St. Ignatius sends seven seniors to Ivy Leagues ED, more to come

Mitch Pallaki, Ivan Wolansky lead Class of 2016 in mid-year decisions

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BY BRIAN MESSINA ‘16 and TOMMY NAPOLI ‘17

After the early action and early decision period of college notifications, Ignatius had seven students in the class of 2016 accepted into Ivy League schools. Of these students, two were accepted at Harvard, two at Yale, one at Princeton, one at Columbia, and one at Cornell. This is a historically high number for Ivy League acceptances for a single class at Saint Ignatius.

Getting into Ivy League schools is always very difficult, but the class of 2016 is very strong and hard-working. These schools spend a long time reviewing thousands of applications that are closely scrutinized by the admissions staff. They make a holistic review of each applicant, looking at grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, essays, and other factors. Accepted students have to be well-rounded and high-achieving at a bare minimum; most often they have to go above and beyond.

Some have attributed this number of acceptances to the success of the Day of Discernment for seniors on PSAT day. This senior workshop day not only allowed students to hear from professionals in whatever field they were interested in but also gave students the opportunity to seek help with the Common App and essay writing. One of the most helpful sessions was Mr. Fujimoto’s interview preparation session where students were instructed on how to dress, to send a thank-you to the interviewer, and to communicate effectively. Because of how stressful interviews are, this session helped many of these students in this process.

Of course, these students could not be where they are without the hard work of those in the College Counseling Department. Each of them has worked tirelessly to allow our students the chance to succeed when applying to colleges. Mrs. Gabor said, “We’ve established a really good relationship with the Ivy League schools over the past five years.” She also noted that the staff of these top schools has gotten to know our staff well, and that consistency and relationship has helped our students. Most of the top colleges know St. Ignatius very well.

Niko Apostolakis (Princeton) said, “I was ecstatic when I learned of my acceptance, and I am grateful for the many unique opportunities to serve and learn that Ignatius has offered me.”

Ivan Wolansky (Columbia) said, “For me, sitting there and seeing the words “accepted” was surreal…As for what this school has done for me, Ignatius made me realize that it’s not all about me. It’s about being there for others and doing all I can to make the world a better place.”

Several more students in the class of 2016 are waiting to hear back from Ivy League schools in April for regular decision. We wish these students the best of luck, and we hope that every student gets good news in the mail and chooses whichever school is the best fit for them.