College a target for seniors
Jordan Schaecher has his post-high school plans all mapped out. After attending Johnson County Community College for a year, the Baldwin High School senior intends on continuing his education at Kansas State University majoring in design and construction management.
Schaecher's not the only one in his senior class whose plans seem cemented and intends on pursuing higher education after high school. In fact, in the BHS class of 2003, nearly 90 percent of the seniors who completed the Signal's survey said they will attend either a two-year or four-year college after high school.
BHS Counselor Carl Brooks said usually 80 percent of a graduating class will go on to some sort of college or university following high school, with the others going into the workforce or military.
But Brooks said he thought the 63 percent who answered on the survey that they were attending a four-year college was a little high. He said that number usually ends up being closer to 50 percent.
"A number will start off saying they're going to a four-year college, but end up going to a community college like Johnson County," he said.
"My assumption is it's close, they can live at home, it's less expensive," he said. "And I think sometimes kids get cold feet."
What also determines where students go to school, he said, is often based on scholarships -- academic or athletic -- or a specific field of interest.
"They tend to pick where they go because of what's there specific to what they want," he said.
Schaecher said he thought one of the reasons so many of his classmates are deciding to further their education instead of going straight into the workforce was the difficulty in getting a high-paying job.
"It's kind of known if you don't go to college, it's harder to get a successful career started," he said.
BHS senior Anna Skaggs said she also thought students decided to go on to college because it was expected.
"I think why a lot of people go straight into college is because we've come to believe that's what we should do," Skaggs said. "For a lot of people, it's like they've never thought of anything else to do."