Choosing a School to Fit Your Cool


Average Cost of College

Lexi Langer, Reporter

       Applications. Stress. Expenses. It seems impossible to get away from the looming college decision during junior and senior years of high school. Luckily, the staff at General McLane is more than willing to help students prepare for the future.

       “Have an open mind about colleges and how much they cost. Debt can affect your life for twenty years or more,” Mr. Korb said. “Although, if you have a good plan and know your future occupation, you might be able to pay off your debt in a short amount of time.”

While cost is a huge factor in selecting a college there are other important other important considerations including the programs, size, financial aid, and location of the school. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a great way to obtain grants, work-study, and student loans. The FAFSA deadline for the 2018-19 school year is June 30, 2019.

       “I chose Boro because it’s cheaper, so I can take as many classes as I want,” senior Dana Scharrer said. “Plus it’s nice to live at home.”

       To a student coming from GM, a huge school may seem overwhelming. Classrooms consisting of around twenty students could be more comforting than a room of hundreds of students because of individual attention.

       A professor taking care of a hundred students will be busier than a professor at a smaller school and may not be as accessible for questions. On the other hand, a small school might not be as exciting to someone who is used to a small town community.

“I’m choosing a smaller school because students and teachers can get more one-on-one time,” said junior Josiah Burkett.

Students who just can’t commit to a college choice for a variety of reasons may elect to take a gap year before enrolling.  There may be several pros and cons to taking a gap year and it is ultimately the decision of the student whether they go straight into college or not. Having a whole year in between school gives a lot of time for thinking about what to do in and after college. It also provides an opportunity to make more money to make college more affordable.

       On the contrary, taking a gap year could make it difficult to get back into the school schedule and regain momentum. It would also put the student further back on the educational process and a year behind friends. Going straight into college after high school would help to get school over as soon as possible.

    “Gap years are a bit of a struggle to take if you already know you’re going to college,” Mr. Korb commented.  “There are a lot of good opportunities for the non-college path as well.”

     While most students may choose to go to college, extra schooling may not be for everyone. While it may be easier to get a good job with a degree, there are several different occupation opportunities for those who choose the non-college path. For example, an air traffic controller usually does not require a bachelor’s degree and makes an average of $122,410 a year. Jobs in the skilled trades also provide security and a  livable wage.

       No matter what age you are right now, looking at colleges will always be beneficial for your future. If you are interested in college and need help, Mr. Korb, Mrs. Weiss, and several other General McLane staff members would be open to giving you advice.