The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm


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All About College


Graduating high school introduces you to true adulthood. Despite common beliefs, many other career options, besides going to college straight out of high school, exist.   

On Point provides some college alternatives: Apprenticeship, military, online college, entrepreneurship, or you can work your way up. If college presents itself as something you have your heart set on, you can achieve it, but if you do not want to go to college you need to make yourself another plan.

“If you want to go to college there’s a way,” Counselor Leslie Mccaslin said. “There are scholarships for kids even if they aren’t THRIVE eligible. There are so many ways to get through that system.” 

In life, things can happen that make attending or graduating from college very difficult. For example, you could have a baby, the money you earn may be needed elsewhere, or maybe your ideal job will not pay off student loans. Life calls people in different directions and college may not end up as something you want or can do. Other, more flexible options such as trade, entrepreneurship, military, and working your way up in a business are much more flexible, easily accessible, and may prove better for your lifestyle.

“[I am not attending college] because of the economic state of my family,” Junior Ethan Tilson said. “We just can’t afford it…Changes in life like kids or surprises that you didn’t think would happen can make it harder to go to college.” 

According to Nick Anderson, the college graduation rate has gone down for the third year in a row. This year’s graduation rate is 7% lower than in 2019. Many people tend to blame Covid and “gap years”. The FAFSA rate will go up by 25% in 2022, so hopefully, now that things have settled down, college appeals to more people.

“[People have stopped attending college] because they feel like they can make it through life without having to get a higher education than high school.” Senior Hannah Morrison said. 

Other options, such as the military, pay for your whole college tuition while you serve for a couple of years. The military offers lots of different jobs, not just going to war, so the military proves a really good option that comes with lots of benefits and opportunities. Apprenticeships and partnerships also pave good paths for trade school or just working your way up if trade school intrigues you.

“If you don’t want to go to college then we’ll sit down and figure out what you want to do. If you want to sit in your mom’s basement eating Cheetos, I can’t help with that.”  McCaslin said.

College grants attendees the ability to build a good resume and get a job that will allow them to have a lot of money. College provides experiences and gives you the building blocks you need to build the future you want. College costs a lot now, but in the long run, it proves worth the money. Not to mention, there are numerous scholarships that will lower the cost of college drastically. Career earnings for college graduates soar much higher than those of high school graduates competing at 71% to 136%. 

“[People go to college] because it’s the safer option,”  junior Saeban Maldonado said. “It costs a lot now, but it’s better to have gone to college and get a good resume and have more opportunities for jobs.”

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About the Contributor
Mandie Haney, Assistant Editor
Hey! I'm an assistant editor and I've been on staff for two years now. A fun fact about me is that I'm really good at peeling oranges. I love writing and I'm so excited to put even more stuff out this year.