April 19, 2011 by wcobserver
A West Fork girl got the Christmas present of her dreams ten days early when she learned she would get a chance to attend Yale University Dec. 15.
Casey McCarthy, who attends Fayetteville High School, will be off to New Haven, Connecticut this fall. Only five seniors from Arkansas have received this prestigious honor. She is also the recipient of a scholarship awarded in the early action acceptance program. McCarthy is the daughter of Razorback alumni, Susan and Michael McCarthy. They are almost as proud of their daughter as her grandparents, Dorothy and John Carney also of West Fork and Judy McCarthy of Amelia Island, Florida.
McCarthy said she first became interested in Yale University while hearing a recruiter lecture at Arkansas Governor’s School last summer at Hendrix College. Her mom, Susan McCarthy recalls thinking it would be nearly impossible to get in and nearly impossible to afford it if her daughter did get in, but encouraged her to apply.
McCarthy began working on her application early last fall, enlisting the help of her grandmother, Dorothy Carney, a retired West Fork Elementary and Middle School teacher as well as several teachers and her school counselor.
“Susan is big on encouraging her kids. She teaches them to dream big, think big, work hard,” said Carney.
Even though her parents had tried their best for eight years to sell her on going local, McCarthy was ready to try her wings on a long shot.
Yale is the third oldest institution of higher education in the United States with its roots going back to the 1640s and is a member of the Ivy League. Only 7.9 percent of the 25,869 applicants were accepted to Yale for the 2010-2011 school year. Seventeen percent of the student body is composed of international students for that same year. Only 2,700 out of 29,000 applicants were accepted for the 2011-2012 school year. Notable Yale alumni include former U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton; journalist Bob Woodward; Samuel Alito, U.S. Supreme Court Justice; Benjamin Spock, child psychologist guru; and Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the Morse Code.
McCarthy was looking for a college close to a large city with a larger international student population and a widely diverse education program.
“I would like to study international relations and diversity in faculty and students is important to me. I am very excited,” said McCarthy, adding that she wants to study abroad.
“The whole family is so excited. This is a great opportunity for a country girl!,” said Carney.
As part of the scholarship, McCarthy says, “I will be required to participate in a work program. I will be employed part-time during the school year and have summer jobs to contribute back to the scholarship program.”
She is looking forward to getting her campus resident hall assignment. The residents will be assigned to the same hall for the entire four years of their undergraduate program.
“I am eager to experience a different part of the country and learn from people around the world,” said McCarthy
McCarthy will get her a sneak peek into life at Yale when she and her mom travel to New Haven to attend Bulldog Days in April, an event for newly admitted students.