A thriving atmosphere and welcoming people helped Logan Balliett make the decision to head to Harvard this fall. After spending a weekend at the campus, the Jefferson High senior decided Cambridge, Mass. is where his path lies.
The college decision was one not hastily made and one that offered many possibilities for Balliett.
In addition to Harvard, the Shepherdstown youth was accepted to Princeton, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania and Tufts.
Only Columbia turned down the talented student.
Balliett, who lives on a farm in Shepherdstown where his parents are involved in Community Supported Agriculture, says that he still is not sure what he wants to be when he "grows up."
"I've always been not too concerned about what I'm going to do but how I'm going to learn," he said.
That philosophy helped in his selection of Harvard as he described the school as one that "is here to educate more than just on a career path."
While Balliett is not sure of what a possible career path might encompass, he said there is a possibility he may study some type of engineering.
Cross registration at MIT is available for Harvard students should he choose to focus in that area.
"I'm really not sure what I want to be," he laughed. "I just hope to be financially secure."
Balliett, who is involved with agriculture and farming with his parents, shared that he may return to farming of some type, but not necessarily in this area.
President of Jefferson's National Honor Society, Balliett is also a member of the Spanish National Honor Society and the Academic Team at the high school.
He has invested his time in honors and advanced placement courses to lead to his college path; however, he shared that excelling at his school work has always come easy for him.
Balliett credited several teachers at Jefferson High for being influential in his studies. Those included Mr. Ramsey who taught AP U.S. History, Ms. Myers, his math teacher, Ms. Stengle from the English Department and Ms. Knott whom he had for World History.
The path to acceptance into these Ivy League schools was an exciting one, Balliett shared. He explained that while his grades and test scores, which were high, were important, they were not the only factors that admissions boards looked at.
"There was no real formula to get accepted to these schools," he said. "An interesting essay was important, though, to show them who you are."
Personal interviews were conducted by Princeton and Harvard before Balliett received his acceptance notifications as well as with Columbia, where he did not make the list. His choice centered between Princeton and Harvard and after visiting both, he found the atmosphere at Harvard something he is looking forward to.
Balliett spent a pre-frosh weekend on campus recently where he met other incoming students for the fall of 2012.
"I'm really looking forward to a new area. It will be a totally different environment in the city," he laughed.