Johnson looking to go to Stanford, UCLA

Olympic beam and Dancing with the Stars champion Shawn Johnson has big plans, but returning to her West Des Moines High School for her senior year no longer appears to be one of them.

The Des Moines Register reported this morning that Johnson’s goals include coaching at some point, but that she’ll pursue her high school diploma via online classes. In the midst of all the opportunities that have come her way since the Olympic Games, Johnson has been keeping up with her studies through online classes.

Johnson before an appearance on Letterman last summer.

Johnson before an appearance on Letterman last summer.

Johnson did say after the Olympics that returning to high school for her last year was a priority, but she couldn’t have forseen the publicity and stardom that came with winning Dancing with the Stars within 12 months of four Olympic medals.

She also said she’d like to attend either UCLA or Stanford for college and may pursue coaching opportunities wherever she goes. Most schools’ gymnastics teams have volunteer student coaches, and having Johnson in that capacity would be a huge marketing bonus for any gymnastics program in the nation.

Johnson, who hinted that she has big, “entertainment-related” news, has stated that she hopes to return to gymnastics, but many are skeptical. The results of a Gymblog poll to the question “Will Shawn Johnson return to elite gymnastics?” showed that out of 269 voters, 77 percent (208 votes) believed she wouldn’t. Seven percent (18 voters) believed she would come back, while 16 percent (43 votes) thought she might make a full return to gymnastics in 2011.

In an interview with Microsoft News last month, Johnson candidly stated a truth about American High Schools — that there’s generally “a group” of mean people.

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10 Responses to “Johnson looking to go to Stanford, UCLA”

  1. Kayla Says:

    I really kind of resent the fact that she seems to take it for granted that she’ll get into these schools. I’m honestly not sure that she deserves it.

    • Katrina Says:

      I don’t get where you’re getting that. She just said she’d like to go there. I’m probably pretty sure she understand that the schools aren’t easy to get into.

  2. MS Says:

    I don’t think she deserves it either from an academic standpoint. Anyone with a private tutor can get straight A’s in online courses and an above-average ACT score. Wimping out of normal high school to be a celebrity doesn’t seem like the most responsible thing to do…
    Unfortunately, in the higher education world, money talks. Why else would so many celebrities get “honorary degrees” from universities without ever taking a single class? They’ll donate money in the future or provide notoriety to the school.
    That’s why us normal folk have to work so hard to get into a good university.

    • shergymrag Says:

      “Why else would so many celebrities get “honorary degrees” from universities without ever taking a single class?”

      An “Honorary Degree” is just a school’s version of all the other awards celebrities get. Nobody is going to hire you because The Poor Kid Fund gave you a nice trophy and nobody is going to hire you because some school gave you an Honorary Degree.

    • ugly Says:

      “Wimping out to be a celebrity?” What if she were “wimping out” to be a gymnast?

      As shergymrag said, an honorary degree is not a degree. it’s not even one of those weird “life experience” degrees people pay for.

  3. HM Says:

    I’ve never heard Shawn sound like she expects to get into either school. She’s merely stated that those are the schools she’d LIKE to go to- just like many high school seniors state the schools they would most like to attend.

    As for her ‘deserving’ it or not- first: I don’t think anyone here would know what her grades are, how rigorous her studies have been, what her intellectual capacities are, what her test scores are (and these are only a part of what Stanford, for example, considers when it looks at applicants for admission) and second: many, many students apply to Stanford who ‘deserve’ to be accepted (meaning they are excellent students and have demonstrated high intellectual capacity, etc.) and are not offered admission simply because there are not enough spots. I attended Stanford so I do have some experience around what sort of people get accepted based on my observations when I was a student there. I believe they look for people who ‘stand out’- beyond the typical measures of academic achievement and potential because they could easily fill several freshman classes over with all of the people who are qualified on that level. From what I could tell from my classmates- ‘standing out’ could mean many things- being an extraordinary musician, having a lot of personal initiative as a teenager and starting a service organization, being an international student, overcoming hardship like being from a socioeconomically disadvantaged community, speaking many languages, having a fantastic sense of humor in your application, etc. Stanford will sometimes accept people that they find more fascinating who do not have perfect grades over people who seem less interesting but have ‘perfect’ credentials.

  4. Tracy Says:

    Nobody takes the ACT or SAT for Shawn. Private tutors do not make you smarter!! The above comments are ridiculous. Having money doesn’t always get you in but it can help.
    BTW, an honorary degree may be nice, but it’s just that, it’s only honorary. It’s not like an honorary degree will get you a job!
    The comment is that she’s looking to go to Stanford or UCLA. It didn’t say that she’d already been accepted.

  5. MS Says:

    Of course Shawn can’t be accepted to college having not even finished her junior year due to “falling behind” lol.
    No, tutors don’t make you “smarter” per se, but being a celebrity or athlete has its perks when it comes to college. It’s not fair to the common population, but it’s how the world works. And most definitely, private tutors help you get better grades. Online courses (which Shawn is enrolling in to finish her junior and senior years) are also much easier to succeed in than traditional high school or college (speaking from personal experience). If you say otherwise, you’re foolish.

    I wish Shawn the best…I just think she’d better be careful about flaunting her celebrity.

    • Katrina Says:

      “being a celebrity or athlete has its perks when it comes to college”
      prove it! Julia Stiles went to Harvard. Not because she’s a celeb but because she’s smart. Danica McKellar as a PH.D in Math! Mayim Bialik (Blossom) has a Ph.D in Neuroscience; Natalie Portman went to Harvard. Not at all because their celebs but because they stood out to the admissions committee due to their academics and other activities. Yes their being a celebrity probably helped pay for school but that’s about it.

      “Online courses are easier” maybe your’s were but mine were. I took several (at the college level) and they’re definitly as hard (or even harder) than an actual class.

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