Betting On Herself Led Sydni Smith To Get Accepted Into 57 Schools With $1.8M In Scholarship Offers

·2 min read

Success is better when you find a way to share it with others, and high school graduate Sydni Smith knows it firsthand as she is paying it forward to future college students.

After being accepted into 57 schools and awarded $1.8 million in scholarships, the 17-year-old has gems of wisdom for those who aspire to have a successful application process, USA Today reports.

Select A Range Of Schools

The majority of college applicants have a dream school they’d love to attend, but Smith believes it’s important to not put your eggs all in one basket. A major key is to ensure that you have a range of colleges and universities in case you, unfortunately, don’t hear back from the ones you expected to.

“When it came to applying I wanted to have a lot of options. I’m indecisive and I didn’t want to just apply to one school — my dream school — if I didn’t get in. I wanted something I could fall back on,” Smith said, according to the outlet. ”Also I wanted to be debt free out of college, so I was trying to see what school would give me the best scholarships.”

Be Open-Minded

Similar to having a wide selection of schools, being open-minded to what may not have been an initial thought can lead to rewarding surprises. Although Smith was accepted into 41 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), she ended up deciding on attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“Sydni has a progressive mindset being a Black young lady and Michigan is going to be a great fit for her because it is a progressive university and they cater to minority students,” Smith’s mother Fran Mitchell said on her daughter’s decision. “Even though the minority population is still small they really make the minority students feel seen — and not just Black students, we saw a lot of Asian and Middle Eastern students walking around.”

Shoot Your Shot

The saying goes that you’ll never know something until you try. Letting imposter syndrome take over can in turn cause you to miss out on what could’ve been. It’s better to reach for your dreams with the possibility of rejection rather than not even making an attempt.

“Put yourself out there and try your best,” the Pennsylvania native shared. “I never would have thought I was going to get into University of Michigan with almost a full ride.