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The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

Spreading Their Wings: Tyrone Alums Look Beyond PA for College

While most Tyrone students stick close to home for their college experience, a few recent grads have chosen universities outside of Pennsylvania.
TAHS Class of 2023 grad Hailey Vanish didn’t have to retire any of her Tyrone Orange to attend Syracuse, who’s mascot is Otto the Orange.

As the school calendar moves into the second quarter, many current seniors are beginning to focus more closely on their post-secondary plans. For those considering college, that means narrowing down their list of potential schools and filling out applications.

According to Tyrone College and Career Counselor Kelsey Broadfield, most Tyrone students choose to stay relatively close to home. In 2023 the top five attended colleges for Tyrone graduates were Penn State Altoona, Penn State University Park, Penn Highlands Community College, Juniata College, and Mount Aloysius.

But not everyone from Tyrone stays close to home for college, and Broadfield encourages students to consider their options.

“It’s always good to create a balanced college list with schools that vary in academic rigor, cost, size, selectivity, and location in order to provide yourself with as many choices as possible,” Broadfield said.

She says that students who are looking for a fresh start or have an interest in a specific major might want to consider schools outside of Pennsylvania.

Libby Keller just outside the idyllic Vermont campus of Bennington College where she is a freshman. (Photo courtesy of Libby Keller)

Several former Golden Eagles with the urge to spread their wings have done just that, leaving the nest of Central Pennsylvania for out-of-state schools.

Tyrone Class of 2023 grad and current college freshman Hailey Vanish is attending Syracuse University in New York, and classmate Libby Keller is at Bennington College in Vermont.

Vanish didn’t necessarily set out to move away for college, but after visiting the Syracuse campus, she knew it was the right place for her.

According to Vanish, Syracuse has a very good program in her chosen major, social work, and a lively campus with students from many states and countries. So far she is happy with how things are going.

“One of my favorite parts about moving away for college is all the new people I have met. I have made a lot of friends from different backgrounds than me,” Vanish said.

Although meeting new people has been great, Vanish admits that she misses being able to see her family on a regular basis.

“In my case, I’m hours away from my family and have to fly to get home. You do get homesick the first few days, but soon remember why you are here,” Vanish said.

Fellow Class of 2023 alum Libby Keller also chose a college far from central Pennsylvania, but still in the Northeast.

Keller attends Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, majoring in languages and literature.

She was looking for a liberal arts school strong in writing, literature, and language and didn’t let location limit her options.

“The obscurity of my major provided a very, very small selection of in-state schools, none of which felt like the best fit for me,” Keller said, “I also wanted a diverse college list, and I didn’t want to restrict myself by applying to only Pennsylvania schools. Maybe this is too much of a cliche, but I also wanted to start over and go to school where I didn’t know anyone.”

Broadfield suggested that Keller consider Bennington College, which also happens to be Broadfield’s alma mater.

Stephanie Ramsey is a sophomore at Embry Riddle where she also is a member of the women’s basketball team. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ramsey)

One of the biggest draws of Bennington for Keller is that students are in charge of their majors. They are encouraged to test out many areas of study and find a way to link them to their intended major.

While there are definitely things she likes about Bennington, Keller admits that moving far from home for school is not easy.

“It’s incredibly challenging as someone who has never even moved houses before. Sure, it may look like a huge accomplishment and worthy of an Eagle Eye article, but it does not always feel that way,” Keller said, “Often times I think it is glamorized, and maybe it is glamorous to some students, but I have yet to experience that glamour. It’s a big adjustment that I am still adapting to.”

Two Tyrone grads who attend school out of state but have had more time to adjust are 2022 grad Stephanie Ramsey and 2021 grad Laura Kohler. Both are attending schools far from their roots in central Pennsylvania.

Ramsey is at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, majoring in aerospace engineering, while Kohler is at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, majoring in psychology on a pre-occupational therapy track.

Laura Kohler said she enjoys the friendly atmosphere at the University of Alabama. (Photo courtesy of Laura Kohler)

Ramsey said she always wanted to go away from home for college, and looking at both the academic and athletic opportunities at Embry-Riddle, it made the most sense for her.

“I knew that the degree I was pursuing would require me to move away in the future for a job,” Ramsey said.”So when looking at schools for basketball and academics, Embry-Riddle was the perfect option for me. They have a great aerospace program, and I get to go to school on Daytona Beach while playing basketball,” Ramsey said.

