OC Vietnamese American Teen Gets Accepted to 16 Elite Colleges

An 18-year-old teen from Westminster, Calif., was recently accepted to 16 elite colleges, including Princeton and Harvard University.

Many acceptances: La Quinta High School senior Julia Do committed to Harvard University on Sunday, when the next day, Princeton informed her she’d been accepted from their waitlist, according to The OC Register.

  • The other colleges she got accepted to include Amherst, Brown, Claremont McKenna, Fordham, Hofstra, Scripps, Stanford, Swarthmore, University of California in Berkeley, UCI, University of Pennsylvania, USC, University of the Pacific and Williams College.
  • The scholarships Do was offered total $900,000.
  • Do said she was turned down by Yale and Tufts and was put on the waiting list at Columbia University.
  • Harvard was always at the top of Do’s to-do list, she said. When she got to visit, Do described the experience as “surreal” and was “awestruck by the architecture and energy of campus.”
  • She plans to major in sociology and comparative literature at Harvard, KTVU reported.

Other details: Do, a poetry lover, cheerleader and self-described “literature nerd,” is set to graduate with 12 AP classes and a 4.3 weighted GPA. She also scored 1,530 out of 1,600 on her SAT.

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  • Do is the middle child of a “lower-middle-class” family from the Little Saigon area of Westminster and whose parents are Vietnamese immigrants.
  • Her older brother is set to graduate from the University of California, San Diego, in June.
  • “Our family is very proud of our small contribution to the U.S. in general and the Vietnamese community in particular,” Thang Do, Julia’s father, said of his children’s achievements. “America always gives you the opportunity to move forward.”
  • Despite her family’s language barriers and financial struggles, Do still applied to the colleges and said, “If elite kids can get into those institutions, why can’t I? I challenged myself, and I beat the odds.”

Featured Image via KTVU (left), @lauradiazanchor (right)

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