Lost River Junior-Senior High students participate in College Application Week
Lost River senior Gracen Britton is considering applying to Oregon State University, and on Thursday was looking at the admission requirements and beginning her application. Britton was among 40 seniors at Lost River Junior-Senior High School who spent time this week (Nov. 4-8) researching and applying to colleges during Oregon College Application Week.
The seniors, with the help of teachers and advisors, spent the week navigating financial aid forms, exploring college admission websites and actually starting applications. Their advisors provide hands-on advice and tips, helping the students through the somewhat complicated application process, said Angie Wallin, vice-principal of Lost River Junior-Senior High School.
The week isn’t just about the traditional two-year and four-year college plans. Some students, Wallin said, are interested in trades so they talk about that as well. “We ask them so what would be the next step to be a lineman, for example,” she said.
“We want you to apply to lots of different places,” Wallin told the seniors. “You don’t want to put your eggs all in one basket.”
Britton, who wants to study art and English, has applied to nearly all the Oregon state schools. She hasn’t made any decisions yet but is leaning towards Southern Oregon University.
Senior Jorge de Leon, who is interested in being a mechanic, was looking at community colleges, and on Thursday explored options offered by Tillamook Bay Community College. He is interested in using the Oregon Promise program, which pays for community college.
Lost River Junior-Senior High School has been participating in Oregon College Application Week for several years. The school, though, doesn’t just do it for their seniors – all students, starting in the seventh-grade, spend the week exploring career options, learning how to fill out job applications and exploring their strengths and weaknesses.
“In the seventh-grade, they start thinking about what they are interested in and we expose them to the different aspects of higher education,” Wallin said.
Ivan Hernandez, who teaches business at Lost River, worked with ninth-graders this week, providing activities that forced them to reflect on themselves. He also uses an admission sorting game, which helps students understand what all goes into a successful college application.
“It helps them understand they have to be more than their GPA,” he said. “You should do your best, however, you also need to get involved.”
The work has paid off. At the school’s annual “Signing Day” celebration last spring, the entire senior class had a path for the future – whether it was a community college, a four-year university, the military or the workforce. College Application Week/Oregon Goes To College is part of Oregon GEAR Up, an initiative that supports middle and high schools in their efforts to set high academic expectations, promote early awareness of college opportunities, and engage students in college and career planning.