Meet 7 inspiring students who got into dozens of schools and received millions in scholarships

From left to right: Jalil Mitchell, Kayla Willis, Dylan Chidick.

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From left to right: Jalil Mitchell, Kayla Willis, Dylan Chidick.
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Courtesy of Jalil Mitchell, courtesy of Kayla Willis, courtesy of Dylan Chidick

  • May 1 is National College Decision Day.
  • Kayla Willis got accepted to 33 colleges, was offered close to $1 million in scholarships, and will attend Fisk University, a historically black college.
  • Dylan Chidick was accepted to 17 colleges and will attend the College of New Jersey, his dream school, on a full scholarship.
  • Jalil Mitchell got accepted to 11 colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington University, and will attend Vanderbilt.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

May 1 is National College Decision Day, when students who have been accepted to colleges officially decide which one they will attend.

While some students may have a few acceptance offers to choose from, these high-achieving high school students got into dozens of colleges and were granted millions of dollars in scholarships.

Meet seven college-bound teens whose hard work paid off.

Kayla Willis got accepted to 33 colleges and was offered close to $1 million in scholarships

Kayla Willis got into 33 colleges.

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Kayla Willis got into 33 colleges.
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Courtesy of Kayla Willis

A senior at Westlake High School in Atlanta, Georgia, Willis applied to 41 colleges (all of her application, transcript, and SAT fees were waived). She was accepted to 33 of them, and her scholarship offers added up to $925,000. She’ll be attending Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee, in the fall with a full ride.

“With acceptances comes rejection and I faced a lot of that this year, too,” Willis told INSIDER. “However, once I got into my top schools, started getting larger scholarships, and noticed that I was breaking a record it felt pretty good.”

Willis said that the impact of her accomplishment didn’t really hit her until her many college acceptances were displayed on a wall in her school.

“I think that’s what makes me feel the best out of all of this,” she said. “The fact that I can really inspire people and use this platform to show the good within my generation is phenomenal to me.”

Dylan Chidick was accepted to 17 colleges after temporarily living in a homeless shelter

Dylan Chidick celebrating his acceptance to his college of choice, The College of New Jersey.

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Dylan Chidick celebrating his acceptance to his college of choice, The College of New Jersey.
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Courtesy of Dylan Chidick

Chidick will be the first person in his family to go to college. A senior at Henry Snyder High School, where he is also student council president and senior class president, Chidick temporarily lived in a homeless shelter with his mother and brothers when his mother became too sick to work, but continued to focus on his goal of earning a degree and becoming a corporate lawyer.

“I’m ecstatic that I got into all these schools because it shows no matter where you’re from and no matter what you’ve been through that you’re able to achieve your dreams, and that’s what I did,” he told INSIDER.

“I’m going to be first person in my family to go to college and get my degree and I’m going to go to law school and become a lawyer. It just validates everything that I’ve been thinking and it shows that no matter what anybody says about you or where you come from, that anyone can make it.”

In the fall, he’ll attend the College of New Jersey, his dream school, with a full scholarship.

Nelson Chow received 19 college acceptances, including six from Ivy League schools

Chow, a senior at Malverne High School in Long Island, New York, is a first-generation immigrant and the first in his family to go to college, according to CBS New York. As his class valedictorian, a member of the marching band, and the organizer of a blood drive, he earned over $4 million in scholarships.

“I want to eventually become a doctor and I think that the thought of helping people one day and doing a job that I love is what I push for most,” he told CBS New York.

Jalil Mitchell had 11 college offers to choose from

Jalil Mitchell had his choice of colleges.

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Jalil Mitchell had his choice of colleges.
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Courtesy of Jalil Mitchell

Mitchell, valedictorian of the Saint John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio, applied to numerous colleges because he wanted to have options from which to choose the best fit and financial aid package.

“I know college is an investment, but I did not want it to break the bank,” he told INSIDER.

He ended up getting accepted to 11 colleges including the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington University.

“After I received my first acceptance letter, I sat there and read it and just thought, ‘wow, I am really going to college next year,'” he said.

Mitchell has made his decision. He’ll attend Vanderbilt University in the fall and double major in medicine, health, and society, human, and organizational development.

Michael Love earned over $300,000 in scholarships when he was accepted to 41 colleges

Michael Love speaks with WXYZ.

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Michael Love speaks with WXYZ.
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WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7/YouTube

The senior at Cornerstone Health and Technology in Detroit, Michigan, told WXYZ that he had a tough time academically in the beginning of high school but worked hard to get to the position he’s in now.

“I got told a lot when I was younger I couldn’t do this, I couldn’t do that,” Love said. “So I just wanted to show people I’m better than what they think I am.”

Love plans to study aerospace engineering.

Jordan Nixon was accepted to 39 colleges and awarded $1.6 million in scholarships

Jordan Nixon speaks with CBS46.

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Jordan Nixon speaks with CBS46.
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CBS46

Senior Jordan Nixon of Douglas County High School in Douglasville, Georgia, applied to about 50 colleges. She was accepted to 39 of them with scholarships that added up to $1.6 million, according to CBS46.

Nixon is on the varsity cheer team at her school and is a participant in Chick-fil-A Leader Academy and Distributive Education Clubs of America.

“I don’t study all the time, but I definitely do study. I think my secret is to just give my all,” Nixon told CBS46.

Antoinette Love was accepted to 115 schools and received more than $3.7 million in scholarship offers

Antoinette Love in an interview with local news station WDSU.

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Antoinette Love in an interview with local news station WDSU.
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WDSU

A senior at the International High School of New Orleans, Love is a member of the National Senior Beta Club, the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society, and Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society.

According to Nola.com, Love used the College Common App to apply to multiple schools through one application and the Common Black College Application to apply to 50 historically black universities across the country.

Love hopes to major in elementary education and become a teacher.