By Santos Reyes
Graduation day is when high school students’ four-year struggle finally pays off. Senior year is the final of preparing for the real world, whether it is going to a community college or a straight to a four-year university. But to get there, students have to figure out how to pay for college.
High schools encourage students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and to apply for scholarships, such as Coca Cola and Pathway to Success, that can provide students with free money to pay for college.
“This has to be one of the most stressful years of my life,” said Gabby Medrano, a senior at Coachella Valley High School (CVHS). Medrano makes a daily visit to the career center to make sure she is on the right track. Medrano hopes to attend California State University at San Marcos and major in Criminal Justice. Like Medrano, many other seniors are feeling the days get closer as they prepare their scholarship portfolios.
Over 500 seniors at CVHS are expected to graduate this school year. Some, like Medrano, are preparing to go to four-year universities. But the economic crisis has affected some students’ views regarding college.
Jasmin Perez, also a senior at CVHS, plans on attending community college in the Coachella Valley for two years before transferring to a major university.
“I feel it will save me a lot of money if I stay in the valley,” said Perez. “I will be able to experience college life later. I won’t be here for too long.”
According to the www.statewidepathway.org, the website of the Statewide Pathways program of Academic Senate for California Community
Colleges, “a student can save over $5,000 in two years versus the cost of a California State University and close to $60,000 dollars in two years over a
However, CVHS seniors like Mayra Cervantes will continue with her plans to go away to college. Even though she worries about money for college, she has been counting the days down until graduation.
“I can’t wait to get out of this valley. All those all nighters and studying will pay off soon,” said Cervantes. “I can’t wait.”
Teachers at CVHS push students to better their education, helping students build their scholarship portfolio and personal statement required for college applications. “I’ve checked a student’s personal statement 27 times,” said Monica Perez, an English teacher at Coachella Valley High School.
Senior year may be stressful, but it is also one of the most important years of a student’s life. While some students prefer to go to a community college or a four-year university, senior year is the time to prepare for taking the first step toward the real world.