Future Focused


Provided By: Jesika Miller

Senior Jesika Miller poses at Central Christian College during a college tour. She recently received an offer to play softball for them.

Marlee Sorrells and Jaida Jones

They sit at their computer, anxiously watching the screen change from a gray application page to a college portal with the words, “Thank You For Applying.”  Slowly they sit back in their chairs and take a deep breath. 12 years of school has been in preparation for this moment, and it will be only a few months to find out whether or not they got accepted into the college of their choice.
Each year seniors apply to colleges and trade schools so that they may further their education and jumpstart their careers. They typically apply for ‘reach’, ‘target’, and ‘safety’ schools, which are based on the student’s GPA.
“Applying to college can be nerve wracking,” senior Zane Gano said. “It’s important for my future and career, so I want to make sure it is done to the best of my ability.”
A reach school is a school that a student may have difficulty getting into, meaning that the requirements for GPA, test scores, or class rank are close, but not high enough.  Among students who were polled, some reach schools included Rice University, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Pennsylvania College of Technology.
“I’m wanting to apply to Emerson College because I think it would be a really nice college, considering that one of the key factors in a college for me is that it has a good music program or a good theater program or both,” senior Halle Lambert said. “It is one of my reach schools just because it is a bit harder to get into just in general, and I think it would just be a really good school that I know would challenge me, not only for my talent but also academically.”
A target school is a school that a student should be able to get in with their current GPA, test scores, and class rank. Some of the target schools students plan to apply to are Southern Methodist University, Stephen F. Austin State University, East Texas Baptist University, and Louisiana Tech.
“SFA is my target school because it is a good school to go to to learn anything,” junior Gabriella Cabrera said. “Any good school is a good school, because of how you can learn as many things as you want.”
A safety school is a school that a student should easily get into with their current GPA, test scores, and class rank. The most common safety schools listed were TJC and UT Tyler, but others included Sam Houston State University and Texas A&M.
“A&M is my safety school, because it’s my mom’s alma mater,” junior Hailey Ballard said. “I had always told her growing up when I was little that I would go there when I got older. It was a dream of mine when I was little.”
Students also may choose to attend a trade school over a university. At trade schools they teach a specific job so that the students are able to begin work shortly after graduation.
“Lincoln Tech is a trade school and they provide basically everything there is to know about any type of automotive technology and full welding courses as well,” senior Cade Little said. “I toured their campus in Nashville a couple years back and I really liked it, but I wanted to go to one closer to home. When I figured out they had one in the Dallas area, I knew I could apply and still stay home.”