Northwestern bound


Both Patel and Metz are excited for their bright futures at Northwestern. Photographer Yasmine Soria.

Katarina Ilic, Reporter

Congratulations are in order for seniors Anthony Metz (Div. 017) and Tej Patel (Div. 047), who both received their early decision acceptance letters from Northwestern University in December.

Northwestern University is a private coed school, located in Evanston, Illinois. With a 10% acceptance rate, it is ranked nine in National Universities in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges.* **The school obtains a highly competitive pool of applicants annually, those of which submit applications with an average SAT score of 1500 and 3.9+ unweighted grade point average. Northwestern is best known for its research in math and the hard sciences, its acclaimed music and theater programs, and its developing status as an undergrad liberal arts school.***

Metz’s continuing perseverance, and hard work regarding SAT scores, GPA and extracurriculars played key roles in his acceptance.   

Metz received additional help in making his application stand out, with a total of three recommendation letters written for him; one from physics teacher Vishal Mody, one from his counselor Melissa Gallagher and one from his private piano teacher.

“Tony Metz is a standout and has tremendous potential. He’s incredibly good-natured and kind and inspires others around him. He is sincere and has a passion for learning.  From what I’ve seen these past two years he will persist and overcome any challenges he faces and will be very successful at Northwestern,” said Mody.

Recommendations and grades were only part of the application process. Metz also had to write the required supplemental essays, of which he restructured a total of four times, completely scratching everything to end up writing a whole new essay the night it was due. He wrote about why he was interested in the school, mentioned their quarter system and why it would push him to take more classes, even researching a professor at the university and mentioning them in the essay.

“The essay proved to be an exceptional challenge but I manage to complete it. Most colleges require supplemental essays, so it’s incredibly important that you go the extra mile to show that you care about attending their school,” said Metz.

Not only is Metz a “standout” student, but he is also a talented pianist. So much so that he taught younger students outside of school for a year. However, the pianist stopped teaching in order to focus on his studies and college applications.

“I loved seeing the progress that my piano students would make. I felt fulfilled having been able to inspire the next generations of musicians. However, I had to focus on ensuring my seat at Northwestern, so I, unfortunately, had to stop teaching,” said Metz.

After submitting the essay, Metz could only wait and continue keeping his grades up. In that time he was also recognized as an Illinois State Scholar. It was in early December when he finally received word from the university.

“When I got my acceptance letter, I was actually relieved to receive it. It felt like a weight of anxiety was lifted off of my chest after stressing the entire year over it. I knew what my goal was and I worked extremely hard to achieve that goal. I’m looking forward to attending and gaining a solid education,” said Metz.

Metz plans on earning a Bachelors in Music and Science through Northwestern’s dual degree program.

Likewise, upon receiving his acceptance letter, Patel “couldn’t believe (he) got in at first but eventually, the excitement took over.” Patel is also a driven student when it comes to his education. Patel is involved with the robotics club, the South Asian club and founded a soccer club with a friend of his. Balancing academics, extracurriculars, and work, he made sure that he had time to also complete his college applications.

“Over time my time management skills got better because I started to work more efficiently and stay on task all the time by pushing myself to add more to my schedule until I couldn’t. I was proactive throughout the application process and was mainly on top of my application, letters of rec, essays, etc. so I didn’t run into any issues,” said Patel.

Although his grades and SAT scores are stellar, even to be recognized as an Illinois State Scholar, he reveals that he hadn’t always had good grades.

“In middle school, I wasn’t really the best student. The transition from middle school to high school is what changed me. I was a B and C student, and high school really changed my academics,” said Patel.

Despite the struggle in his younger years, Taft’s teachers and programs helped him grow into an academic ace.

“My teachers and counselor definitely helped me by guiding me throughout the application process. Shout out to my AVID teachers who helped me throughout these 4 years in applying to college, pushing us to apply for scholarships, and helping us realize what we wanted to do in college,” said Patel.

Patel plans on majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern. Patel said “Northwestern’s engineering program kept me interested in these past few years. The way they teach engineering is also unique since they push creativity through engineering.”

Focusing on your grades, studying for the SAT and participating in extracurricular activities at Taft have the ability to allow a student to succeed when moving towards college and the future. Congratulations to both Patel and Metz on their accomplishments!