Confused about college?

See how these seniors made their decisions about the future

  Are you a junior or senior in high school? Are you currently looking at colleges or trade schools for your future plans? Here’s what some of Sterling High School’s current seniors, who have committed, had to say about their chosen college and why they chose it.


Senior: Elizabeth Capes 

College of choice: Liberty University 

Future plans: She wants to get a degree in marketing and a minor in photography in hopes of one day going to work in the fashion industry.

Why she chose it: She really liked the atmosphere and felt like the school was a good fit.

What she looked for when choosing: A college that would prepare her for her future career and life on her own, as well as; specific majors, internship opportunities, and a welcoming atmosphere


Senior Jenica Francis

Senior: Jenica Francis 

College of choice: Illinois State University

Future plans: She wants to major in elementary education and minor in Spanish in hopes of having her own classroom someday.

Why she chose it: They have an amazing education program. 

What she looked For when choosing: Jenica wanted to go to a small school. She found Illinois State had small school energy, but with all the benefits of a big school. 

Senior Paige Geil

Senior: Paige Geil 

College of choice: Saint Louis University

Future plans: She plans to major in biology on the pre-med track, then attend medical school, in hopes of going into neonatology.

Why she chose it: Based on their science department and pre-med program  

What she looked For when choosing: What majors they provided, the safety percentage of the campus, class size, and a faculty that provided academic support



Senior: Dylan Howard 

After high school plans: National Guard

Future Plans: Go to basic training this summer, come back and work for a tree company until he figures out what he really wants to do


Why he chose it: He chose the National Guard because of the benefits he would receive and the skills he would learn.


What he looked for when choosing: Dylan looked for something that would not put him into debt, at the same time, helping people.


Senior Kierra Magana

Senior: Kierra Magana 

College of choice: Sauk Valley Community College.

Future plans: She wants to obtain her bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and then transfer to the University of Illinois, where after graduation, plans to open her own clothing line. 

Why she chose it: Sauk is relatively cheap and they offered her a great price on tuition, plus it’s close to home. 

What she looked For when choosing: Magana looked at which college she could afford, and which ones were close to home.


Senior: Torrie Nelson

College of choice: Olivet Nazarene University.

Future plans: She wants to major in forensic chemistry in hopes of moving to New York to work as a crime lab analyst.

Why she chose it: Nelson saw the campus when she participated in Celebrate Life, a singing competition. She fell in love with the campus and had her heart set on this specific school since 2018.

What she looked for when choosing: Authenticity, class size, and distance from home


Senior: Blake Nettleton  

College of choice: Sauk Valley Community College.

Future plans: Blake wants to play baseball at Sauk and wants to transfer to a four-year college to pursue a degree in sports management. 

Why he chose it: He wanted to be closer to home and at a more affordable college. 

What he looked for when choosing: A place that was more affordable and also a college that would allow him to play baseball


Senior Carter Ryan

Senior: Carter Ryan 

College of choice: Concordia St. Paul University.

Future plans: He wants to major in physical education and health.

Why he chose it: He felt welcomed there and knew it was important to them if he came to their school.

What he looked for when choosing: Ryan looked for schools with a good education program and an opportunity to play football.


Senior Isabelle Smith

Senior: Isabelle Smith

College of choice: Kirkwood Community College

Future plans: Isabelle plans to attend Kirkwood for two year and earn her cachelor’s degree in biology, then transfer to the University of Iowa, where after graduation, she plans on moving to the Gulf Coast of Florida to become a marine biologist. 

Why she chose it: She has family in the area and knew community college would be cheaper. 

What she looked for when choosing: A decent biology program, housing nearby that accepted dogs, and decently cheap tuition that gave her scholarships. 


  Each school had something special about it that made seniors choose their college. Some seniors went in knowing exactly what they were looking for, others went to their first college visit with not much in mind in terms of what they wanted in a college. Hopefully, if you have no idea what to look for, hearing what influenced other seniors in choosing their colleges may help guide you to your decision.