When it came time to start applying to colleges, Ja'Leaha Thornton decided to turn the stressful process into a game — one that she ultimately won.
Thornton, 18, is a senior at Glades Central Community High School in Belle Glade, Florida. She told Good Morning America that filling out applications and writing essays for colleges and universities can be "overwhelming," so instead of "stressing myself out, I decided to make it a competition ... and see how many I can actually get into. I wanted to broaden my horizons and explore some different schools outside of my state."
She used the Common App and Common Black College Application to apply to several schools, and said with fee waivers, it only cost about $20 for her to submit applications to 90 schools. She was accepted into 72 institutions, including her dream school, Howard University. As thrilled as she was to get into Howard, Thornton has decided to attend Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black Catholic university in the United States. It's "exciting" to have so many options, Thornton told GMA, and she is looking forward to studying pre-med psychology, with the goal of becoming a forensic psychologist.
Thornton encourages other high schoolers to cast a wide net, applying for all colleges and universities that interest them. "Shoot for the sky," she said, adding, "go beyond what's in front of you."