FPJ Exclusive: Teenager Accepted By 231 Universities, Earns $15M In Scholarships

FPJ Exclusive: Teenager Accepted By 231 Universities, Earns $15M In Scholarships

In an exclusive with The Free Press Journal, Madison Crowell reveals her acceptance by 231 universities and $15 million in scholarships. She's chosen High Point University (HPU) in North Carolina for exercise sciences despite challenges like frequent relocations, her mother's health battles, and personal losses.

Simple VishwakarmaUpdated: Monday, June 17, 2024, 09:50 AM IST
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FPJ Exclusive: Teenager Accepted By 231 Universities, Earns $15M In Scholarships | Madison Crowell & Skyira Media Group

Madison Crowell, an 18-year-old from Liberty County High School in Georgia, has achieved something remarkable. 

Crowell has been accepted by 231 universities and received academic merit scholarships of around $15 million, including a full tuition scholarship at High Point University (HPU) in North Carolina.

Crowell has decided to attend HPU, where she will study exercise sciences and aims to eventually earn a doctorate in physical therapy. 

Crowell’s interest in physical therapy began when she helped her great-grandfather with his physical therapy after he had a stroke. 

In an exclusive interaction with The Free Press Journal (FPJ), Crowell discussed her challenges and struggles.

Overcoming personal challenges

Crowell’s path to success was not easy. Being a child of a military personnel, she had to move often. 

"My father is a soldier in the United States Army. As a result, we have to move often. My first challenge was having to begin my high school in a new state where I didn't know anyone," she explained. 

Madison with her family

Madison with her family | Madison Crowell

Soon after she settled in Georgia, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, adding to the difficulty.

During this time, Crowell faced several personal hardships. 

"My grandmother passed away unexpectedly during this time as well. My mother had to begin dialysis while I was in the 10th grade and that was scary because she was often ill and had to be hospitalised a few times. She finally received her kidney transplant right after I began my senior year. That was probably the biggest challenge that I had to face. Lastly, my father had to deploy soon after my mom recovered, and that was a difficult time as well."

Crowell credits her faith and family for helping her through these tough times. 

"It was through my faith in God and the support of my family and community that I was able to overcome these obstacles and not allow them to overwhelm me. I stayed focused on what I needed to do. I kept myself surrounded by people who would support me whenever I needed it."

Facing rejections and staying motivated

Despite her achievements, Crowell faced rejections from a few universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tulane University and Colorado College. "I am not going to lie, the first two rejections really hurt," she said. But her parents helped her stay positive. "My parents reminded me how we prepared for the rejection. Although I have experienced success with most things, there will be times when I am not the right fit for people, or in this case, an institution. When that happens, it doesn't mean that something is wrong with me. It simply means this was not meant for me at this time. The opportunity may present itself another time, and it may not, but I must press forward," Crowell added.

Family support and influence

Crowell’s family has played a big role in her academic journey. "My parents are the foundation of my success, which is why I hold education in high regard. They have always instilled in me the importance of education. It was the way for me to live my dreams and walk in my purpose," she said. Her parents took her on college tours early and enrolled her in programmes to support her interests. 

"They always made sure that I believed in myself and my ability to do anything. None of this would be possible without them," she said.

Strategic application process

Madison's application strategy was well-planned. Since her family moved often due to her father's job, she targeted schools in areas they might move to. 

"I looked at schools that would be in the vicinity of areas my parents would have to move to. I also looked for colleges with the best programmes to support my major," she explained.

She used fee waivers from campus visits and focused on strong academic performance to get most of her scholarship funds. 

"I built templates for me to use to communicate with the schools. I also requested letters of recommendation from my teachers the summer before the college applications opened up. It was a huge undertaking but organisation was key to my success," Crowell highlighted.

Scholarship application tips

Crowell started preparing for scholarships early, writing essays during her junior year. "We took some of the most popular essay prompts and I began writing the essays. When it was time to actually apply, the hard part was already completed," she said. 

Her early preparation paid off, winning her first scholarship in the seventh grade.

Managing her time was challenging due to her active involvement in school and community activities. 

"The biggest challenge in the beginning was time management because I was very active in school and my community. Once I got in a groove, it became easier. My mother and I had a system, and I allocated at least an hour each weekday and about four hours on the weekend to my to-do list for scholarships and applications," Crowell said.

Choosing High Point University

Out of the 231 universities that accepted her, HPU stood out. 

"The holistic commitment to my future was front and centre in everything I experienced with HPU. Their physical therapy programme and facilities are amazing, and the opportunities for me are endless," she said.

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