Homeschooled Teen Admitted to Stanford Talks Ivy League Financial Aid and Acceptance

Rachelle Weiss will study performing arts at Stanford University in September. Photo: Supplied/Family.

Rachelle Weiss is set to study performing arts at Stanford University in September.

This 18-year-old started homeschooling near the end of her 8th grade because of her passion for the performing arts: theatre, music and musical theatre.

She felt that remaining a straight student; she would have to give up things she loved because theater and arts have a lot of extracurricular activities, while high school also has a very demanding workload.

Being in a traditional school made her so unhappy that she and her parents made the unanimous decision to homeschool using international Cambridge exams.

His studies combined the Cambridge International IGCSE and A-level exams. They included a series of examinations from Trinity College London in Acting, Singing and Musical Theatre, and Professional Level Imperial Dance (ISTD) examinations.

Weiss received two Cambridge Outstanding Learner Awards as the top student in South Africa for IGCSE Music in 2019 and AS-Level Music in 2020, and in her matric results she came home with A and A* grades in 6 IGCSE and 3 A-Level subjects which was very impressive.

Despite a busy schedule full of things she needed to support her candidacy, she also managed to do coaching, masterclasses with industry professionals, workshops, festivals, performances and productions.

By the time she applied to Stanford, Weiss had an international 8th grade/advanced 1st qualification in all of her performing disciplines and worked on associate’s qualifications in theater and musical theater while in school.

It might not have been necessary for someone from a regular high school, but she felt it was necessary because she is homeschooled and had to take her exams herself.

Doing all of this ended up increasing her chances of admission and also earning her need-based financial aid enough to cover her expenses in the United States.

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Speaking to News24, Weiss shared that there are funding opportunities available at US Ivy League universities like Stanford for international students who need them.

“I think what many South African children don’t know is that several American universities offer extensive and in some cases full financial aid on a needs basis to international students among Ivy League universities. “, said Weiss.

“From what I’ve seen, it’s mostly the more selective institutions that have the funding to offer generous financial aid. However, I’ve found that many universities don’t offer any aid to international students,” she added.

The teenager also urged her peers to do research when applying to US universities as South Africans.

“But don’t avoid applying to elite colleges because you think you can’t afford it, especially if you really think one is a good match. Most of them will be more than willing to help you thoroughly if you are admitted,” she added.

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Weiss told us she was thrilled to be part of the Stanford family because “the environment at Stanford is one for discussion, interaction and growth, so I look forward to discovering more about myself and , hopefully make friends for life.”

She told us that when she graduates from Stanford, she hopes to return as a professional actress, singer, dancer and songwriter, but she also allows herself to change her mind if she feels like it.

She likes Stanford because it allows students to have many hands-on acting classes or double major in acting and music.

She added that Stanford doesn’t force her to choose a path at 18, and that’s wonderful because it leaves room to develop her current interests, explore new ones, and change her mind if she wants to.

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