Ivy League Students


Senior Jessie Rollins is one of two students at Salida High School who were accepted and will be attending Ivy League Universities. ROllins will be studying history at Columbia University of New York this fall and hopes to attend law schools after earning her undergraduate degree.

Lucia Zettler, Website Editor

As the school’s year comes to a close, many graduates are committing to colleges. This year, a few of our high school’s seniors have been accepted to a few of the most prestigious schools in the country. 

Among them is Jessie Rollins, who is going to Columbia University in the City of New York. 

“I didn’t think I had any shot, but Columbia when I was little was like my dream school,” Jessie explained. 

Before she applied to Columbia, George Washington in Washington D.C., was her next choice, as she didn’t really see Columbia as an option. After she got in, though, she was sure that Columbia was where she would go. 

“I love it,” she said, “It’s beautiful, and everyone there is super nice.” 

Rollins is planning on majoring in history.

“I’m the kind person who is always asking the question why, and so I think what draws me to history is that history is the answer to that question of human existence esssentailly, and so I really love that subject.”

Rollins is planning on going to law school after Columbia and believes that history will be on track for that. Along with history, she has been thinking about doing a double major in something like human rights, sociology, or political science. 

She’s looking forward to many of the aspects of Columbia, among them being the core curriculum, which is a group of classes specific to Columbia such as current civilization and humanity of the arts that are specifically for liberal arts students to take. 

“It’s not neccessarily history but it’s like tracing themes throughout the world and human civilization, which I think is really fascinating.”

Vander Ritchie was accepted into Columbia as well, but instead decided on Harvard University in Boston.  

“The decision between Harvard and Columbia was really hard,” Ritchie said, “I’ve dreamed about going to Columbia since like sixth grade.” 

While both schools were amazing, Ritchie was more drawn to Harvard for several reasons. 

“It felt a little bit quieter it felt a more relaxed than Columbia, and I felt like Harvard as a campus and Cambridge as a city would be a little bit easier to transition from Salida verses moving straight to Manhatten.”

Along with being a bit quieter, Harvard also has one of the biggest library systems in the world with around 20 million books in total. 

Ritchie originally visited Boston to see Boston University and Tufts as he knew he wanted to go to school on the east coast. 

“Those were the schools there that I thought I had a better chance of getting into, but when I stepped on the Harvard campus I was just amazed,” Ritchie said. 

Ritchie is planning on studying government and theater. Although you can’t do a double major at Harvard, you can do something similar called a joint concentration, where you study both fields and then do a senior thesis of the intersection of the fields. 

 “I am excited to start this new chapter of my life in an entirely new area with entirely new opportunities and entirely new people,” Ritchie said. 

Challenges often come with applying to schools, but putting yourself out there is an easy first step. 

Ritchie explained, “If you’re excited about a campus, if you want to go there that will come across in your application, and everyone is an interesting and worthwhile person, so if you’re able to get that out there, colleges will see that.”