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Cole Elliott is starting his year on a high note. 

One local student is starting the new school year on a high note.

Cole Elliott received an acceptance letter from the University of Alabama.

“It felt really good just to know that I at least have an option, and I’ll be able to continue on my education no matter what else happens,” Elliott said.

Elliott, who lives in Statesville, attends the early-college high school Collaborative College for Technology and Leadership and will be graduating with an associate’s degree in engineering. Elliott said he’s taken a few engineering classes and feels like the industry is a good fit for him.

He plans to further his education by studying civil engineering.

“I’ve always, from a young age, just been better at math than everything else. I’ve always been interested in Legos when I was really young. Then I started to build things. I built part of my chicken coop,” Elliott said.  “I had this big tree house set in my backyard. When I got old enough, it was kind of running down. I told my parents I didn’t want it anymore, and they were like ‘Okay, well, we’re just going to leave it there.’ I took it all apart.”

Though he’s enjoyed his time at the early college and is looking forward to his classes this year, Elliott said he’s ready to move on to new experiences.

With admissions opening for other universities, he’s planning to submit more applications. Alabama started accepting applications in June. Other schools Elliott is interested in just started accepting applications at the beginning of August.

“I don’t know if I would say (Alabama) is my top pick,” Elliott said. “I have a lot of schools I’m considering, but it’s a great option for sure.”

Elliott said attending an early college helped prepare him for the next step in his academic career, and he’s excited to see what the future holds.

“CCTL is a really good program, and it provides a really good opportunity to get free college credit,” Elliott said. “It’s basically two years of tuition that’s free. They advertise that it’s like $40,000 free, but when I’m looking at schools, especially because I’m interested in a few out-of-state schools, it can be a lot more than $50,000 that you get from coming here.”

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