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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 09/17/2012

Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011, begins college life at Virginia’s Patrick Henry College

Scanlan at her crowning in January 2011. (Tom Donoghue/Picturegroup via AP Images)
Becoming Miss America throws a few detours onto one’s roadmap: A lot of aspiring teachers/doctors seem to end up as TV anchors instead. But Teresa Scanlan has stayed the course thus far. Eight months after completing her reign, Miss American 2011 is now a freshman at Northern Virginia’s Patrick Henry College.

“I have wanted to go to Patrick Henry College since I was 7 years old,” she told us. “All my plans and goals have been from a very young age.”

But instead of living in a dorm as originally planned, Scanlan, 19, is buying a home in Purcellville, Va. — a base of operations for her continuing sideline as a motivational speaker. To abide by the small Christian school’s strict rules for off-campus freshmen, her mother has moved from Nebraska to live with her, bringing along three homeschooled younger siblings.

“I wish I could live in the dorms,” Scanlan said. “But it wasn’t going to be realistic with my need for office space and a permanent address. . . I can’t drop off the planet for seven years and then try to resume my career.” Which she hopes will be in politics or law: Her Facebook page promises a 2028 presidential run, though she’s also interested in joining the Supreme Court.

As for her current resume-topper — the one that came with a crown — Scanlan thinks it’s a non-issue on campus. “The caliber of kids here really blows me away,” she said. “I don’t even want to throw my title around when so many others are so far beyond.”

Read earlier: Miss America 2011, future politician Teresa Scanlan, brings her tiara to Washington, 3/30/11

Mrs. Maryland Teresa Scanlon vs. Miss America Teresa Scanlan: Pageant world confusion, 11/3/11

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By  |  05:00 AM ET, 09/17/2012

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