but found an often-forgotten way to succeed anyway.

woman rejected from university Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Getting rejected from elite universities can feel like the end of the world for soon-to-be college students. But one young woman's rejection led her to discover an often forgotten opportunity that can be extremely valuable in its own right.

The student was her high school's valedictorian — and was rejected from every top university she applied to. 

It's beginning to seem like no amount of excellence is good enough for America's most elite universities. Day after day, there's another story of an overqualified student getting rejected.




But one young woman with stellar qualifications who was rejected from every top university she applied to discovered that there are more ways to skin a cat when it comes to succeeding in college. 

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The student had a 5.6 weighted GPA and a stellar resume but still got rejected from her dream schools.

A TikToker and Duke University student who goes by Limmy has become something of an expert in the college admissions process. He recently highlighted the young woman's story on his channel.



"This valedictorian got rejected from every top university," Limmy said in his video.

She had an astonishing 5.6 weighted GPA and was ranked first in her class of 500 students. But it wasn't just academics where she excelled. 


"She played varsity volleyball in high school, was a board member of a nonprofit for mental disabilities, [National Honor Society] treasurer, environmental club treasurer, played varsity lacrosse as well, had a dog walking job, and was also the student orientation tour leader for her high school," Limmy reported. 

Whew! She should've been a shoo-in, right? Yet she was rejected from every top school she applied to — the University of North Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard rejected her outright, while Tulane, Vanderbilt, and Duke waitlisted her.

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But the rejections led her to an often forgotten opportunity — honors programs at state schools.

Though she was rejected by the elite schools she hoped to attend, the student had also applied to the University of Florida, the University of Miami, Florida State University, and the University of Central Florida as backup plans. She was accepted to all four and has decided to attend the University of Florida.


There, she found an incredibly beneficial option for someone of her talent and qualifications: The honors program. 

"You guys need to check out the honors program at your state school," Limmy recommended, noting that at many schools the honors colleges are on par with some elite universities. "I know many kids who chose to go to the Rutgers Honors College as opposed to an Ivy League," he said.



For starters, they're drastically cheaper, but they also come with major perks. "They treat you like kings and queens over there, starting with the dorms," the TikToker said. 


The benefits of an honors program go far beyond nicer dorms, however. They provide opportunities that have a major impact on your future and career, like exclusive internship and research opportunities and study abroad programs.

And of course, they provide a means of arguably the most important asset for any career path: networking and connections.

"Give your state school a chance," Limmy recommended. Sure, it may not be exactly what you planned, but it can be just as much of an opportunity generator for the future. 


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.