KL lad lands four Ivy League spots


High achiever: Matthew also received offers to study at the University of California and Imperial College London.

PETALING JAYA: Gaining admission to the Ivy League in the United States is known to be highly competitive, but Kuala Lumpur-born Matthew Tang managed to secure a coveted spot in not one, but four prestigious Ivy League institutions.

The 18-year-old, who is pursuing his A-Levels at Charterhouse Malaysia on a full scholarship, now has the option of attending Yale University, Columbia University, Cornell University or the University of Pennsylvania for his tertiary studies.

The high-flyer has also received offers to study at the University of California, Berkeley, and Imperial College London in the United Kingdom.

Matthew, who learnt about his acceptance into the Ivy League institutions on Ivy Day, March 28 – the day when all eight Ivy League universities release their decisions to students worldwide – expressed gratitude for his multiple successful applications.

“I feel so truly blessed and grateful. I was hoping to be admitted into just one Ivy League university as I know how incredibly competitive it is, especially given the declining acceptance rates, but to receive four acceptances is just beyond my wildest dreams.

“I am eternally thankful to all my friends, family, teachers, coaches, teammates and everyone I’ve worked with who has supported my dreams and been an integral part of my journey,” he said.

The declining acceptance rate is evident at Yale, where Matthew is one of only two Malaysians admitted for the class of 2028. The other Malaysian is former Sunway College A-Level student council president Lee Wei Lun, who hails from Selangor.

Given the number of offers in hand, Matthew, who is set to commence his tertiary studies in August, said he is in the process of carefully evaluating his acceptances and considering a plethora of factors.

“I intend to pursue a major in Chemistry. I am interested in the intersection between environmental and pharmaceutical chemistry and how we can harness chemical innovations to simultaneously address environmental issues and advance human health,” he said.

An outstanding student who scored 11A*s in his International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations at Garden International School, Matthew is a former Selangor state swimmer who now represents Kuala Lumpur. He supports youth athletes through his non-profit organisation Project Pathway.

As an avid speedcuber, he represented Team Malaysia at the Rubik’s World Cube Association (WCA) World Championship 2023 in Incheon, South Korea, co-organised the Malaysia Cube Championship 2023 and, along with his committee, secured the bid to host the Rubik’s WCA Asian Championship 2024 in Kuala Lumpur this December.

To students aiming to secure a spot in the Ivy League, he had this to say: “Ask yourself these questions, and be honest with yourself: Who do you want to be? What do you wish to achieve? What impact do you want to make in the world?

“The journey to the Ivy League begins with deep self-reflection. These questions compel you to look beyond superficial motivations and connect with your genuine passions, interests and purpose.

“Ivy League institutions are searching for more than just academic excellence – they seek individuals who have a clear vision for their future and a purposeful drive to make meaningful contributions to society.

“So, make sure you communicate and are able to exemplify that through your application.”

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Ivy League , Yale

   

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