A high school student with two successful books, a 4.2 GPA, an SAT score of 1560 out of 1600 and a slew of other accolades was purportedly rejected from Harvard, MIT, Yale and Princeton, much to the surprise of many.
TikTok user Limmy (@Limmytalks), who posts reviews of college applications on his account, highlighted the case of the alleged overachieving male student in a recent series of posts.
“This is the most insane college application I’ve ever seen in life!” the TikToker opened in his first post about the unnamed student.
According to the email submitted to Limmy, the student claimed to be a bestselling author of two math books that sold 10,000 copies and generated $300,000 in revenue. It is important to note that Limmy mistakenly identifies the student as a New York Times bestselling author themselves, when in fact the email specifies that his books were endorsed by two New York Times bestselling authors.
The student was reportedly “featured in a national TV documentary,” awarded a “Strogatz Prize for Math Communication” and featured on the Arab America Foundation’s “20 Under 20” list.
The student, who claimed to have 200,000 followers on his math and physics page online, also purportedly won various math and science awards, including a faculty’s “best student award,” a “Grand Award at the County Science Fair,” third place in the National Science Bowl and the MIST Nationals Math Olympics, and a two-time finalist at the National Chemistry Olympiad. The teen also reportedly became a Science Team Founder & Captain, a Wolfram intern at 17, a docent at The Smithsonian Institution and played for the varsity wrestling & football teams.
Limmy, who accepts public submissions of interesting college application stories for his TikTok account, revealed in a follow-up post that the student was accepted to NYU, Stanford, West Point and Washington University, but the Ivy League schools, along with a few others, placed him on their waiting lists or rejected him outright.
According to his website, Alsamraee is currently a student at Stanford University. He was featured on the Arab America Foundation’s 20 under 20 in 2020 and is the author of the Amazon bestseller “Advanced Calculus Explored: With Applications in Physics, Chemistry, and Beyond.”
Alsamraee’s rejections from Harvard, MIT, Yale and Princeton particularly surprised many of the commenters.
Many opined that the rejections indicated that schools give other, less accomplished students a chance because high-achieving students would likely succeed no matter where they went to school.
“I think the student are [sic] just too smart, rich, athletic to [sic] Harvard,” a commenter wrote.
“Harvard rejected them because they felt he didn’t need to go to Harvard and would be fine without,” another chimed in.
“He is Arab so no Harvard [sic] u all forgot,” wrote a commenter.
“Harvard only accepts from affirmative action and legacy students with daddies who pay fat,” wrote another.
It should be noted that while being an exceptional student can help increase your chances of getting into an elite college, it does not guarantee admission.
There are many factors that go into college admissions decisions such as academic performance, extracurricular activities, essays, recommendations and interviews, among others.
Elite schools also claim to prioritize passion, personal growth, social aptitude and compatibility with the university’s values as crucial aspects of the admissions process.
There have also been cases in which admissions to these schools were achieved through extra-legal means. In 2019, a federal investigation revealed that parents manipulated academic and athletic credentials and arranged bribes to help get their children into prestigious universities.
A 2019 study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 43% of the white students
admitted to Harvard University were recruited athletes, legacy students, children of faculty and staff or on the dean’s interest list. The list was revealed to be composed of applicants “whose parents or relatives have donated to Harvard.”