PROFILE: Xuefeng Lu Jump-Starts College Education
Xuefeng Lu has lived in the United States only three years. A 2003 graduate of Withrow International School, he already has completed more than 110 credit hours of college at UC.
Date: 8/25/2003 8:00:00 AMAt 19, UC student Xuefeng Lu is way ahead of most college students his age. At the end of Spring Quarter 2003, he already had completed 111 credit hours of study, more than half the credits needed for a bachelor's degree.
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Photos By: Peter Griga
Lu, who has lived in the United States for only three years, jump-started his college education by starting on it before he left high school. The Ohio Post Secondary Enrollment Option Program (PSEOP) allowed him to enter UC while still a student at Withrow International High School in Cincinnati. This program allows qualified high school students to earn college credits. Lu's first course at UC, in fall 2001, was college physics.
Adding to the "wow" factor of his head start on college is the grade point average Lu has maintained while doing it - he has a 3.9 out of 4. Asked how he does it, he smiles and seems slightly amused by the question. "It's just like going to school. It doesn't feel any different," he says.
Students who use PSEOP are prohibited from participating in extracurricular activities at the university, so there hasn't been much to distract Lu from his studies. After this summer, he will become a matriculated student in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences and plans to major in biochemistry with the possibility of going to medical school someday. His PSEOP credits were taken before June 2003 and then in summer 2003 he became a “regular” student.
"Why would I want to stay in school so long if I can get out faster?" explains Lu, who attends the summer session for about five hours three days a week.
Lu moved to the United States from Zhengzhou, Henan Province, in China, after only about six months in high school there. He hasn't been able to return to China, even for the recent funeral of his grandmother, because of potential re-entry problems. Although he misses relatives back in China, Lu says the opportunities here in the United States are worth the sacrifice.
For other students interested in PSEOP, Lu recommends applying early: "I applied in February to begin classes in the fall.”