Georgia teen with 55 acceptance letters and $1.3 million in scholarships announces college she'll attend

AUGUSTA, Georgia -- When it comes to picking a college, most high school seniors consider themselves lucky if they have to narrow it down from a few top schools. But one Georgia teen has more than a few: Jakelia Baker is about to announce her choice from no less than 55 colleges.

"Every day I would start getting acceptances. I'm like, 'Whoa, did I really apply to that many schools?'" the Georgia teen said to ABC News.

Baker, the valedictorian at Lucy C. Laney High School in Augusta, Georgia, is a volleyball standout. On Friday, she announced that her college of choice was Penn State Beaver, where she will play volleyball. She said she chose the school because "they feel like my second family already."

But it's not just her academics and her volleyball skill that made her an attractive candidate to so many schools. The teen says she also participates in golf, tennis, soccer, marching band, math team, student council, National Honor Society and Academic Decathlon.

Her impressive record earned her approximately $1.3 million in scholarship offers.

When asked how she kept up with everything, the teen said, "I had to miss out on parties and stuff."

The teen said she just kept applying, also reaching out about fee exemptions and waivers, until she had sent in her materials to 65 schools. The schools she has to choose from include Oklahoma, Louisville and Penn State.

She said her mom, retired Army veteran Denise Richards, motivated her to put her best foot forward.

"Some days I wanted to go to sleep, and she would come in my room and 'How many colleges have you applied to?'" she recalled. "And I said, 'I'll get to it.'"

Baker said she'd encourage future college applicants to never get discouraged or give up.

"The process will be hard, but keep pushing and you will reach your goals," she said.
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