Nigerian-American Student Ifeoma White-Thorpe Gets Accepted to All 8 Ivy League Universities

Mark Babatunde April 07, 2017
Ifeoma White-Thorpe during National Liberty Museum’s 2015 national Selma Speech & Essay Contest. Photo credit: SHIRA YUDKOFF National Liberty Museum

Nigerian-American high school student Ifeoma White Thorpe has achieved the rare feat of being accepted in to all of the Ivy League universities in the United States.

Seventeen-year-old Ifeoma of New Jersey was accepted to all eight of America’s elite Ivy League universities, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Princeton, according to ABC7.

Ifeoma, a senior at Rockaway’s Morris Hills High School, said she aced her advanced placement courses but she never expected to be accepted by all eight universities.

“I was shaking, I was like, Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, like this might be eight out of eight, and I clicked it and it said, ‘Congratulations,’ and I was like, Oh my goodness, and then I was like, What did I say?” Ifeoma said.

In high school, Ifeoma was the student government president. She first made headlines in 2015, when she won accolades for an essay, entitled “Let Freedom Ring,” which she wrote and read for the National Liberty Museum’s “Selma Speech & Essay Contest” to mark the 50th anniversary of the epic Selma March.

An extract from Ifeoma’s winning essay reads:

Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. Education is essential for change, and I, yes me, I aspire to be that change.

About her essay win, Ifeoma says, “I think my love for poetry and writing just really stood out.”


Ifeoma, celebrating her Selma Essay win in 2015. Photo credit: TA pinto

Ifeoma plans to go in to research and says her interests are in Biology and Life Sciences, “I want to go in to Global Health and study Biology and so many of them [Ivy League universities] have great research facilities.”

Ifeoma now has until fall to decide which one of the elite schools she will be attending. Her parents, Andre and Patricia White-Thorpe, say it is totally up to her to decide where she will go.

“I got in to Harvard early action so I figured I’ll just go there, so then I got in to all the others, and I was like, Wait, now I don’t know where I want to go,” Ifeoma said.

Ultimately, her final decision may come down to finance and sponsorship.

“At this point, none of the schools I’ve applied to said they give merit scholarships, so I’m praying that they give me some more financial aid or some money, shout out to all of those schools, please give me something,” she said.

Nigerian-American Student Ifeoma White Thorpe Gets Accepted to All 8 Ivy League Universities

Ifeoma White Thorpe says her interests are in biology and life sciences. Photo credit: NAN

With her recent feat, Ifeoma joins a remarkable roll call of high-flying African-American students who were accepted into all 8 Ivy League Universities at the end of their high school year.

The list includes Ghanaian-American Kwasi Enin in 2014, Somali-American Munira Khalif in 2015, and Nigerian-Americans Harold Ekeh in 2015 and Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna who was accepted by all eight ivy universities and four others in 2016.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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