By Bob Allen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Four years of free college tuition is every parent’s dream.

One local university is making that dream come true not once, but twice for a local family.

It was a surprise of a lifetime for a Norwin High School student – he knows where he’s going to college and who’s going to pay for it.

“Congratulations Michael, on behalf of Seton Hill on earning our Seton Scholar – the full tuition scholarship for all four years,” Krista Lonigro of Seton Hill University told Michael Bartolac as he was surprised with the news that he won a full scholarship.

When Bartolac walked into the counselor’s office, he had no idea he was about to receive a four-year scholarship from Seton Hill worth $116,000.

“I don’t know what to say,” he said.

Bartolac did all his talking in the classroom. He’s one of the twelve high school students to receive the scholarship award from the university. He beat out 32 other students in the natural and health science division with at least a 4.0 grade point average and a high SAT score.

“I’m very excited, I feel like my hard work’s paid off and I’m excited to attend Seton Hill,” Bartolac said. “They have a good program and I like the school.”

For the first time ever, Bartolac is the second person in his family to receive the Seton Hill scholarship. His sister Amy-Gabrielle Hartonac won the award a few years ago.

“It makes me really happy,” Hartonac said. “Number one that he chose good footsteps to follow in and number two I know it’s going to pay off for him.”

His parents could not be more proud. They’ve also been relieved of a heavy financial burden.

“We’ve seen the prices escalate far beyond what inflation levels are,” his father Tom Bartolac said. “This is just phenomenal. The fact that it’s from a quality school.”

“This is really wonderful,” his mother Justine Cakanac said. “I just feel that we’ve been doubly blessed. I’m glad that both of them are going to Seton Hill. I’m also a Seton Hill alumni, I know what Seton Hill has done for me and I see it happening for my children.”

And now that his undergraduate studies are paid for, Bartolac will have to worry about paying for medical school. His goal is to follow in his parents’ footsteps and become an ophthalmologist.

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