This 17-year-old Filipino got into 13 local and international colleges

May 18, 2022 0 comments


Like any aspiring fresh high school grad student who's trying their best to get into their desired university, this local bright teen from Isabela succeeded in passing not only one but 13 universities. Meet Benjamin Arches Baui, aka Bench, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student from Santo Tomas, Isabela.

During our private interview, Bench said that he was a part of the campus editorial team in his high school and is known for being an art enthusiast. But even with his fondness for the art and other extracurricular activities, he never fails to deliver in his academics. As a matter of fact, he is graduating with the highest honors at the Advance Montessori Education Center of Isabela, Inc. (AMECI). 

Jack of All Trades and a master of none

Though he humbly describes himself as a "jack of all trades and a master of none," Bench's dedication to pursuing his dreams makes his go-getter approach in life inspiring.

On his Facebook post last April 18, he expressed how delighted he was to inform everyone that he had been accepted as a Freshmen student in various prestigious international schools in the U.S. for the Fall of 2022.

"My strong application and outstanding academic prowess have proved to the Admissions committee that I have the academic strength, ingenuity, and talent to succeed," he wrote.


List of local and international colleges Bench has been accepted to and received various scholarship programs: 1. Bentley University Class of 2026 (Waltham, Massachusetts); 2.Arizona State University; 3. Xavier University (Cincinnati and Norwood, Ohio); 4. University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona); 5. Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York); 6. Merrimack College (North Andover, Massachusetts); 7. Jacobs University (Bremen, Germany); 8. Enderun Colleges; 9. De La Salle University- DasmariƱas; 10. University of Santo Tomas; 11. Far Eastern University; 12. University of Saint Louis – Tuguegarao; and 13. Saint Louis University- Baguio.

However, like any normal teen, Bench also experienced doubting himself at some point in life. Despite all his triumphs and achievements, he mentioned that he’s always been so critical of himself. 

Bench claims that it was a tough battle, as he felt like the odds seemed against him since he graduated from a public school in a small town and didn’t have many ‘opportunities’ unlike other students here and abroad. Still, none of these hindrances deterred him from pursuing his dream to study abroad.

As determined as he is, Bench did a lot of research. From exploring various colleges and universities to taking standardized tests including several language proficiency tests, attending webinars, organizing school records and portfolios, and writing college application letters—it was a tough process yet, but Bench still managed to get things done. 


For Bench, after he started to apply for college applications last year, it still feels surreal, as it has always been his dream to pursue an undergraduate education abroad since he was in elementary school. 

“Right now, my heart is overflowing. I'm not sure how to explain the combination of feelings I'm experiencing right now. To be honest, I've always been scared to discuss my college application experience because I know some people who have gotten into more prominent universities, but I eventually gained the confidence to do so,” he said.

Bench also shared that with his love for arts, he aspires to major in architecture which prompts him to look for institutions that offer great architectural programs.

"Among the universities to which I applied, I am considering pursuing my studies at Xavier University in Cincinnati and Norwood, Ohio, since it has awarded me a $100,000 Presidential Scholarship," he said.

As of now, Bench's plans aren't final yet. As he is still waiting for considerably more and better prospects.

By the end of our interview, Bench left a sincere message for his fellow Filipino students, saying that college rejection is okay and it's important to know that you're not alone. "Considerably, more students than you might think get denied from college—and it's a standard part of the college admissions process," he added.

"Take advantage of all the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that life throws at you. Dreaming to study and pursuing your dreams is a great move because it will bring out the best in you and better shape you. You must seize it before you have any regrets! Yes, the procedure is difficult, but I know you are even more so. Don't let your doubts get in the way of realizing your college dreams, nothing will be able to stop you if you keep your spirits up and your eyes on your dreams…Padayon!" he shared.




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