The Next Step High School Graduates Take


LaRon Perine, Staff Reporter

Currently going to college is essential when it comes to getting a career and securing your future, so most students tend to go to college after graduating, but it wasn’t always like that.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 1960 the percentage of high school graduates enrolled in college was 45.1%. Then in 1992 it was 54.3%, and finally in 2016 it was 69.7%.

These statistics are monumentally important in terms of showing the vital change in rate of students going to college after school, and how the meaning of getting a degree has changed in the past 50 years.

“I’m going to St. Thomas to play soccer and major in business,” Said Senior Noah Katula. “Not going to college was never an option for me, my dad didn’t go to college so he expects me to attend college after high school in order to get my degree. I picked St. Thomas because of its amazingly inclusive business program that can tend to my every need.”

“I decided to go to the naval academy this following year,” Said Senior Cole Acker when asked about his decision not to go to college. “As a kid, I knew I wanted to join the military, so when I got accepted into the naval academy, I saw my dream coming true.” Not many kids are accepted into the naval academy. In fact, the acceptance rate is 9%.

“Growing up, I never thought I could go to college. I was never very “book smart” and I was never a very good student,” Said Dowan Ross, an Army Veteran and family friend of mine. “No one told me I could even go to college, in fact I was somewhat discouraged to try. For me, the military was my next logical course of action.”

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, college enrollment rates have actually decreased in the past couple of years, due to high school grads joining the military. This shows what lengths some people will go to in order to stay away from college, but is that okay?

At the end of the day, different people are able to do different things. Some people can take the exams and projects colleges have to offer, and others can’t. The important thing is, you have to decide what will benefit you in the future. Only you can control the next step of your life.