By Alejandro Aguilar

 

College is just around the corner for seniors and closer than juniors can even imagine. Are they prepared for what college is going to offer?

Umatilla High School is trying new things to try to get students motivated for college. However, it’s been a challenge because not many students are that interested in going to college.

“It’s a struggle,” Mrs. Dee Lorence, the UHS counselor said.

Mrs. Lorence has sent emails and puts flyers all over the school but nothing seems to interest the students for college. Juniors are the big target because they need to be prepared for college sooner, instead of dealing with it during senior year when it’s the most stressful, the thing currently ailing many in the Class of 2017.

Sophomore Emanuel Tejeda said, “work now, less later.” He is taking a lot of college credit courses and has also gone to summer school for the sole purpose of getting college credits. However, not all students are like Mr. Tejeda.

“College is not for everyone,” Mr. Tejeda said. Some have to have a job. Which could be a problem to them and limit how much time they spend at home doing school work.

 UHS staff do not know what students do after school and want them to talk, to communicate because they can always resolve, and make more time with students who really help to find a path to college.

“The biggest reason students say they can’t or won’t go to college is money,” Mrs. Lorence stated. “They say they don’t get the money to pay for college, however taking classes and making arrangements early, can make college cheap or if they work hard enough, even free. If students would just put in the effort.”

UHS has had a significant advancement in the past few years. Recently, history class started offering college credits which it had not done before. There are opportunities for college everywhere. However, only you can decide whether you want to work for it or not. A couple years ago, by the end of high school, Anabel Moreno-Mendez was able to get over $250,000 in scholarships when she graduated in 2015. (This story has been edited to update Ms. Moreno-Mendez’s graduation year, it was incorrectly listed as 2014 originally.) 

Forbes magazine stated that students should be preparing for college as early as in middle school. However, most students don’t do that or would rather not. So preparing last minute (senior year) is worse than preparing junior year which is adequate if you want to go to college and have lots of those problems sorted sooner than later.

“Everyone has the chance to go to college if you just put in the effort and the time you can do it, money shouldn’t stop you from going to college,” a UHS graduate, Jesus Tejeda who is currently attending college at OSU said.

There are more and more college opportunities each year,  at UHS. “UHS staff are trying to get their students to college. UHS started small and poor, but the more students do better, the more UHS will do better,” Jesus Aguilar, who currently attends Blue Mountain Community College, said.

College is a way students can get more education and, have a better chance of getting a better job. Evidence shows that college graduates make more money than just students with a diploma. Also, there are more job opportunities for college graduates as many jobs nowadays require some sort of college or special training.

Noah Shorter, a Umatilla senior who recently applied for Stanford said younger students should prepare early for college. He stated that if he could have prepared for college earlier he would have because preparing for college in the last year of high school is stressful. Same goes for Ms. Jeira Carrillo and Mr. Salvador Alvarez.

Mr. Alvarez stated, that he puts in lots of work after school and that if he had a job like some high school students do. It would put lots of pressure on him and if you top it off with preparing for college, it is just lots of stress.  

“Senior year is a lot of work and preparing for college on top of that is really stressful,” Ms. Carrillo said.

Nonetheless, preparing early for college can make senior year much less stressful and more enjoyable. UHS staff are trying to help students do just that. College is very important and it is a very important step into better futures, College View stated.

Mrs. Lorence said several times that money shouldn’t be the reason you don’t go to college. Just recently she posted on the Umatilla High School bulletin over 20 scholarship opportunities that documented and undocumented students can apply for. If you do your best in these essays that they require from you. You can earn a handful of money, making college cheap or even free.