By Matt Nixon
Andrew Soule was in a hurry.
By his sophomore year, he had taken the six Advanced Placement classes Trion High School offered. He hungered to dive headlong into the sciences—biology, neurology, genetics. He felt ready to move on from his tiny hometown (population: 1,800) in northwest Georgia’s Chattooga County.
“I wasn’t into the whole high school thing,” said Soule. “I was just thinking, ‘Let’s get on with my future.’”
The Class of 2022 Georgia State University Presidential Scholar decided to spend his junior and senior years of high school in a dual-enrollment program at Georgia Highlands College. There, he took his core curriculum classes, including three different science sequences that would move him closer to his academic goals.
And even with his high school course requirements, his college classes, and his daily two-hour commute, Soule found time to practice and play for the Trion High Bulldogs’ varsity soccer team, run cross-country, and serve as treasurer for the school’s technology student association.
As Soule began looking for colleges where he would complete his undergraduate degree, he searched for an institution that wouldn’t make him wait until graduate school to participate in research.
“With Georgia State’s Honors College, there wasn’t any hedging about undergraduate research,” said Soule. “They said, ‘Here’s what you’re going to do: freshman year, you’ll have a research assistantship, and you will have the opportunity to get your work published as an undergrad.’”
Soule also wanted to live in a big city. Georgia State—with its urban campus and commitment to providing undergraduates with research and international study abroad opportunities—became his clear choice.
Despite his ambitious academic plans, receiving the Presidential Scholarship has given Andrew Soule something he’s been missing: time.
“The Presidential Scholarship is allowing me to take my time—double major, make friends, get the full college experience—instead of rushing through, worrying about accruing debt before graduate school,” said Soule.
“There’s so much I want to do at Georgia State, but I’m not going to worry about not having enough time to do it all.”