High school students prepare for final decisions about college | SteamboatToday.com

High school students prepare for final decisions about college

Librarian Barb Tuchlinsky pulled out her University of Wisconsin-Madison sweatshirt for College Friday at Steamboat Springs High School. Teachers and staff wore items from their colleges, hoping to encourage students to approach them and ask them questions about college.
John F. Russell

The offers are pouring in for Steamboat Springs High School seniors as the final crunch time for college selection comes to an end.

Offers for financial aid, scholarships and grants are following the letters for admittance as colleges entice students making their final decisions.

Senior John Cutter received admissions to nearly all of the colleges he applied to, but it was University of San Diego’s offer of financial aid that tipped the scales and led him to choose the school.

“Nowadays, it really comes down to who gives me more money,” he said.

San Diego gave Cutter the only “good” offer, he said, and helped him choose the school instead of Pepperdine University and Santa Clara University.

Cutter will double major in theology and political science at the school.

Teachers at the high school, recognizing the difficult decisions students are facing, organized College Friday last week. All teachers were encouraged to wear paraphernalia from their alma maters to encourage students to ask questions about colleges.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Akron, Florida State University, the University of Colorado and many other colleges were represented during the day.

Charlie Leech, representing Colorado College and Center College, said most of his students have been asking about the Greek systems at the schools, but he also has been giving students advice about college selection.

“(I’ve been telling them) the value of a liberal arts education, : and to expect the unexpected,” he said. “And it’s not for everybody.”

College and Careers Counselor Gayle Dudley said students still are working on scholarship requests the deadline for local scholarships is April 15 – and most students are narrowing down their choices.

She said College Friday was a good chance for students to talk to their teachers about colleges because “they don’t normally think of teachers as people,” she laughed.

Other students, like Cody Poirot, have everything figured out. Poirot said he has decided to attend the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley, where he will major in musical theater.

He said he initially was concerned about the cost of college, but once he narrowed down his choices and looked at the finances of each, it wasn’t hard.

“I worried for a long time because I also applied for Washington University,” he said. “Now that I know where I’m going : UNC is not very expensive at all.”

Once colleges have made acceptance and financial aid offers, Leech said, it’s all in the students’ hands.

“I just encourage them to do the best they can, and the choice is theirs,” he said.

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