NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The battle to get into college get harder each year with thousands of applicants vying for the same spaces.
WECT followed four local high school seniors to find out just what it takes to get in.
As far as Jules Thompson was concerned, her entire future was inside an envelope postmarked from UNC-Asheville.
For her and every other senior at Laney High, 12 years of hard work comes down to the first sentence.
"Dear Jared, it gives me great pleasure to offer you admission to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill," read Laney Senior Jared Layne.
Over the months it has been hard to keep up with every victory and every defeat in the senior's admissions game, and some strategies have changed.
In the fall, Jared told WECT it was MIT or bust, but at almost $50,000 a year and a 12% acceptance rate, he's now decided to scrap that idea.
Anthony Wrisbon is also turning his sights elsewhere, after turning on his computer.
"I was actually scared to click the link that would let me know my decision," said Anthony.
UNC-Chapel Hill has deferred him twice now in an admissions pool where 23,000 students are vying for just 4,000 spaces.
Anthony says if Chapel Hill can't make up their mind, he'll make up his - five other schools have accepted him.
Howard University is about to dramatically change both Lacrisha Holcomb's life and her family's. She helped raise her seven brothers and sisters while still making top grades. If she leaves this fall, it will be her first time without them.
Howard has awarded Lacrisha a $15,000 scholarship.
"All of the waiting' in the cold for the busses and having' to go to the computer lab to do homework its like, remembering all the times I was so stress out, 'am I doing' this for a reason?' But to get into this school and to get the scholarship makes it like, worth it," said Lacrisha.
Even in D.C. she'll be a role model for her family.
"I hope that they are able to look at what I've done and see that education is important and that they can get somewhere farther in life than what their circumstances make it seem," said Lacrisha.
After several years of hard work, these four students with very different backgrounds are ready to get going and get in.
To read part one from this report, click here.