Gifted high school students with outstanding scholastic achievements can get a jumpstart on their higher education at the OUI, while continuing their social development in a high school setting. Some of these students manage to complete their entire bachelor's degree at the OUI while still in high school. Others receive draft deferments from the IDF in order to finish their degrees, or continue their studies during their military service. Scholarships help highly motivated and talented high school students take giant academic strides at the OUI.
In addition to the individualized track for gifted high school students, the OUI, in collaboration with the government of Israel, implemented a national initiative in 2012 to accelerate the path towards an academic degree for excelling high school students. This is a structured program which takes place at participating schools. Groups of students who meet criteria determined by the Ministry of Education earn academic credits for courses successfully completed. Their grades in the OUI courses designated for the program are also converted into grades for high school matriculation exams. During the 2015 school year, 824 students from 137 high schools participated in the program.
When Maor Govhari was 17, he described the scholarships he received for the winter semester as a Chanukah miracle. Govhari, a determined and driven student, had decided to defer his military enlistment so that he would be able to enter the IDF as a programming engineer. Physical and learning disabilities, combined with the financial struggles of his single mother, had made this goal more of a challenge. Govhari’s mother was so determined to ensure that her son be able to study that she even attempted to sell jewels that she had inherited from her father in order to finance his next semester’s tuition. Returning home despondent from the unsuccessful sale, she and her son together discovered a letter in the mail telling Maor about the scholarships he would receive to cover his upcoming tuition. On that December day, in the middle of Chanukah, Maor and his mother shared a Chanukah miracle.