Students from across our region received their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) on Friday, with local schools excelling.
Swan Hill College and St Mary MacKillop College recorded high results, and both had duxes who achieved ATARs above 90.
Achieving an ATAR of 94.5 and study score of 46 for Psychology, Swan Hill College dux Emily Ilsley said she was shocked and relieved when she received her result.
"You need to get an ATAR of 94 to get guaranteed entry into the university course I want to do," Ms Ilsley said.
"I was preparing myself not to get that high, so I was very shocked when I found out my ATAR."
The 18-year-old said she hoped to attend Monash University next year to study a double degree in Laws and Global Studies.
"By studying that course, I hope to become a solicitor but we'll see where that takes me," she said.
"I would love to thanks my teachers, especially my Literature teacher Ms Gilby and my Legal Studies teacher Ms Simpson, who inspired me to want to pursue law as a career."
St Mary MacKillop College dux Holly Rogers received an ATAR of 93.2 and a highest study score of 47 for Health, which came to her as "a bit of a shock."
"When I got my results, I just couldn't believe it; I thought it was a mistake," Ms Rogers said.
"I ran out of my room and told my family straight away, I was just so excited."
The fantastic result was an early birthday present for the now 19-year-old, who celebrated her birthday yesterday.
With hopes of becoming a physiotherapist, Ms Rogers plans to attend Bendigo's La Trobe University next year.
"I'm looking forward to everything to do with uni," she said.
"I want to thank my teachers and my family for their constant support and dedication, which was a big thing."
Ms Rogers was one of two St Mary MacKillop College students to earn ATARs in the 90s, while five students receive ATARs in the 80s.
St Mary MacKillop College principal Michelle Haeusler said students should be very proud of their achievements.
"I'm very happy for our students who achieved the results they were hoping for," Ms Haeusler said.
"We as a school are very proud of all our students whose hard work and dedication to their studies has been rewarded.
"For those wishing to discuss their results, I want to remind them that they are welcome to come to the school and have a chat."
Swan Hill College principal Julie Robertson said the school's Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) results had improved from the previous year.
"We had a significant increase for students who received scores in the 90s and 80s this year," Ms Robertson said.
"There were a lot of students who achieved study scores in the 40s, the highest being 49."
The college has a team of careers counsellors and senior sub-school well-being staff who can talk to students wanting to discuss their results.
"We are very proud of all our students who worked hard this year," she said.
"A lot of students have called us up this morning (Friday) to say they got the ATAR they needed to get into their desired course."
It was a time for celebration for the smaller schools around our region too.
Tyrrell College dux went to Justin Boxhall, who achieved an ATAR of 94.95 and received study scores of 46 in Further Maths, 41 in English and 40 in both Industry Tech Production and Psychology.
College principal Graeme Forrester said high-achieving Year 12 students helped place the Sea Lake-based school in Victoria’s top per cent.
"This year we had 10 per cent of our study scores above 40 out of 50, which places those students in the top six per cent of the state," Mr Forrester said.
To read more about this story, grab a copy of Monday's Guardian (December 18).