A teen from Princeton, NJ made headlines this week for his unorthodox application to Stanford University. Ziad Ahmed, a Muslim activist and blogger with a long list of impressive accomplishments, was accepted to Stanford after answering their application question "What matters to you, and why?" by repeating the hashtag "#BlackLivesMatter" 100 times. The story has been picked up by news outlets on the left and the right, and is quickly spreading across the internet.
Following coverage of Ahmed's story, another high school student has come forward with a similar experience — this one Penn-related. Jack Speffit, an 18-year-old resident of Ridgefield, CT applied to Wharton in a comparable manner. Speffit, a baseball player and huge fan of Dave Matthews Band, wasn't sure what to write when he first saw the Penn application supplement. Then, an idea struck him like lightning.
The prompt read: "How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? Please answer this question given the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying."
"At first I was at a loss," Speffit told us over Skype on Tuesday. "I always knew I wanted to go to the Wharton School, but I didn't know what to write. I was like, I don't have any intellectual or academic interests. I just want to make money. But then I was like, oh, wait. Why don't I just say that?"
So Speffit just wrote "I love money", highlighted the text, copied it, and then pasted it 99 times. What a powerful choice!
"I wanted to show the school that I'm not like all the other students, and I'm not afraid to make a statement," Speffit declared. "I'm honest and I'm realistic, and I think the admissions officers liked that."
Unlike Ahmed, Speffit says he wasn't surprised at all when he got accepted.
"I knew I was going to get in anyway," he laughed. "I'm a double legacy and my parents gave a lot of money. Like, a lot of money. Probably more money than you've seen in your life, really. Sorry, but it's true."
Speffit claims that he's already been contacted by a number of fraternities at Penn, all interested in him rushing. "They were all like, 'We're so impressed that you had the balls to do that'," he explained. "And I was like, 'Dude, you're impressed by my balls? Uhh, pause.' Like, no homo, you know? Anyway, I'm really stoked to go to Penn. Like I said, I love money."