Editor's note: In the weeks leading up to this weekend's graduation coverage, the newsroom contacted various schools in the area and asked officials to suggest one outstanding student to profile. This was one of their picks ...
HINSDALE, N.H. -- It's tough to get into Tufts.
According the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, its acceptance rate of 21 percent for the Class of 2016 is the lowest in school history. But Hinsdale High School senior Mitul Rathod is a member of that qualified percentile and will soon packed his bags for Boston.
Rathod, 18, applied through the university's Early Decision Program in October and has a long-term goal of becoming a medical doctor.
"I knew it was where I wanted to go. The campus is just really great and it has a good pre-med program," he said. "It just seemed like a place that would work."
Born in India and raised in Toronto, Rathod lived in Hinsdale for three and a half years before his family moved to Northfield, Mass., in late December. Since he was just half a school year from graduation, his family decided to keep him enrolled at Hinsdale, where he had dedicated so much time to his grades.
"He takes his studies very seriously. I think he's going to be very successful," said John Sullivan, who is finishing up his fifth year as principal. "He goes the extra mile. ... He's an outstanding young man."
Sullivan said seeing a student admitted to a top-tier
"I think Mitul getting into Tufts was a great accomplishment," he said. "It does your heart good. It says a lot about who the kid is but it also says something about who we are as a school. We're very proud of Mitul."
In addition to great grades, Rathod was able to add extracurricular athletics to his college application, having played varsity boys soccer for four years.
"He's a good kid. He did what was asked of him. And he never complained about anything, which is always nice," said Steve Fecto, Rathod's coach for the past two seasons. "He was a great role player. His first year (with me), he came in as a sub and gave some quality minutes."
By his senior year, Rathod was starting as a midfielder.
"He always gave 100 percent," Fecto said.
Rathod plans to study biology and dreams of working in cardiovascular surgery. He started volunteering at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital when he was a sophomore and became fascinated watching doctors save lives every day, though he had first considered medicine as a potential career when he was in middle school. He said a specialty in cardio interests him because of "the concept of holding a heart in your hands."
But it's not just school work and career aspirations that make up the college experience.
Rathod, whose older sister is a medical student at St. Matthews University in the Cayman Islands, said he is looking forward to spending four years in Beantown because of all that it offers.
"I just love the city. I was raised in the city. I'm used to the city. There's a lot more stuff to do in general, a lot more places to go and people to see," he said, adding that he's excited to live near Fenway Park. "Right now, there's not many people that share the same interests as me. But when I go there, there's going to be a huge group of people that want to do the same thing as me, that I can relate to more."
His mother, Parul, said she and her husband Ashwin were very excited about the news of their son's acceptance because they have a lot of friends and family in Boston.
Rathod said he will leave Hinsdale on Wednesday, Aug. 22, for a pre-orientation and classes start a week later.
Graduation is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 16.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.