PISCATAWAY — Saheela Ibraheem wasn’t sure any college would want to admit a 15-year-old. So the Piscataway teen hedged her bets and filled out applications to 14 schools from New Jersey to California.
“It’s the age thing. I wanted to make sure I had options,” said Saheela, a senior at the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison.
In the end, 13 colleges accepted her — including six of the eight Ivy League schools.
After weeks of debate, Saheela settled on Harvard. She will be among the youngest members of the school’s freshman class.
“I’ll be one of the youngest. But I won’t be the youngest,” the soon-to-be 16-year-old said.
Saheela is among the millions of high school seniors who had to finalize their college decisions by Monday, the deadline for incoming freshman to send deposits to the school of their choice. Nationwide, this year’s college selection process was among the most competitive in history as most top colleges received a record number of applications.
Saheela joins a growing number of New Jersey students going to college before they are old enough to drive. Last year, Kyle Loh of Mendham graduated from Rutgers at 16. In previous years, a 14-year-old from Cranbury and two of his 15-year-old cousins also graduated from Rutgers.