College-bound OH seniors looking forward to moving on


OH seniors Mollie (left) and Jessica and Stempler will be attending the University of Miami after graduation.

With the start of the second semester of the 2022-23 school year, the senior class is now in the home stretch and looking forward to the graduation ceremony of May 23. One important aspect of that home stretch involves the decision making as to the path to take after the diplomas have been handed out. 

For many of the soon-to-be graduates, that path leads toward continuing their education at the collegiate level. Most of those have already completed the application process to the colleges or universities on their short lists, and are awaiting word on acceptance. Some have already received the news of their acceptance to their school of choice.

Some of the Olympic Heights Class of 2023 will be attending an out-of-state college or university, but over recent years, more and more of the OH grads have been staying in-state for college. 

Many OH graduates choose to stay in-state due to the ability to obtain Florida’s Bright Futures. Scholarship. Bright Futures is awarded to students who fulfill specific requirements regarding GPAs, SAT/ACT scores, and community service hours. Many of the Class of 23 graduates also have Florida Prepaid, which is a plan that families use to lock in the college plan prepay, along with the lower tuition costs that come along with it. 

Receiving news of acceptance to one’s school of choice finally makes the arduous task of applying to those universities worth the trouble. OH senior Jordyn Kelman expressed her feelings on the application process as “extremely tedious and time consuming. When completing the steps of the application including my personal statement, supplemental essays, resumes, receiving teacher recommendation letters, self reported grades and tests scores, and finally my transcripts, I felt relieved.” Kelman’s advice to future seniors is to “start your application process early during the summer of your junior year.” 

 Kelman applied to 13 different schools with her top choices being Ohio State University and Penn State University. She likes those schools because of their “plethora of academic opportunities including both major specific and interest oriented class selections. They are also BIG10 schools, allowing for lots of school spirit! I wanted a big school with lots of people, spirit, and opportunities, so both of these schools will allow me to have the best college experience I can receive.” 

OH senior Mollie Stempler has grown up as a Miami Hurricanes fan with the University of Miami being her dream school since she was little. She was drawn to the campus by the “beautiful atmosphere, size of the campus, school spirit, and both of my parents went there.” Her twin sister Jessica explained that she loves how “the city of Miami is close-by as there are so many things to do while off campus.” Jessica also feels that it is a smaller school, meaning it is easier to get around and provides a more comfortable feel. 

Indiana University Bloomington has been a very popular out-of-state choice amongst OH grads in recent years. The school offers a beautiful campus, along with accommodations to many different majors that students are looking to pursue. OH senior Ryan Rosen recently visited the school, and liked that “the business school is highly ranked and the energy that the students bring onto campus.” Students exploring business as a major can apply for the Kelley Business School at Indiana University Bloomington, which is rated as one of the best business schools in the country. 

The University of Central Florida is another great choice for students who are interested in staying in-state. UCF is the largest school in the country population-wise with close to 70,000 undergraduate students. OH senior Alex Hanfling has recently committed to UCF for her college aspirations, and is “going to UCF because they are the only school in the United States with the major [in] Theme Park and Attraction Management.” The school is located in the heart of Orlando with many great things to do in the area. 

At the top of the state of Florida, you will find Florida State University in Tallahassee. This is one of the largest schools and one of the most popular in the state of Florida. OH senior Jack Panos feels that “Florida State’s campus really sets it apart from other Florida schools. Being in Tallahassee, the scenery is completely different and gives FSU the southern school vibe.” Many students are drawn to this scenery and all of the great opportunities that the school has to offer. 

The University of Florida is another very popular choice amongst OH grads every year as they make their way up to Gainesville. The academics, athletics, and beautiful campus are several of many reasons why students love it at UF. OH senior Tyler Haas has been a fan since he was little and loves UF “because I grew up going to so many football games over several weekends during the season with family and friends. I loved every moment of it as I have a strong emotional connection to it, and I would love to go there.” Haas displays the same type of love for the school that many aspiring Gators have, just one of many reasons why students want to attend UF. 

As students begin to prepare for their next step in their educational journey, they have so many great options. Whether it is a big school or small one, every student will find the right fit for themselves and their academic interests.