Acceptance Matters

This past week, a North Carolina teenager found her “15 minutes of fame” based on her response to getting an entrance rejection letter from Duke University. For those who did not see it, here is the message that 17-year-old Siobhan O’Dell sent to their admissions department:

Dear Duke University Admissions,

Thank you for you rejection letter of March 26, 2015. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me admission in the Fall 2015 freshman class at Duke.

This year I have been fortunate enough to receive rejection letters from the best and brightest universities in the country. With a pool of letters so diverse and accomplished, I was unable to accept reject letters I would have been able to only several years ago.

Despite Duke’s outstanding success in rejecting previous applicants, you simply did not meet my qualifications. Therefore, I will be attending Duke University’s freshmen class.

I look forward to seeing you then.

Siobhan O’Dell

I didn’t look at the comments on social media when I first saw this story but my first impression was that it was an April Fool’s prank. It wasn’t, but indicates that similar versions of it have been floating around for almost 20 years on the internet. If she came up with the idea herself then she might be admired for her spirit and/or sense of humour but if she was actually serious in trying to get Duke’s admissions to change their decision, she should have asked someone to proof-read it first to get rid of the errors in grammar!

Next Saturday, we will be opening our doors for a school-wide Open House and at the Main Campus, prospective Grade 5 to 12 students will be writing our entrance assessment test. Percentage-wise, we certainly accept a greater number of students than Duke on an annual basis and we think we are pretty astute when it comes to matching a student with our appropriate academic programme. Like Duke, we are a school with an excellent academic reputation and there are always a few Siobhan O’Dells seeking entrance…like the student who changed the creative writing topic “Why I Want to Come to Mentor” to “Why I Don’t Want to Come to Mentor” and ended up coming to the school because he was never told that he was SUCH a good writer!

Ms. O’Dell is just like our Grade 12s in that this is “decision time” for post-secondary education but there is one huge difference. While she is moaning about multiple rejection letters, our students are agonizing over the number of ACCEPTANCES and trying to weigh the pros and cons of the various schools, programs, scholarship incentives, etc.). I am sure you know which problem the parents of a high senior would rather have!

If you know a family who wants Grade 12 to be a year of “worrying” about multiple post-secondary education options, please invite them to come check us out next Saturday. Even the Siobhan O’Dells are welcome (she sounds like an interesting young woman and we would work on that grammar…)!

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College/TEAM School

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