Cincinnati media: Surprise scholarships celebrate Decision Day at the University of Cincinnati

The Bearcat Bands, mascot and cheer team join UC officials to greet the newest Bearcats

Frances and Jude Eckerle joined their classmates who filed into the Highlands High School auditorium for a special assembly. Neither had a clue they were the stars of the morning.

The twins, who are seniors at the school in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, were UC’s first admitted Bearcats for fall 2024. They joined UC vice provost Jack Miner onstage for congratulations before UC's band played, the cheer team performed and the Bearcat gushed. 

Their parents, Andrew and Michelle Eckerle, watched from afar. The twins each received a $6,000 scholarship to UC.

“We are welcoming our largest admit class ever to the University of Cincinnati,” Miner told Fox 19 News. "We are here in Kentucky, and what we absolutely try to remind people of is we are a Research 1 institution right here in your backyard.”

UC surprises Marian Spencer Scholar Fiston Feruzi at Hughes High School.

UC's Jack Miner, CPS Superintendent Iranetta Wright, Fiston Feruzi, Cindy Jones and a CPS official are shown on Decision Day 2024 in Hughes High School auditorium. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Communications.

UC received nearly 33,000 applications, a 7% increase over last year, an an all-time record.

The Eckerle twins were among six lucky Bearcats from four area high schools to be surprised with admission and scholarships to UC on Decision Day, Jan. 22. Miner along with the entourage of UC students and staff traveled via bus to area high schools.

Two students from Cincinnati Public Schools, Zamir Frazier of Riverview East Academy and Fiston Feruzi of Hughes STEM High School, were surprised with Marian Spencer Scholarships. The full scholarship for high achieving CPS students pays tuition, room and board. 

Two students at Mason High School, Koah Wilson and Gracie Hicks, were also among the first admitted Bearcats to the UC. They each received a $6,000 scholarship.

The daylong event attracted media from across Greater Cincinnati. See their coverage:


Featured image of Jude Eckerle at Highlands High School at top by Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

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UC celebrates newest Bearcats on Decision Day

January 22, 2024

Decision Day is when the newest Bearcats learn they’ve been accepted into the University of Cincinnati. This year UC surprised six students from four Greater Cincinnati high schools in person with admission, scholarships and celebrations.