CDB Class of ’21 – College Plans

May 24, 2021

By Bonnie Raskin

There’s little disagreement that the past year-plus has had its share of challenges and obstacles brought on by the pandemic. While few demographics were spared, student were hit especially hard by the demands of virtual school and the almost complete lack of campus and outside activities and socialization with friends and classmates. Until very recently, this year’s graduating class of high school seniors were pretty much “flying blind” to quote a CDB Scholar when it came to visiting any college and university. And those rare campuses that did allow visitors on site offered no campus tours, in person interviews or informational sessions outside of Zoom webinars, with their student community attending virtual classes.

High school seniors also faced the reality that many of the nation’s highly selective colleges and universities dealt with a surge in applications, as the previously mandated SAT and ACT tests were optional for the 2021 application year. This resulted in applicants who previously would not have met test standards stipulated at certain universities and colleges took the attitude of “what do I have to lose?” and applied to schools that in another year might have been out of reach by virtue of their test scores.

In spite of this changing college application landscape, the CDB high school seniors—the class of 2021—persevered and figured out alternative ways to conduct their college research. As a class, they applied to over sixty colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. Many of the senior Scholars reached out to CDB alumni who currently attend the colleges and universities they were interested in learning more about from insiders at the various schools. I was delighted to hear back from many CDB seniors that the CDB alumni not only responded to their inquiries by phone, email and Zoom sessions, but also reached out to them to let the seniors know who they were and what particular schools they attend to start a dialogue. As more schools opened up in April and May, some of the seniors were able to visit the colleges where they were admitted and meet with CDB alums in person—masked and safely socially distanced.

This year’s CDB seniors will matriculate to colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad, schools that match their academic interests and offer them the opportunity to pursue ongoing areas of interest as well as many course possibilities to explore. One CDB  Scholar will be taking a gap year and plans to pursue advanced educational and service projects before starting college in 2022. Another CDB Scholar will be attending Oxford University in England.

CDB Scholars from the class of 2021 have been recognized with multiple academic, service and achievement awards and recognition including Presidential Scholars, National Merit Scholar Finalists, Valedictorians and Saluditorians of their class as well as matriculating to honors programs at their upcoming colleges and universities.

CDB welcomed ten new schools and programs to our international list of colleges and universities attended by CDB Scholars since the inaugural class of 2002 Scholars. Here is a list of the schools and programs the CDB class of 2021 will attend this coming fall. Several Scholars are still deciding among their admission options:

  • Brown University
  • Brown University’s PLME program (an eight year program for students who are committed to a career in medicine and who also want a broad liberal arts education)
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Columbia University
  • California University of Technology
  • Columbia University
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University
  • Harvard College
  • Macalister College
  • Oxford University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Florida Stamps Scholar Program
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pennsylvania Management and Technology Program
  • University of Texas  Agriculture and Mechanical Honors Program
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Webb Institute
  • Wellesley College
  • Whitman College


The IEA and CDB communities wish our graduating high School seniors a successful and engaging next chapter of their lives and look forward to staying in contact with them as they continue to thrive.

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