Student options after high school

Liberty students have plenty of different paths after high school.

Miranda Jones, senior, poses in front of the Marines logo. She plans  to finish school early and leave Feb. 16.

Courtesy of Miranda Jones

Miranda Jones, senior, poses in front of the Marines logo. She plans to finish school early and leave Feb. 16.

With the first trimester come and gone and the second-trimester beginning, seniors have to start making decisions about their futures. College is often seen as the “next step” for students after high school. It has a lot of benefits, such as: furthering your education, learning meaningful skills that you can use in the workforce, and creating opportunities that you could use in the future.

There are two main types of colleges, community colleges, and universities. Universities are typically larger schools than community colleges. Their degrees take about four years to complete and are more expensive than community colleges. On the other hand, community college degrees take around two years to achieve and are less expensive than universities. If you would like to attend a university but price is an issue for you, you can attend a community college for two years and complete all of your prerequisites for cheaper. Then, after two years, you can transfer to a university to earn a degree in any given department. That is exactly what John Long, senior, will be doing this following school year.

“My plan is to do two years at Kirkwood and then transfer over [to] the U[niversity of Iowa],” said John Long, senior. “The reason that I am doing that and staying close is that I can stay at home, which is a lot cheaper.”

Aside from attending a community college to lower the cost of college, the military is also a viable option. The military is a difficult and often demanding job, so they make sure to take care of their personnel. Thanks to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, former military members will have their public in-state tuition and fees paid for, which is a large reason many recent grads think about enlisting according to Today’s Military.

I became interested in the Navy because I want to be able to afford college and get a higher education”

— Blaine Scroggins

“I became interested in the Navy because I want to be able to afford college and get a higher education,” said Blaine Scroggins, senior. “I want to not have to worry about student loans and have enough money to support myself through college.”

The military offers many more benefits than free college and a monthly check. If you join the military, you are serving your country, which can lead to a feeling of fulfillment and a sense of purpose.  

“I’ve wanted to join the military since I was in elementary school. I’ve always had something deep in my mind and heart that made me want to serve this country in that way, and I’ve never set my mind on another career,” said Miranda Jones, senior. “I leave for Marine Corps boot camp on February 16th, 2021. I’m graduating early once the first trimester is over.”

College or the military isn’t for everyone. There are still plenty of options that seniors can pursue after graduation. Trade schools or certificate programs are other options that are similar to college. Instead of taking classes in different subject areas, you focus on becoming a certain job the whole time. Such as an electrician, plumber, or mechanic. These programs grant you valuable experience while being paid. It can also lead to a job right out of high school.

Joining the workforce is a common denominator after high school. It just depends on when. If students have a viable, long-term job available, they will often go into the workforce immediately after graduating high school. This could be seen as risky since recent graduates often have little to no experience.

Whatever Liberty seniors decide on pursuing after high school, they will definitely do great things.