Kohler said her decision to choose a school far from home was to challenge herself to make new friends and connections in college.

She says she loves experiencing the many differences between Alabama and Pennsylvania.

Obviously, the climate is a big change for her. It’s a lot warmer in Tuscaloosa, and there are no big seasonal changes, said Kohler.

But she said she enjoys the cultural differences in the South. One difference that was not so obvious to her until she got there was fashion.

Students in the South are a lot more formal and fashion-conscious than Tyrone. “Wearing dresses to football games, and a lot of focus on brand and cost, and less street style,” said Kohler.

Also, what’s considered good manners is also different in the South. “They say ma’am and sir to everyone no matter the age,” Kohler said.

Another Tyrone grad attending college in the Deep South is 2020 alum Winnie Grot, who attends Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She is majoring in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise science and human performance.

“Since I have always been traveling, I knew that I wanted to move when I started college. I was also looking for a fresh start where I would be able to make more friends,” said Grot.

Grot said that LSU has been the perfect place for her. They have strong academic programs, and everyone has great Southern hospitality.

“I love the scenery on campus. I love that our school has really good sports programs, and I also love that LSU has such a great kinesiology program,” Grot said.

Grot said the biggest challenge was making new friends, but Grot had the added challenge of attending college during the pandemic.

“Going to LSU as a freshman during COVID year didn’t make matters any better. Luckily I was able to find the LSU women’s rugby club, where I was able to make some of my closest friends,” said Grot.

Grot is currently a standout on the rugby team, and her advice to anyone considering moving far away for college is to make sure to join a club or sports team.

“College is a time for you to step outside of your comfort zone and where you can choose to have a fresh start,” said Grot.

She also added, “Be prepared for your parents to worry about you.”

Winnie Grot has found a home on the LSU women’s rugby team. She encourages all students to get involved in a sport or club at college. (Photo courtesy of Winnie Grot)

According to Broadfield, students should keep all their options open and not let the location of the school stand in the way.

One myth about out-of-state schools that many people assume is that they will be more expensive, but that is not always the case.

“Applying out of state can be more expensive, but it also depends on the individual person,” Broadfield said. “Factors like your financial situation, grades, athletics, extracurriculars, and work experience all play a part in how much aid you receive from a college.”

Broadfield’s own college experience is proof that sometimes students can actually save money by looking out of state.

Broadfield is from New York and wanted to attend a New York State (SUNY) college but found out that it was cheaper for her to attend a private school in Vermont because of the financial aid they provided.

“Colleges really do look for students from different states to bring a different perspective to their campus,” Broadfield said. “My advice would be to make sure you check into in-state versus out-of-state tuition and try to estimate the travel costs you would have for coming home,” Broadfield said.

Keller said she encourages students from Tyrone to look beyond the popular choices and explore all options when planning for their post-secondary education.

“If you’re serious about your education, then the location of a school may not factor in as much. While I won’t romanticize it, attending a school out-of-state can expose you to more culture and diversity which, I believe, can only make for a more well-rounded person and education,” said Keller.

Broadfield said that all students are encouraged to visit the guidance office and schedule a meeting with her to discuss their post-secondary options, no matter where it may take them.

While I won’t romanticize it, attending a school out-of-state can expose you to more culture and diversity which, I believe, can only make for a more well-rounded person and education

— Libby Keller

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About the Contributor
Nicole Ramsey
Nicole Ramsey, Staff Writer
This is Nicole, who is currently a sophomore at Tyrone Area High School. This is her first year on the Tyrone Eagle Eye Staff. She is someone who always takes her schoolwork very seriously. Nicole is involved in both the Tennis and Track and Field teams. Along with sports, she really likes listening to music (especially Taylor Swift) and spending time with family. She loves to write about sports and different things that are happening throughout the school year. Nicole's all-time favorite season is summer. During the summer, she loves to be at the pool and go to the beach. In Nicole's free time, you will usually find her hanging out with friends.

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    Eva TothApr 12, 2024 at 10:11 am

    Hi! Just want to point out that Aden McCracken (Tyrone 2017-2021) and I (Alum, 2022) both attend colleges out of state, Stanford and Tufts!!

    • E

      Eva TothApr 16, 2024 at 6:58 pm

      Want to add to this Mario Grugan (Alum, 2022) who now attends Carnegie Mellon. This is another highly competitive university.

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    Ernest FrankNov 2, 2023 at 6:58 am

    Nice story very well written