EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville High School senior Maori Brown made her college choice official on May 2 and will attend Olivet Nazarene University in the fall, majoring in Forensic Science and minoring in Computer Science.

Brown was accepted to 27 colleges and offered a combined total of $256,286 in scholarships per year for a combined total of $1,025,142 for four years. Maori and her family figured that she would get into a few schools. She and her family were excited when the acceptance letters started rolling in and universities and offered a combined total of $256,286 in scholarships per year for a combined total of $1,025,142 for four years.

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Brown decided that she wanted to be a forensic scientist when she was in the eighth grade after competing in the school science fair with a project about extracting DNA from fruits and vegetables. That project took her all the way to the state science fair and earned her a Broadcom Master’s nomination. That project, and her love of CSI and other crime shows was what sparked her interest in forensics. Since then she orchestrated her high school career with that goal in mind.

"Maori applied to 23 schools using the Common Application website, the Coalition for College website and individual university websites," her mother, Mrs. Carrington, said. "The Common Application and Coalition are platforms of online tools to streamline the experience preparing and submitting college applications. They connect the applicant to about 1,000 colleges and universities in total.

"The platforms allow the student to start compiling personal and school-related achievements as early as ninth grade, so by the time senior year rolls around, they are already on track for college success. (www.commonapp.org and www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org) Students complete one application with all of the common personal- and school-related information, submit one essay (Common App) and answer school specific questions. You can easily upload your transcripts, test scores and other supporting documents, send requests for recommendation letters to teachers, school counselors, and others, and track the progress of your application."

Her mother said Brown also submitted her application and documents to the Common Black College App website, where she was accepted into eight historically black colleges and universities.

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"Once you complete the Common Black College Application and pay a $35 fee, your information is submitted to more than 50 participating HBCUs. After that, the website works similar to the Common Application website with few differences," her mother said.

Some of the schools around the country that Maori was accepted into are Penn State, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Marshall University, Olivet Nazarene University Eastern Kentucky University, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Loyola-Chicago and Loyola-New Orleans. She was also accepted into local schools St. Louis University, SIUE, and Missouri Baptist University.

Brown specifically researched schools that have a forensic science program.

"Maori has made her parents proud," her mother said. "They say that she is independent, well-rounded, helpful and a great student. They are happy for her because she put a lot of effort into her coursework so that she could have the GPA and test scores needed to get into these colleges.

"Maori also participates in various extracurricular activities. She has been on the tennis team and played violin in the orchestra all four years of high school. She is part of the Key Club, Spanish Club, Student Venture and was inducted into the National Art Honors Society.

"Maori said her success has been a result of hard work and knowing what she wanted to do. Without a clear destination, it is hard to give 110 percent."

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