A High Schooler's Loving Costco Essay Got Her Into 5 Ivy League Schools

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So far, the most your undying love for Costco has gotten you is a great deal on an 18-pack of toothpaste and a sneaky-good selection of cheap booze. Nothing wrong with those. A prodigious high school senior, however, took her wholesale love for the bulk retailer and channeled it into a impassioned college application essay that was so good, she ended up getting into five Ivy League schools and Stanford University.

Brittany Stinson, who boasts a 4.9 GPA (weighted) and will graduate as valedictorian of Concord High School in Wilmington, DE, learned of the good news on Thursday, according to a report by Business Insider. While her exemplary academics were certainly a factor, it appears the personal essay she wrote about her longtime love of Costco set her apart from the hundreds of thousands of other applicants to the elite schools. 

In addition to the five Ivy League schools -- Yale, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth, and University of Pennsylvania -- Stinson received acceptance letters from other top-tier institutions like Northwestern University, New York University, Johns Hopkins University, and Boston University. For perspective, these schools have acceptance rates ranging from 13.96% to 4.69%, per the report. Damn.

Stinson shared her full essay in this BI report, but we pulled out a particularly great excerpt:

"From the days spent being toted around in a shopping cart to when I was finally tall enough to reach lofty sample trays, Costco has endured a steady presence throughout my life. As a veteran Costco shopper, I navigate the aisles of foodstuffs, thrusting the majority of my weight upon a generously filled shopping cart whose enormity juxtaposes my small frame. Over time, I’ve developed a habit of observing fellow patrons tote their carts piled with frozen burritos, cheese puffs, tubs of ice cream, and weight­loss supplements. Perusing the aisles gave me time to ponder. Who needs three pounds of sour cream? Was cultured yogurt any more well­mannered than its uncultured counterpart? Costco gave birth to my unfettered curiosity."

Yes, getting into some of the nation's best schools is great and all, but with loyalty like that, Stinson deserves a gift card for a dorm room shopping spree. Or, at the very least, a free membership. 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and hasn't been to Costco in soooooo long, unfortunately. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.