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Off To College

Off To College

Jesuit High School seniors have seen their hard work and commitment come to fruition this spring as college acceptances rolled in.

A slew of highly competitive universities in Florida, in the Southeast, and across the country are among the myriad options for Jesuit’s graduating members of the Class of 2017.

Jesuit’s Director of College Counseling, Fernando Rodrigues, emphasizes the college search is about finding the right fit for each individual student. From among the nation’s thousands of colleges, he works with each student to zero in on those that are a best match for that student.

That “right fit” and “best match” varies, of course. For Drew Valenti ’17, it might be in Los Angeles, where a scholarship to the University of Southern California is an option, or at Boston College, or in New York with a full scholarship to Fordham. For Royal Doolittle ’17, a full scholarship to the University of Oklahoma beckons, as do partial scholarships to Johns Hopkins, the University of Florida, and the University of Miami. For Hugh Hickman ’17, it will be Colgate University in New York as an Alumni Memorial Scholar.

The eight soon-to-be graduates pictured on the homepage represent a cross-section of the Class of 2017. Starting from the left, Zarrius Young ’17 has narrowed it down to two popular in-state options, rivals Florida State and Miami. Next to Young (L-R) are Georgetown-bound Joseph Hanis ’17 (who might be joined there by Cullen Finley ’17) and Spencer Wallace ’17, who is headed to the University of Chicago, where he will join Byrne Litschgi ’16.

Justas Schillinger ’17 is strongly considering the University of Florida, which accepted nearly 50 Jesuit seniors this year, but he also is weighing a presidential scholarship to Loyola University Chicago. Gabriel Brown ’17 likely is headed to Notre Dame (or possibly Florida), and he might be joined at ND by Sal Lumia ’17 and Justin Virgadamo ’17. Lumia also is considering the University of Virginia as one of six Jesuit students admitted there this spring, and Virgadamo has an array of choices besides Notre Dame, including a major scholarship to Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley.

Mike Swenson ’17 was recruited by MIT football and has narrowed down his college selection to Boston College or Florida. Ricardo Maldonado-Puebla ’17 is choosing between Virginia, North Carolina and Boston College, and Price Sartor ’17 is joining Evan Rabenold ’16 at Cornell University, where Sartor will pitch for the Big Red baseball team.

Many more have winnowed down acceptances and are making decisions. Blake Motzer ’17 and William Yount ’17 were accepted to Georgia Tech but have other enticing scholarship options as well. Shane Eilers ’17 is considering Virginia and Washington University, among others. Ben Miller ’17 is choosing from North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Virginia. And Camden Bauman ’17 (Army West Point) and Rodney Higdon ’17 (U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School) are continuing Jesuit’s long tradition of accepting appointments to military academies.

Rodrigues is excited to see so many options for the seniors, and is pleased the students are focused on finding the right school for them.

“We encourage students to find a balance in their college search between academic excellence and the outside-of-the-classroom experience,’’ Rodrigues said. “We work with them to find their best fit. Our students are encouraged to pursue their best options anywhere.” 

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