When Williamsport Area High School graduating senior Raneem Rajjoub moves on to George Washington University this fall, she'll be doing so on a rather generous, competitive and challenging scholarship.
From among 750 applicants nationwide, Rajjoub was among only 15 accepted into the university's seven-year bachelor and medical programs on an annual $15,000 merit-based scholarship.
"I was ecstatic when I heard that I was accepted into the program," Rajjoub said. "I knew that it was extremely difficult to get into not only because of the standards they require, but also because they only choose 15 students out of 750."
To get accepted, Rajjoub explained she had to maintain a high grade-point average, achieve high SAT scores, be involved in multiple extracurricular activities and demonstrate leadership qualities.
But to sustain the scholarship's yearly renewal, what lies before her will be quite a challenge, though she doesn't seem to be too intimidated by its demands.
She will need to maintain a 3.6 grade-point average with course grades at no less than a B-minus to stay in the program until graduation.
"I know that I am going to have to work hard and can't slack off," she said, "but I think it is a great program and it will prepare me well for my future as a physician."
Currently, she volunteers at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, where she has volunteered since 2005, and looks forward to doing the same during college, when she becomes a member of the Washington, D.C., community.
As she bids farewell to her high school later this week, Rajjoub believes she has been well-prepared to take the next step.
"I have enrolled in as many AP courses as I could," she said, "and I think that the workload has helped prepare me for college very well. There is a clear difference in the amount of work students receive who are enrolled in AP classes versus those who are enrolled in academic classes. I think this has helped me become more aware of how my college classes will be and what my professors will expect from me in the next few years."
But what does she look forward to the most?
"Meeting other students who have the same interests as me and who share a common goal: helping others," she said. "I am excited to know that I do not have to spend another year applying to medical schools or studying for the Medical College Admission Test - instead, I can move forward to the next stage of my life."