For high-achieving students as accomplished as Montgomery High School's Madison Bradshaw, picking the right college means weighing a number of priorities, including campus prestige and academic rigor.
But for Bradshaw, a 4.85 GPA student who is first in her class of 434, finding a campus near a horse stable was one of the most important requirements.
"I'm going to take my horses to college with me," the 18-year-old equestrian rider said. "All the schools I'm looking at, there's a stable within 20 minutes of campus."
They include Princeton University, Dartmouth College, the University of Virginia, Emory University and a couple of University of California campuses. Bradshaw is a top show jumping competitor and said horse riding and competing have become an important part of her life. In fact, the young rider credits much of her success and focus to riding.
"It has forced me to be balanced," she said. "I have to manage my time, because I miss so much school to compete. I've had to be able to balance academics and riding. It has really shaped how I've grown as a person and as a student."