2017-06-15 / Schools

Most seniors will attend college, but some have other plans

By Stephanie Bertholdo

The yearly senior survey that Agoura High’s college and career counselor Marcy Heider sends out demonstrated once again that students are prepared to go on to college.

Heider said that the survey revealed that the majority of graduates will be attending college. About 260 students will head to a four-year college in the fall, while 110 students reported that they will first go to a community college before transferring to a university.

In all, 534 students are graduating from Agoura High this year.

“More kids are taking the community college route,” Heider said, adding that it was somewhat of a myth that college has become too expensive for many students.

Perhaps the cost of attending a California university is out of financial reach for many students—tuition can cost up to $35,000 a year—Heider still believes that there is a perfect college fit for every student in every financial bracket.

“ If you’re going to talk Berkeley, you’re talking about a highly competitive school where the admission rate is re- ally hard,” she said, adding that students, are looking more and more toward private colleges like Chapman University in Irvine since these schools often have more scholarship opportunities to offset yearly tuition rates.

“The money thing is a really, really sticky wicket,” she said. “While it’s true that college admissions has gotten tougher at some select schools, the flip side is that it has opened up many more opportunities at other schools, thus making getting into college easier than ever. There really is a place for everyone, whether it be two-year, trade or four-year.”

At Oak Park High School, college and career counselor Jean Gilbert Hawkins provided statistics about where students are heading after they leave high school.

Of the 335 Oak Park High graduates, 107 students reported that they will attend a community college, while 215 say that they are headed to a four-year college.

Only one student reported that they didn’t know where they would land in the fall. Several students said they plan on taking a year off to explore a range of possibilities, including garnering some work experience or hitting the road to enjoy a little travel before they hunker down to college life.

One young man even said he will pursue a boxing career.

The average grade- point average at Oak Park High this year was 3.34, and the average SAT score, for the 2,400-point test, was 1976. Most students, Hawkins said, apply to about seven colleges.

As for career readiness when leaving high school, the counselor said seven Oak Park students have announced plans to enter the military, one at West Point, while one student has accepted a photography internship overseas through Rustic Pathways, an international community service, education and adventure program for students.

Oak Park counselor Randy McLelland said that the breakdown of where students plan on going to college is pretty consistent with years past. McLelland said the school keeps records on where students land after high school at www.oakparkusd.org/Page/9436.

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