Seniors: Not college-bound? Don’t worry.

Seniors: Not college-bound? Don’t worry.

By Najm Jabbar- High school can be stressful sometimes, especially the ending of it, the part when you have to make a decision about your life after high school. The truth is most seniors have college as the first option on their mind. In 2015, The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that 69.2% of high school graduates (ages 16-24) were enrolled in colleges. This means that over 2.1 million high school graduates were expected to go to college in the 2015-2016 school year, stating an increase of 4% since last year. But this also means that over nearly another million (30.8%) of the recent high school graduates chose another path in life.

While going to college is certainly not easy due to many factors, not going to college after your senior year might not be that less stressful than college itself. If you choose to work or start your life right away, you’ll need a lot of preparation before that.

Many students decide against college mainly because of the amount of money college will cost them. Other factors like academic status in high school and family history affects students’ decisions after high school.

“I think that one of the factors that causes students to not want to go to college is the financial statues,” says Shelly Swartz, a teacher at Lincoln High who provides courses such as Independent Living. “In my opinion I don’t think we’ve done a very good job explaining to students that college costs money.”

Independent Living is one of the courses that Lincoln High provides to help seniors and juniors to gain some skills that will come in handy after high school. The class gives students an idea about how the first 2-4 years of life after high school would look. The course also helps both students who are heading to college and some who are pursuing opportunities other than college.

“For those who are not pursuing college, the biggest thing they need to consider is finding a job that has an upward mobility,” Swartz added.

A group of the Hub’s students getting hands-on training in one of the Hub’s facilities in Lincoln, Ne. Photo courtesy of Nola Bennett.

A couple of blocks away from Lincoln High is one of Lincoln’s few programs that help high school graduates get better chances at finding good jobs and encourage businesses to hire employees of younger ages. The program is called The HUB. The program also help youth to gain many job skills. Along with Nebraska Youth and Families Agency, The Hub provides help to young adults to determine what services they need and help them access those services. Another program that help students who were once enrolled in ELL classes in high school is the Adult Basic Education program. The program was founded by SCC and it offers help for those who have English difficulty that prevent them from going into colleges or starting the career they want. The program cost only $20 a year or free for students on the free and reduced lunch program.

Elijah, a former student who received his GED after taking classes at the Hub program is posing to a picture with Nola Bennett, the executive director of the Hub program.

Najm Jabbar
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