Three recent grads start college in the Ivy League

Madelyn Sorgenfrei, Staff Writer

Being accepted into an Ivy League school is a feat given the selective acceptance process. But for recent graduates Thien-y Nguyen, Surina Venkat and Alexander Budko, it’s an even bigger deal.

“I do feel like I’ve been pushing myself ever since I was very young,” said Nguyen. “I kind of got backed into this corner of ‘I have to keep doing more’, but I don’t think I would be at this point if I had relaxed a little bit more.”

Nguyen was accepted to Brown University, University of Pittsburg, University of Iowa, University of Florida and Middlebury College. She will soon begin fall semester at UF where she plans to pursue a career in the medical field, ideally as a surgeon.

“If I could go back, I would’ve appreciated the time I’ve had to spend with my friends and family,” Nguyen said. “My main extracurriculars were religious and ethnically related to me because I’m Catholic and Vietnamese. I do a lot of altar serving, which is very important to me. I feel like I’m contributing to other peoples’ experiences.”

Brown University’s  acceptance rate is 8 percent, Columbia University’s acceptance rate is 7 percent, and University of Pennsylvania’s acceptance rate is 9 percent. Nguyen, Venkat and Budko were all accepted to at least one of these schools. After achieving a 4.0 GPA, a 1550 on the SAT and has taking 16 Advanced Placement exams, Budko was accepted to UC Berkley, University of Michigan Ann Arbor and the University of Florida but opted to attend the University of Pennsylvania where he will pursue a degree in computer science.

“I continuously challenged myself to take the most rigorous curriculum,” Budko said. “I am very proud with what I have been able to accomplish. I chose computer science because I love solving algorithms and developing projects of my own.”

Venkat was accepted to the University of Florida and the University of Pennsylvania but chose to study law and pursue a writing career at Columbia University in New York.

“I thought I would be applying in-state until maybe September because I thought in-state schools would be more feasible for me,” Venkat said. “I really like writing, so my passion for that showed in my applications. A writing career would be my dream. However, creative fields are notoriously difficult to break into. That’s why I’m planning to become a lawyer.”