Faces of the day

Soumil Singh is turning down 10 of the top universities in the world, including at least four Ivy League schools.

Soumil Singh is turning down 10 of the top universities in the world, including at least four Ivy League schools.

Meet the young New Zealander who is turning down 10 of the top universities in the world, including at least four Ivy League schools.

Soumil Singh, 18, from Hamilton East, has narrowed down his top choices to Harvard, Stanford or the University of Pennsylvania – rejecting, “I think, four other Ivy League schools” he was accepted into and a prestigious scholarship to Duke University in North Carolina.

The former Hamilton Boys’ High School pupil is among an increasing number of New Zealand students being accepted into some of the most elite universities in the world.

This year, a record 50 Kiwis have won admission to top-ranked United States universities, including all eight Ivy League schools.

A staggering $12.8 million in scholarships and financial aid has been won by some of the country’s top students, helping them to attend their dream university.

…Former Macleans College dux Zhong Huang, 18, has just accepted a place at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to study engineering. He was also offered a Karsh Scholarship at Duke, worth $360,000.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, to be honest,” he said.

“It’s something you never really thought would happen. If you went back a year or two years, I never would have thought I’d end up studying somewhere in the US, never mind somewhere like Caltech or Duke.”

Zhong said the hard work he put in over the past year was “worth it” and would “prepare me for the academic rigours ahead”.

Georgia Lala. Photo / Supplied

Georgia Lala. Photo / Supplied

…Georgia Lala, 18, from Stonefields in Auckland, secured a Robertson Scholarship to Duke, also worth $360,000.

“It was very overwhelming,” she said about the moment she found out, “but super exciting and super different from what I was expecting.”

The former Diocesan School for Girls student and last year’s Prime Minister’s Future Scientist prize winner hopes to study biology or global health, with the aim of working in the area of population health policy in places like the United Nations.

“I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also quite scared, but scared in a good way, because it’s completely new to me. I never really expected to study outside of New Zealand, and it’s just going to be a whole different culture and environment,” Georgia said.

Jamie Beaton. Photo / File

Jamie Beaton. Photo / File

…A young New Zealander worth an estimated $40 million is on track to graduate from Harvard with a double degree two years ahead of schedule.

Jamie Beaton, 21, has also this year become one of the youngest students ever to gain admission to the prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The young entrepreneur, who is the co-founder and chief executive of Crimson Consulting – a company which aims to help students gain admission to elite universities – is set to graduate next month, with a degree in applied mathematics-economics and a masters in applied maths.

Typically, an undergraduate qualification alone takes four years, but Jamie will have completed two degrees in three years.

…Jamie encouraged New Zealand students to “take a global perspective to your education”, and not to shy away from applying to overseas universities.

On top of his studies and running a business, Jamie also works for Wall St’s Tiger Management as an analyst.

Crimson, which currently holds a significant place in the Australasian market, is now making a tentative expansion into Europe and has an eye on China in the medium term.

Jamie pitched the business in 2014, and it was this year valued at US$60 million ($87.9 million), with his share reckoned at US$26 million.

As a Year 13 student at King’s College, Jamie applied for 25 of the world’s top universities and was the first Kiwi to be accepted to all of them – Cambridge, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania’s Huntsman programme, Columbia, Melbourne and Monash among others. He achieved five perfect scores on SAT subject tests, SAT Maths and 750+ in both critical reading and writing.

Jamie has also won the New Zealand Student Enterprise Award and will be competing in global finals next month.

-A Newspaper



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