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Many believe Memphis, Tennessee teen Ronald Nelson made a big mistake for rejecting admission offers from eight Ivy League schools, but he knows his decision is a wise one — why? Financial responsibility.

Nelson’s story went viral this week after he appeared on the TODAY show and explained that his impeccable grades were good enough to get into a plethora of schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, as well as New York University, Johns Hopkins, and Vanderbilt. They were not, however, enough to earn him a full ride.

His grades were impressive — a 4.58 combined grade point average with 15 Advanced Placement courses, a 34 out of 36 on the ACT, and 2260 out of 2400 on his SAT.

But with his father Ronald Sr., working as a manager at the Federal Aviation Administration and his mother, Sandra, as management at FedEx headquarters, their income wasn’t enough to pay for the Ivy League tuition.

He told TODAY:

“(The private schools) told me that I would probably end up paying quite a bit more over the next three years,” he said.

His decision led him to attend Alabama State University. The full ride will allow Nelson to save money for medical school. Ronald Sr. says he’s happy his son decided to think further into his college career instead of chasing a title.

“With people being in debt for years and years, it wasn’t a burden that Ronald wanted to take on and it wasn’t a burden that we wanted to deal with for a number of years after undergraduate,” the teen’s dad, Ronald Sr., said of his son’s savvy college decision. “We can put that money away and spend it on his medical school, or any other graduate school.”

The teen is also certain that his college experience will be what he makes it.

“The Ivy League experience would certainly be something amazing, to make these connections, and have these amazing professors,” he said. “But I really do think I’ll be able to make the same experience for myself at the college I chose.”

Do you think Nelson made the right choice? Let us know in the comment section below.



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Find Out Why This High Schooler Turned Down Eight Ivy League Schools For The University Of Alabama  was originally published on