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Chicago High Schooler Pulls Scholarly Sweep, Gets Accepted to 6 Ivy League Colleges

Payton Pitts’ mom credits her son’s drive to succeed.

By Nigel Roberts | April 13, 2023, at 10:04 AM

The future looks bright for a Chicago high school senior whose hard work paid off in a big way.

March 30 was a nerve-racking day for Payton Pitts, an 18-year-old student at Francis Parker School in Chicago. He would find out, on what has been dubbed “Ivy Day,” if any of the six prestigious universities he applied to decided to accept him.

“It was a weight off my shoulders because everyone knows that’s the day where the last few decisions come out,” Pitts told WLS. “I got accepted to Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Penn, Columbia and Cornell.”

Pitts is in an elite circle as the acceptance rate has declined at Ivy League schools in the past few years. Ivy Day 2023 was brutal for many high school students with dreams of attending any of the eight universities.

“This year marks yet another year of historic lows in Ivy League acceptance rates — especially with top Ivy League colleges at a record 3 percent to 4 percent admit rate,” Christopher Rim, CEO of the education consulting company Command Education, told The New York Post.

Pitts’ mother, Adrienne Pitts, credits her son’s drive to succeed that started from childhood.

“This is all going to be a little embarrassing for him, but he’s earned this with all his hard work and dedication,” Adrienne Pitts, told WLS.

The proud mom noted that he’s a straight-A student, plays the violin and is a star basketball player for his predominantly White school where he revived the Black Student Union.

“What comes through is his warmth, his insight, and his humility about all of his achievements, his successes and the respect he has for his classmates, teammates and teachers,” Parker School Principal Dan Frank told the station.


Originally published on BET on April 13, 2023

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