An individual who had graduated from high school with an impressive grade point average, near-impeccable test scores, and a technology startup that he founded during his second year, faced rejections from numerous colleges, including public institutions. However, he managed to secure a position at Google.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
When Stanley Zhong, who is set to graduate from Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California, in the fall of 2023, received rejection letters from 14 out of the 18 colleges and universities he applied to, both he and his advisors were taken aback.
Zhong was an outstanding student: his grade point average stood at 3.96, and he scored 1590 on his SATs. Additionally, he was a finalist in several international computer coding competitions and established a free electronic signature startup known as RabbitSign.
However, even though Zhong’s rejection by Stanford, his first-choice school, wasn’t particularly surprising, he did not anticipate being turned down by some of the state schools he applied to, such as the University of California, Davis; University of California, Santa Barbara; and California Polytechnic State University.
“No one can claim they expected acceptance into Stanford, Berkeley, or MIT, but I had hoped for better odds with some state schools,” Zhong shared with CBS MoneyWatch.
Stanley Zhong, 18, is championing increased transparency in college admissions. nan zhong
No reason provided, just “You have been rejected”
Without any explanation from colleges and universities regarding their decision-making processes, Zhong could only speculate about the reasons behind his numerous rejections.
“I did not receive any responses from the admissions offices. They did not provide any reasons, just ‘You have been rejected,’” Zhong remarked. “For some of them, rejection was expected. For many, it left me feeling frustrated, wondering, ‘What more could I have done?’ As students, we deserve to understand what it takes to be admitted to these colleges.”
Zhong and his family reached out to the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE), a non-profit organization that advocates for the educational rights of Asian-American children. Their aim was “to seek greater transparency in college admissions decisions,” as stated by Zhong.
Yukong Mike Zhao, the founding president of AACE, raised Zhong’s case during a House Committee on Education and Workforce hearing last month, which dealt with race-based college admissions decisions.
“He is an extraordinarily talented programmer – many argue that computer science is the future of the 21st century,” Zhao commented.
“It is disheartening to witness colleges disregarding such talent,” he added.
At 04:30, a Harvard professor discusses admissions to prestigious colleges
A total of four schools offered Zhong admission, including the University of Texas at Austin.
Not one to succumb to despair, Zhong decided to enroll at UT Austin. “He also submitted an application to work as a software engineer at Google,” he explained.
“I made the decision to pursue a full-time job to see what would happen. I thought that even in the worst-case scenario, I would gain interview experience and get a sense of the process. Perhaps luck would be on my side,” Zhong recounted.
And he was indeed fortunate.
Earlier this month, 18-year-old Zhong commenced his employment at Google as a software development engineer, a position that does not necessitate a college degree.
Google offers several job opportunities that consider “equivalent practical experience” instead of a degree, as well as positions that do not require a degree. Regarding the salary for the job, Zhong did not disclose any details.
Planning to pursue higher education?
Although college remains an option for Zhong, it won’t be until at least 2024.
“I am incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity, and presently, I will commit to it for at least a year. At that point, I will assess whether I am making a valuable contribution and performing well. If that is the case, I will postpone college attendance until I feel strongly that I should either forgo college or that I am missing out on significant opportunities,” Zhong conveyed.
He mentioned that he is a self-taught programmer but still believes in the value of higher education.
“In the field of computer science, from a purely academic perspective, much of what colleges teach can be accessed online if one is eager to learn. A considerable portion of my computer science knowledge was acquired through research and reading various articles.” “It is true,” Zhong affirmed. “However, there is also a social and networking aspect to college.”