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Student writes college admissions essay about her love of Costco, gets into 5 Ivies

Getting into the top colleges in the country is no easy feat — great grades, test scores, and extracurriculars all play a role. And then there is the college admissions essay, which gives students a chance to flaunt their SAT-worthy vocabularies while also attempting to stand out from the crowd.

For Brittany Stinson, an 18-year-old senior at Concord High School in Delaware, that essay just happened to be about her love of Costco; writing about the wholesale superstore helped earn her a place at five Ivy League universities — Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and Cornell — as well as Stanford.

The essay prompt asked students to write about a "background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful" that their application would be incomplete without it, NBC News reports. Stinson, who grew up going to Costco with her parents, described how "the kingdom of Costco" meant more to her than just inexpensive 12-packs of paper towels.

"Just as I sampled buffalo ­chicken dip or chocolate truffles, I probed the realms of history, dance and biology, all in pursuit of the ideal cart — one overflowing with theoretical situations and notions both silly and serious. I sampled calculus, cross-­country running, scientific research, all of which are now household favorites. With cart in hand, I do what scares me; I absorb the warehouse that is the world," Stinson wrote.

"I couldn't afford to go via the traditional route," she explained to NBC. "I knew that writing about my experiences at Costco would at least make for a memorable essay, whether [admissions committees] loved or hated it. On another hand, I felt that the essay ended up being such an accurate representation of me and my personality."

Stinson has yet to decide which school she will attend.