High-school senior Ronald Nelson made waves earlier this year, when he got in to all eight Ivy League schools. Now, he's rejected all eight. His reason? Exactly what you'd expect: the rising cost of college has put elite colleges out of reach for most Americans, including Nelson.
Business Insider reports that Nelson chose University of Alabama as his destination -- in addition to the Ivy's, it won out over offers from Stanford, Johns Hopkins, New York University, Vanderbilt, and Washington University in St. Louis.
Two factors swayed his hand: University of Alabama offered him a full ride scholarship, and he was selected for its elite honors program.
As an applicant, Nelson had a lot going for him: a 4.58 weighted GPA, 15 AP courses, and a 2260 out of 2400 on his SAT. He was also a National Merit Scholar and an alto saxophone player.
"It took a lot of soul searching for me to push that first 'accept' button for Alabama," Nelson told Business Insider. "Of course there's a bit of uncertainty."
Nelson's family decided to save money on undergraduate in order to save up for a prestigious grad program, as Nelson plans on attending medical school.
"I've had a lot of people questioning me — 'Why are you doing this?' — but after I explain my circumstances, they definitely understand where I'm coming from," Nelson said.
"The Ivy League experience would certainly be something amazing, to make these connections, and have these amazing professors," he added. "But I really do think I'll be able to make the same experience for myself at the college I chose."