Harvard, Yale and others accept sizable crop of high school seniors

Havard, Princeton and Yale are among the prestigious institutions accepting Los Altos and Mountain View high school seniors this year, according to a list of students selected early to these universities.

Robyn Fay, administrative director for the Mountain View-Los Altos High School Foundation, said the admission of local students speaks for the distinguished reputation of Los Altos-area public schools. It's also a testament, she said, to the teaching and counseling staffs.

The bulk of the foundation's annual fund-raising, usually around $100,000, goes to the high schools' college placement and counseling programs, programs that may not have been funded under normal district budgets.

Other universities that have already accepted Mountain View and Los Altos High students include Duke, Stanford, Swarthmore, Brown and Dartmouth. In order to be even considered, Fay said some students had to write as many as five essays, as well as produce nearly straight-A grades, teacher recommendations and test scores in the 95th percentile.

The list of students to top schools is expected to grow when the universities announce the remainder of their choices in March.

Pat Osborne, college center coordinator at Los Altos High School, said college representatives visit seniors every fall and the school holds an annual "College Faire" for juniors, featuring officials from 80-100 college and universities nationwide. The next college faire is scheduled for April 23.

"The reps are looking for students who have challenged themselves with the most difficult courses they can take, especially in their senior year," Osborne said.

Despite the availability of resources, Barbara Bogomilsky, college career coordinator at Mountain View High School, said the students selected to top universities are typically self-starters who don't need the help.

"These students knew what they wanted and went for it," she said. "None of them used independent counseling."

Bogomilsky said this is the first year she could recall when so many district students were accepted.

"This (list) shows students were motivated and all ready to go (with their early applications, due last Nov. 1)."

A partial list of the early admitted students follows:

From Mountain View High School: Cheng-Huan Chu, Harvard; Anjali Murthy, Brown (also admitted to the school's accelerated medical program); Ashley Fay, Princeton; Carlie Ware, Yale; Brendan Nyhan, Swarthmore; Melinda Lee and Bryan Keefer, Stanford.

From Los Altos High School: Gregory Mitchell, Duke; Michael Beman, Yale; Megan Slocum, Dartmouth; Lorraine Fair, Stanford; Scott Six, University of Indiana; Cory Symonds, Penn State University; Veronica Fair, University of South Carolina; Bryan Jones and Aran Darling, Colorado College; and Cheryl Chang, University of Oregon.

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