In third grade, senior Serena Cheng visited Yale University, where she one day hoped to attend college. Flash forward nine years later, and Cheng was accepted into the Ivy League school of her dreams.
Meanwhile the youngest member of the senior class, Viraj Govani, plans to start his path to becoming a cardiovascular surgeon at Cornell University, another Ivy League school.
The acceptance rate at Cornell was 10.3 percent last year and Yale’s was 6.4 percent. No Cedar Crest graduates have attended Ivy Leagues since 2016, when Zachary Koslowski (brother of Class ’19, Hallie) went to University of Pennsylvania.
“I screamed so loud when I opened my acceptance letter,” said Cheng. “It was the highest scream ever, I probably broke glass.”
“I was just so happy,” said 16 year old senior Viraj Govani. “My dad picked me up off the ground when I got accepted.”
Both students will be taking on difficult majors. Cheng will be majoring in cellular, molecular, and developmental biology, while Govani plans to major in biochemistry. In the future both Cheng and Govani hope to use their degrees to pursue careers in medicine.
“I want to do something that makes me happy,” said Cheng. “No matter what I do, I can definitely see myself helping others in some way.”
Along with a strict emphasis on academics, Cheng and Govani feel that Yale and Cornell are a perfect fit for them socially as well. Both campus are known for their advanced professors, something that Cheng in particular is excited about.
“Everyone on the campus is so unique, diverse and nice,” said Cheng. “Each student has some sort of passion that they bring to the table.”
“As stressful as it will be, the campus is a perfect incorporation of great academics, nice people, and nature,” said Govani.
Cheng and Govani agree that over the past 12 years they have put in a lot of time into their academics. Both students have a taken a total of 14 advanced placement or college in the high school courses.
“Effort,” said Govani. “A lot of time and effort has got me to this point.”