By Arlissa Brock and Andrea Cruse
What is college?
Many will say it’s just another high school, that it’s four more years of learning. But college is so much more than that. College is where seniors, who have been under their parents’ “protective wings,” are able to branch out and pursue opportunities that weren’t offered in high school. While in college, students become more independent and discover who they truly are.
High school counselors across the United States participate in College Application Week, a week during which seniors are able to apply to various colleges in order to get a jump-start on their future.
During the week of Oct. 26-30, thousands of high school seniors are applying to colleges across the globe. Ultimately, the goal of College Application Week is to get everyone to apply to at least one college especially the first generation college students.
At Thurston High School, counselors Tuesday Williams and Ann Proctor lead this process.
“College Application Week is a week where we kickstart the senior class to apply to college,” Williams said.
“Our personal goal is to have every senior apply to at least one college by Thanksgiving, so we have a big a start on that,” Proctor added.
The staff at Thurston High School helps celebrate College Application Week by decorating their classroom door with a college of their choice.
“The doors are a way for students to get quick information about different colleges,” Williams stated.
Another way to motivate seniors to apply was through a raffle. For each college application completed, the seniors received a raffle ticket along with some nifty sunglasses that say “I applied”on them.
The raffle tickets can be used to enter for one of 23 prizes. Prizes range from college apparel and clothing hampers to miscellaneous gift cards from places such as Subway, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili’s, Foot Lockers, BP gas station, and so on.
In just one week, Thurston went from 5 percent applying to college to well over 40 percent.
Now that President Obama proclaimed November College Application Month, the counselors are even more excited to work with seniors. By Thanksgiving, they plan to hit that 100 percent mark.
Whether it is a four year university, a trade school, a community college, or the military, training after high school will unlock opportunities. Statistics show that education after high school will help today’s youth access better jobs, keep jobs, and to make more money.