Senior College Decisions: Original vs Reality

The Backstory Behind Each Clemson/Carolina Decision

Senior College Decisions: Original vs Reality

Pretty much every Magnet student dreams of attending Duke or UCLA at some point in their middle and high school careers. But we all know that in reality, many of the AMHS senior class will end up at Clemson or UofSC. This article reviews the places where many class of 2023 seniors first imagined themselves ending up before beginning their Common App processes … and where they actually decided to continue their educational path! (post- trauma, stress, anger, frustration, sleepless nights) Let’s just say the entire process ends in a very deep reflection… 🙂 But in all honesty, the seniors all deserve a massive award for all of their hard work and dedication while completing this year’s applications and getting in somewhere. It seemed like each application wanted you to be an absolute robot with 99’s in all AP classes, 1600 SAT and 36 ACT, a varsity team captain and starter for four different sports, a band member, student body president, in every club at the school, a daily volunteer at the local homeless shelter, and the inventor of Tesla. Let’s get started!


Willa Jones: NC State→UofSC

First, we have Willa Jones. Willa says she originally wanted to go to NC State because her grandpa went there and is a really big NC State fan. However, her mind changed as soon as she attended an Honors college information session at UofSC and talked to tons of people who she believed resonated and connected with her perfectly. Willa says UofSC immediately felt like home despite her original NC State dreams. Go Cocks!


Joe Dragich: University of Pittsburgh→Clemson

Next is Joe. Joe originally wanted to go to the University of Pittsburgh because he is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins fan, and he travels up there regularly to see them play. Joe also says he loves the city, so applying to the college was an impulsive must. He says he changed his mind because of how far the university is from home, and because of how much more expensive it is than Clemson. Therefore, Joe chose Clemson because it is closer to home and much more cost-efficient, and he says he loves the campus. Clemson also has a great business school, which is perfect for his business major. Joe says he is most excited about trying out for Clemson’s club lacrosse team! Go Tigers!


Robin Adams: Wake Forest→UofSC

Robin’s main goal for all of junior year was to work really hard so that she could early decision to Wake Forest this year. She put a lot of time and effort into the application, but as soon as she was about to submit, she had a gut feeling the tuition would be too much and was very unrealistic for her and her parents. She also realized that she wanted to be closer to home because she is really close with her family, and going too far would’ve caused her to  be homesick. Robin also says that she knows a lot of people who are going to UofSC and she found out how much money UofSC would give her, so there was no question about where she should go after that. Go Cocks!


Luke Vasquez: Duke→Clemson

Luke had always dreamed of going Duke, but he faced the same dilemma that most others experienced after completing his application: expensive cost. Duke was also too far from home for Luke and very challenging to get into. Luke decided on Clemson because it is much closer to Charleston, way less expensive, and has many more benefits for his interests. Go Tigers!


Tate Brown: Multiple Places!→UofSC

Tate applied to a variety of colleges that he was interested in, including the University of Miami and Colorado, but like many others, these choices were far too expensive. Tate says he applied to multiple places to “appease the pressures placed on you by Academic Magnet, parents, and peers,” but he ended up choosing UofSC because of its reasonable funding and close proximity to home. Tate is very excited to cheer on the gamecocks at sporting events and to meet new people. Go Cocks!


Annie Cagle: Appalachian State→Clemson

Annie had envisioned herself attending App State since 5th grade because she absolutely loved Boone, NC, and her dad also went there. Annie says she always thought she would end up at App State even though she didn’t know much about the school. She eventually changed her mind after visiting Clemson when she met so many people who were very nice and welcoming. And of course, the in-state tuition never hurts! Annie says she really likes Clemson because it’s the perfect balance of academics and social life, and she thinks it is very cool that everyone seems to know each other despite it being such a large school. Go Tigers!


Carolyn Selvidge: George Washington University→UofSC

Carolyn originally wanted to go to George Washington University in DC because of the beautiful campus and great programs that the school offered. However, after realizing that it would be close to $100,000 a year to attend and it is pretty far away, Carolyn realized that UofSC was a much better option so she could utilize the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship since it would be very beneficial financially in the long run. Carolyn says that she decided to go to UofSC because of how organized and welcoming the school was to her, and she will still be able to enjoy the South Carolina weather without being too far from home. Go Cocks!


Andrew Moise: Harvard→Clemson

Andrew dreamed of going to Harvard since he was a kid, but he didn’t get in, so he chose Clemson! Like everyone else, this was because Clemson is closer, cheaper, and he got in. Go Tigers!


Lily Hutson: NC State→ UofSC

Next up is Lily Hutson. Lily dreamed of attending NC State because of their one-of-a-kind zoology program that fit her major and interests exactly. Lily’s mind changed when she was deferred, as well as the strict timeline that housing requires for either school. Lily says that she chose UofSC because she had already been accepted after her NC State deferral, and she was anxious to go ahead and set herself on a school so that she could begin her housing and preparation process as soon as possible. I am also going to note (as a future tiger) that Lily says she would’ve considered Clemson more seriously if she hadn’t accidentally hit “regular decision” during her application. Go Cocks!


Lizzie Murray: Clemson→Clemson

Lizzie says she first started her college process by touring schools, and Clemson was one of the first ones. She immediately fell in love with the campus and programs and set her heart on it before anywhere else! Lizzie says she never really put much thought into which college she would go to before the beginning of senior year. Go Tigers!

This article simply proves that the majority of Magnet students have much greater ambitions before their college applications begin, but they quickly realize the reality of college competitiveness and tuition, which significantly shifts their schools of interest, usually to Clemson or UofSC. Yay in-state tuition!!!