S.H.S. grad guide to picking a college


Sterling High School seniors are now a semester away from graduating high school. While students are encouraged to explore post-graduate options throughout high school, now is when decisions actually need to be made.

  There is no sure way to guarantee you are making the right choice. However, exploring your options and utilizing available resources helps ensure that you make an educated decision. 

  Guidance from peers is a helpful way to better understand potential options. Who better to turn to then the S.H.S. class of 2022?

  Less than a year ago, 2022 graduates were in the same situation as current seniors. Based on their recent experiences, they are able to provide useful insight.

  Overall, the cost of attending a school had the greatest impact on S.H.S. graduates. Everyone I interviewed stressed the importance of considering the financial aspect when looking at schools.

  S.H.S. graduate Sarah Navarro is currently studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She advises looking at the “academic quality, environment/vibe, and cost of tuition.” For Navarro, visiting and researching colleges extensively allowed her to find one that met her requirements. 

  Former S.H.S. student Carter Ryan is studying at Concordia Saint-Paul. Ryan plays football collegiately, so his college search was based on both academic and athletic factors. 

  For Ryan, his main desire was to attend a school where he felt valued. When visiting CSP, he “could tell everyone wanted me to be there.” 

  Ryan wanted to challenge himself and move away from home for college. Ryan recommends picking a school that feels supportive, as it makes the transition easier.

  Jenica Francis, a 2022 S.H.S. graduate, looked for a school that had a high quality education program. For Francis, Illinois State was perfect as it had a great education program. She valued ISU for having “the feel of a small school with all of the opportunities of a large school.”

  Francis reminds seniors to not stress extensively over choosing a school. Despite all going to different schools, Francis and her friends all had virtually the same experience.

  College is not the only path to success after highschool. A handful of last year’s graduating class opted to serve our country by joining the military. 

  Former S.H.S. student Sofia Rivera decided to join the National Guard after graduating high school. The military has always interested her, so she met with advisors from each branch. After meeting with each specific branch she was able to weigh the pros and cons. 

  Rivera recommends to “be open to each branch, I was initially interested in the Air Force but after meeting with Sergeant Mays I realized the National Guard was a better fit for me.”

  In the fall of 2023, Rivera plans to attend college. A major benefit of joining the National Guard is the financial aid it provides to those enrolled. 

  S.H.S. graduates remind current seniors to do their research on potential post-graduate options. While graduation is nearing, seniors still have time to make decisions. Do not make a rushed decision, way your options and look at all aspects before committing to anything.