High School students dive into college courses early on

 Every high school experience is unique and personalized to each and every high school student depending on what choices they choose to make throughout their four years. Many factors play into this, choosing different clubs and organizations or sports to be involved in, all make for an eventful high school experience. Taking “harder” courses, like weighted, dual-credit, or advanced classes is a whole club in itself, in terms of devoting time, money and energy into something. 

   “Freshman year I made sure to stay open minded to different things I could join so that I could have as much fun as possible because I knew I’d be taking hard classes later on that would be taking up a lot of my time,” senior Brooke Spry said. 

   Junior and senior year are years for the upperclassmen to start putting into perspective what exactly they are going to do once leaving high school, and what direction their life will take. College is a pretty typical next step in this process, and students who are confident in the fact that they will be attending college can take advantage of the early college classes that Warsaw High School has to offer to them.

   “I chose to fill my schedule with college class because when I graduate high school I want to be as close to being done with my associate’s degree as I can get. Time is very important to me and I don’t want to waste time in college doing things I could have done in high school,” junior Emma Johnson said. 

   High school counselor Tyler Richardson encourages students to take college courses in high school for many reasons. 

    “Some students want to graduate at the sophomore level from high school. This is an advantage if they are going into a very long field of study that requires master and Doctorate degrees. Shaving off a year of prerequisite coursework can be a huge time saver,” Richardson said. 

   Warsaw partners with State Fair Community College in Sedalia and offers many scholarships, including the A+ program that is very beneficial for students. SFCC has participated in the state’s A+ scholarship program since 1998 and has an enrollment of  nearly 5,000 students within the 14-county area in central Missouri.  

   Richardson goes further to say that any student interested in going to college after high school could use this as a way to get a taste of what college is like. They can dabble in a college class while in high school and see if it is for them.  Also it is a cheaper rate.  So, if a student was going to go into a large program of study at a community college, where A+ money might run out before they finish, taking some dual credit classes now can take some strain off in the later years of college.

   “I’ve known since freshman year that it was important for me to get the A+ scholarship so that I could get my first two years of college paid for,” junior Mira Segar said. 

   College is a choice not a requirement and is not meant for everybody. However, to strive for something that could come to you for free with a little hard work is definitely something to consider.   

   “Every student is different. I can not state a blanket statement that applies to everyone,” Richardson said, “cost, academic ability, maturity, work ethic, and social networking are all things that go into being successful in college. For some, now is not the right time, but maybe later. Some might find out it is not their cup of tea. Some might find online college courses are not for them, and in-person is their thing.”