Stanton valedictorian accepted into all 8 Ivy League schools

Jacksonville student Criag McFarland accepted into 17 schools across country

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A student at Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville has been accepted to all eight Ivy League schools.

Craig McFarland, who has a 4.98 grade point average and and never got a “B" on his high school report card, isn't sure which university he'll attend. The coronavirus pandemic has cut into campus visits.

“With coronavirus, I can’t do that, so the only metric that I have is based on experiences of current students and their virtual campus tours,” McFarland told First Coast News.

He heard from Yale first. Then the other acceptance letters poured in: Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Dartmouth and Cornell.

“With each school, I was more and more in shock,” said McFarland, who plans to study medicine or law.

His mother, Donabel Santiago, said he has always shown strong initiative.

“I’m very proud of him,” Santiago said, a single mom who made education a priority.

“I have three kids and I told them I don’t accept a ‘B’ as a grade because I know that they can bring me A’s,” Santiago said.

According to a story in the New York Times, McFarland, who was accepted to 17 schools in all, has narrowed his list to four: Florida State University -- where he has a full scholarship -- Harvard, Stanford University and Yale.

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