College is something that people are either excited for or want to skip entirely. For some students, college may seem far away; however, the time to decide is getting closer. There are some ups and downs for attending a college. Some of the positives include gaining the skills and knowledge on how to be a doctor, electrician, or any other career. On the other hand, the downside to attending a post-secondary program is potentially earning debt. Tylene Hales and Alexis Tucker are the College and Career Advisor at Bonneville High School. Her job is to help students build the best plan, earn financial aid, and succeed in their chosen college or career.
One thing students need to know before attending a college is that they need to complete a FAFSA which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. An application needs to be completed before the specific college’s deadline. Besides FAFSA, there are always other opportunities, such as private scholarships, that are available to qualifying students. Hales explains, “There are so many scholarships available out there. [Students] can start applying as soon as [their] freshman year. If [they] don't have access, [they] can come see us in the library, and we will get [them] added!” Having a scholarship application filled out and ready in the first few years of high school is something that does not take too long to do. However, some students may choose to not attend a college and go to a trade school or the workforce. Hales explains, “Though for some others, it matters of the cost of schooling, and some students are just burnt out after high school and want to take a break.” For students who feel too burnt out to begin more schooling, Tucker warns about taking a gap year. She states: “Gap years are great for some people and very detrimental for some people. If the student has a plan for the gap year, and has a commitment to doing something after, then they are beneficial. If the student doesn't have a plan of action for the gap year, it can become increasingly difficult to convince themselves to go back to school.” Without knowing the next step, taking a gap year may cause students to fall off the educational wagon entirely.
If one does not want to go to college that is their choice, nonetheless there are a few career options where a student does not need a college degree though still needs some kind of certification or license. Examples of that include being an Electrician, mechanic, firefighter, Distribution Manager Plumber, cosmetologist, paramedic, and welding, ect. There are always options such as CTE programs which provide students and adults with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers. Which can be completed in high school, or the opportunity to join the military as well as other options.
The percentage of this year's graduating class planning on attending college or another post-graduation program is around 80-85%. Hales described: “Freshman year is one of the most crucial years to start preparing for college. Start building good study and attendance habits early… I have had a senior sit down in my office and realize that [the] things they did or didn't do as a freshman.” Tucker said students need to learn to attend class, get involved, be productive, and be punctual. Not all students need college to be successful in life, especially in today's society where there are opportunities that have opened up a whole world of possibilities around each corner. Some examples for other possibilities include Social media by making videos, CTE training, apprenticeship for business etc. The most important thing is to obtain education and training beyond high school to be proficient and capable at the job.