Before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Rita W. Wang—a high school student from Edison, N.J—was having a bit of a rough day.
That morning, she crashed her car into a street sign in her neighborhood (“just cosmetic damage,” she said). Later, struggling to focus at school, she forgot to fill out the back page of a test. Thinking that her bad luck would continue to her college admissions decisions, she bought herself a dollar ice cream cone from Baskin-Robbins and awaited her fate in front of her computer.
But at 5 p.m. that evening, Wang started to refresh the Harvard admissions portal—and saw that she had been accepted to the Class of 2019.
“I had my ice cream with me when I checked the decision, and I kept refreshing the page until I saw the acceptance,” she said. “I was really confused, like did the server crash again?”
Wang joined 1,013 other students admitted to Harvard’s Class of 2019 via regular decision, capping an admissions season that saw a record-low 5.3 percent acceptance rate. Although she has not yet told her father about the car damage, she said she hopes that her Harvard acceptance might smooth over the news.
Across the Atlantic, Tess W. Jacobson from Bridgewater, N.J., was in Spain for spring break when she received her decision. Jacobson said that she spent the day visiting museums and watching “Adventure Time” to distract herself, but admitted that when she saw another tourist in a Harvard sweatshirt she “almost had a heart attack.”
Decisions arrived in Spain at 11 p.m. local time, but Jacobson said that she avoided telling her family because she was expecting to be disappointed.
“Then the page loaded and I screamed outside for, like, 10 full minutes,” she said.
Brianna A. Oppong-Antwi of Wrightsville, Pa., had a particularly busy Tuesday, having applied to all eight Ivy League universities and over 20 colleges total. Oppong-Antwi said that she tried to treat Ivy Day—when all Ivy League schools release their decisions simultaneously—like “just a normal day."
“Then around 4:45 I opened every tab on my computer with the Ivy portals that they gave me,” she said. “When it said ‘congrats on Harvard,’ I started crying, and my brother thought that I didn’t get in or I was in pain or something.”
Oppong-Antwi called Harvard her “dream school.”
All of the prospective students interviewed said that they were excited to attend Visitas, Harvard’s visiting weekend for admitted students, to be held April 25-27.
—Staff writer Daphne C. Thompson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @daphnectho.
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