Class of 2024 Hamilton High School graduate Michael Olsen recalls his mindset just three years ago thinking that college was out of reach.

“Freshman and sophomore year, I didn’t think college was something I could even consider,” he admitted.

Olsen, a first generation college student along with his twin brother and fellow recent HHS graduate Brandon knew with the cost of college today, he would need some help to chase his dream of pursuing a degree in marketing. However, soon thereafter, Olsen discovered all of the opportunities that Hamilton High School provides to get him to that next step.

One of those opportunities was Dan Meiste’s Business Development class, which Olsen took all three semesters of his senior year earning him 12 college credits transferable only to Davenport University. Through Mr. Meiste's accreditation, Olsen also received four additional credit hours that would transfer to any university. Beyond that, the partnership between Hamilton High School and Davenport University has set Olsen up for an incredible jump start on his college education. Along with various other classes through articulation credit and dual enrollment at HHS, Michael graduated high school with 45 credits transferring this fall. That’s essentially a year and a half of college classes covered without paying a dime.

“Being a first generation college student, you look at how much it’s going to cost but having a year and a half already completed for free, it’s already so much off my plate. With this help, college is going to be much easier and much more feasible for me.”

As Olsen gets set to study marketing in college, the experience gained in Meiste’s class has already been applied to his every day life. Olsen owns a small business and says the skills learned at Hamilton High School have already been useful.

“Michael is going to be setup for success,” Meiste said, “He’s going to get through credit quickly and leave college with a skill set and hopefully limited to no debt.”