Stanley Zhong, an 18-year-old high school graduate, has been hired by Google after being rejected by 16 colleges out of the 18 he applied to.
About Zhong: Zhong graduated from Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California, with impressive credentials, including a 3.97 unweighted GPA, a 4.42 weighted GPA and a near-perfect SAT score of 1590. During his sophomore year, he also founded his own startup called RabbitSign, which offers unlimited free e-signing.
Rejection letters: Although Zhong did not expect to be accepted to some schools like Stanford and MIT, the teen was surprised when he received college rejection letters from state schools.
“Some of the state schools I really thought, you know, I had a good chance and turns out a bit of a chance I had, I didn’t get in,” Zhong told ABC7 News.
Google offers Zhong a job: Despite the college rejections, Zhong received a full-time software engineering job offer from California-based tech giant Google. While he initially planned to attend the University of Texas, he decided to put college on hold to take the software engineering job.
“I actually went to the University of Texas’s orientation,” Zhong shared. “But once the Google offer came through, I thought this was a good opportunity. I’m going to take it, and we’ll see in a year from now, do I still want to attend University of Texas or should I stick with Google?”
College admissions discussions: Zhong’s story was reportedly brought up during a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on Sept. 28, which discussed the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision to ban affirmative action in college admissions.
Zhong’s father, Nan, also shared his story on some parent chat groups and blogs, leading to its prominence amid the national conversation on elite college admissions.
Advocating for transparency: Zhong and his family said they are sharing their story to spark conversation and advocate for transparency in the college admissions process.
“One of the main things that we’re pushing for is transparency,” Zhong says. “When my story [was] shared, we heard a lot of speculation about why I didn’t get in and what the reasons could’ve been… There shouldn’t really need to be a need for speculation. If we get rejected, we should be able to look at the reasons why. We shouldn’t just have to blindly guess in the dark about a black box process.”