This 18-year-old has been accepted into 231 schools and awarded $14.7 million in scholarships

BY Preta Peace Namasaba May 20, 2024 9:03 AM EDT
Madison Crowell.

Madison Crowell, an 18-year-old from Hinesville, Georgia, is perhaps overachieving her dream of attending college. After applying to hundreds of schools, she was accepted into 231 of them and received an astonishing $14.7 million in scholarship offers. The sheer volume of her acceptances and scholarships is extraordinary.

“I wanted to apply to as many schools as I did … because I’m coming from a low-income area of Georgia and so I want to show the kids here in Liberty County that it’s possible to get accepted into not only just local schools like Georgia Southern [University] and Savannah [Technical College] but that you can get accepted into schools like the University of Alabama and the University of Colorado and [schools] that you think might be out of your reach but is definitely in reach,” Crowell explained the rationale behind her ambitious application process.

Hailing from a low-income area, Crowell wanted to prove to her peers that it was possible to get into prestigious universities. According to Census data, around 14% of Liberty County’s 69,000 people live in poverty. Crowell’s parents have been preparing for college since she was a young girl. By middle school, they were taking her on college tours and committing to her educational goals early. Cromwell knew she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field and major in exercise science and began working towards her goal of going to college.

She began applying to both colleges and multiple scholarships. Alongside her mother, she used a shared digital spreadsheet to keep track of applications and the contact information for each of the schools and scholarships she was considering. This strategy served as a one-stop resource that was easy to refer to. After applying to hundreds of schools, Cromwell was accepted into 231 of them and awarded $14.7 million in scholarships to help fund her education.

Despite receiving so many acceptances and more scholarships than initially expected, Crowell has felt the sting of rejection. She has had to contend with deferrals and non-acceptances from some of her dream schools before finally achieving success. Crowell was rejected by a small number of universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tulane University, and Colorado College. She prioritized self-care, stayed organized with digital tools, maintained a positive outlook, and was able to manage the complex application process.

“Number one is always prioritize yourself. Don’t make this application process more stressful than it needs to be so always take time for yourself, whether that be self-care, hanging out with your friends and family, or playing with your dog, whatever the case may be. Always take time to do things that you enjoy so that you’re not getting burnt out,” Crowell advised young people on how to deal with the stress of college applications.

Crowell will be heading to High Point University in North Carolina in the fall to study science on a full-tuition scholarship. She plans to major in exercise sciences and hopefully earn a doctorate in physical therapy in the future. Additionally, Crowell will join HPU’s Bonner Leaders program, which “connects students with local nonprofit organizations and social innovation projects around the city of High Point.”

She is currently active in extracurricular activities at Liberty County High School, where she serves as vice president of the Class of 2024. She is a varsity cheerleader, student ambassador, the school’s lead basketball manager, a member of the National Honor Society, and managing editor of the school’s yearbook. For Crowell, the future could not be any brighter.

“At the end of the day, I’m just another student. We’re about to graduate, some of us with uncertain futures. And I just want to make it known that nothing is impossible and that the sky is not the limit and that you want to keep pushing for greatness,” Crowell said about her remarkable feat.