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Decision Time: Baltimore Student Weighs Multiple Ivy League Offers

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Imagine receiving acceptance letters to not one, but a half dozen Ivy League universities. It’s happened for one student at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

Gigi Barnett reports he’s the first in his family to go to college.

Like most high school seniors, 18-year-old Darius Johnson has a big decision to make and it won’t be easy. The acceptance letters keep pouring in, including Harvard, Princeton and Duke.

It’s a long, impressive list.  At least 15 universities want him on their campus this fall.

As the first in his family to go to college, Johnson didn’t think any school would accept him.

“When I was applying for college, I didn’t really think I would have all of these choices to make.  I sort of just thought it would be two places would accept me and I would have to choose which one is the cheapest. But now, I have all of these options,” Johnson said.

“It’s a nail biter for all of us while we wait for these letters to come in,” said Dolores Costello, Ingenuity Project Executive Director.

Costello runs the Ingenuity Project. It’s a nonprofit group that finds gifted and talented students — like Johnson — around the city and places them in advanced science and math courses. As a result, Johnson has worked on real HIV research projects at Johns Hopkins.

He’s not alone. Many of the students in the program often have their pick of the best universities.

“It’s competitive getting into these colleges, we don’t know,” said Costello. “Sometimes we think a student would get into a certain college and then surprisingly they don’t.”

Johnson is still weighing his options.

“I’m thinking right now Harvard. It just seems like a wonderful place to be,” Johnson said.

Time is running out for Johnson to make a decision. He has until May 1 to choose which Ivy League school he’ll attend in the fall.

Johnson says his “number one” choice — Yale — wait-listed him.

Meanwhile, more than 500 city students between sixth and 12th grades are in the Ingenuity Project.

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