Andrew Miller: From Laurel Ridge to the Ivy League ‣ Laurel Ridge Community College
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Andrew Miller: From Laurel Ridge to the Ivy League

Miller with diploma
Andrew Miller is headed to Princeton University this fall.

Andrew Miller is making the leap from Laurel Ridge Community College to Princeton University this fall. He earned his associate degree in general studies contemporaneously with his diploma from Central High School in May.

Miller was a dual-enrolled student who attended Massanutten Regional Governor’s School outside of Mount Jackson for part of his school day. He also took some dual-enrolled classes at Central, and additionally attended classes on the Middletown Campus.

“I wanted to challenge myself with a rigorous curriculum that I knew would prepare me not only for the real world, but also my next academic endeavors,” he said.

At Princeton, Miller is planning to major in public policy in the university’s School of Public and International Affairs.

“My goal is to pursue an internship and network within D.C., possibly interning on Capitol Hill with a member of Congress,” he said. “I would love to run for office at some point, definitely working towards policy making. I’m attentive to several of the divisive issues, and it’s gotten me fired up and wanting to have my voice heard in the political arena.”

At Laurel Ridge, Miller was in Phi Theta Kappa, the international academic honor society for two-year colleges. He was also very involved at Central, serving as president of the student council, community service coordinator for the National Honor Society, section leader for the a capella choir, captain of the Scholastic Bowl team and vice president of Tri-M, a music honors society. He even competed in a one-act play competition.

“It was a balancing act, but it challenged me to grow in so many different ways, such as collaborating with others, communication, time management, and using critical thinking skills,” said Miller, who added he had wanted to increase his academic stamina following the pandemic.

Miller with mortar board reading "Princeton Bound"

Andrew Miller at his Laurel Ridge commencement.

He chose Princeton in part because its public policy program is so highly ranked. Additionally, Miller received a grant covering all of his tuition and housing costs, which come to about $87,000 a year.

Earning his associate degree from Laurel Ridge while a high school student “opened the door” to Princeton, Miller thinks.

“It shows you can not only handle a college course load, but you’re also committed to a sometimes demanding, but rewarding task,” he said.

Laurel Ridge Spanish Professor Polly Nesselrodt was a favorite of Miller’s.

“I thought that she was down to earth and willing to support her students,” he said. “She had high expectations for students, but she was also willing to give a lot. She promoted students’ best interests and growth and was also there as a support system.

“I’m grateful for Laurel Ridge providing high school students the opportunity to get a leg up in college by allowing them to take these classes and pursue higher education at a younger age.”

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.