DCHS Senior Nathan Zhu Accepted To Five of Nation’s Top Colleges
Posted on 04/18/2024
Douglas County High School International Baccalaureate Program senior Nathan Zhu has a big decision to make.

Zhu applied for admission to five of the top colleges in the country and was accepted into all five — Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, Stanford, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia.

He traveled to Boston last week to visit MIT and Harvard and will visit Stanford in California later this month. The deadline to make a decision is May 1, and Zhu said it’s likely he’ll wait until the last minute to make his final choice.

“I'm very honored to be accepted to these great schools,” said Zhu, whose older sister, Sammi, is a DCHS alumnus, the former District Overall STAR Student and a current sophomore at Harvard.

Zhu plans to major in engineering and calls MIT his “dream school.” He said MIT has a program where students there can cross-register for classes at Harvard and vice versa.

Being close to his sister in Boston is another reason Zhu said he’s leaning toward MIT.

Cost is another factor — Stanford has offered him $80,000 per year towards his college expenses, but the cost of living is higher in California, he said. MIT has offered him less — around $65,000 a year — but he said he hopes to get them to offer a little more in financial aid before he makes his final decision.

One of Zhu’s favorite teachers, Andrew Adams, also taught Sammi and said both siblings are driven, intelligent and humble.

“Nathan and a lot of the other kids we've had, you know, are really kind of showcasing the impact we as teachers can have,” said Adams, who was just named DCHS’ 2024-25 Teacher of the Year.

Adams said Zhu has self-studied at Georgia Tech his last two semesters, on top of his regular class load.

“I think what helps Nathan stand out is he's shown that he's interested in learning for the sake of learning outside of the classroom through engaging with his distance learning at Georgia Tech (and) a lot of his own individual projects,” said Adams, who currently teaches Zhu in IB Biology and IB Design Technology.

And Zhu said he scored a 5 — the top score possible — on the Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB and BC tests.

“I am pretty sure all of the admission officers are able to see, like they can tell, like OK, this guy isn't too bad at math,” Zhu said with a smile.
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