Osceola County surpasses Orange and Seminole ranking for students making it to college

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Osceola County recently celebrated a milestone by jumping to the top of the rankings for students going to college.


“Because of the results that we’re seeing, Osceola Prosper is an absolute game changer for our community,” said Valencia College President Kathleen Plinske.

Plinske said the Osceola Prosper Scholarship program played a hand in helping high school graduates pursue a secondary education for free.

Osceola County now ranks 4th in the state over Orange and Seminole.

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In 2010, Osceola ranked 61st out of 67 counties in the state, according to the Florida Department of Education’s High School Feedback report.

One year after graduating from high school, according to the Florida Department of Education, 63% of Osceola County high school students who graduated in 2022 were enrolled in college, a technical school, or some form of post-secondary education in Florida. That’s up from 47.3% for the class of 2019-20 and 48.1% for the class of 2020-21.

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Historically, Osceola County has had the lowest college-going rate in Central Florida.

In 2022, Osceola County commissioners voted to use the federal pandemic recovery money to ensure that every high school graduate in the county could attend Valencia College or Osceola Technical College for free.

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“This has been an ongoing effort between the county, the school district, the education foundation, and Valencia for more than a decade. And I think it also speaks to the power of working towards a common goal and staying the course,” said Plinske.

Plinske said she hopes this scholarship program will become a trend for more counties and states to follow. She also said the program is a game changer for economic development.

“Seeing Osceola County as a leader in the state makes the community very attractive for businesses and industries looking to relocate to Central Florida,” said Plinske.

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