Post-Graduation Plans


West Anchorage High School senior, Ian Teders, sports his college gear after committing to Montana State University.

Lesley Bingham, Reporter

Post Graduation Plans

January 30th, 2017

Lesley Bingham


Most people expect high school seniors to begin planning to attend college the following year. However, there are other opportunities that can be approached. Some students determine in high school that school is not their specialty and attending college is just not something they see in their future, but options such as vocational school and going right into the work field may be a better option for certain people.


In a survey of 50 West High seniors, 31 seniors said they plan to attend college out of state, while 16 said they will stay in state for college. One senior said he plans to stay in state and work, while another two said they plan to join the military.


Miriam Dean, a counselor at West who has been working there for 17 years, said that about 25% of high school seniors at West choose vocational education over college. When asked what options students who will not graduate on time have, Dean said, “Students can go to SAVE, The Military Youth Academy, or decide to get a GED.” Although getting a GED is an option, Dean mentioned, “We recommend students get their high school diploma rather than a GED.”


West High Senior, Rosie Rush has been singing for 12 years and has decided to continue her singing career by studying music in college. Her application process involves sending in pre-screening material to schools, then hoping to hear back for an audition. “The audition process is basically an interview for the school,” Rush said. In a couple weeks, Rush will be traveling to University of Southern California, and Oberlin College to audition in front of the music professors.


When asked what she looks for in a college, Rush replied, “A good mix of liberal arts as well as science courses, and essentially a volleyball team I could play for.” Rush hopes to continue her volleyball career while receiving an education at a school that will provide her with both.


Some students at West are taking advantage of the scholarships and proximity of the University of Alaska Anchorage. Senior, Quacyya Cuaresma committed to UAA and has stated that she plans to start a career here in Anchorage. “It makes sense to stay in state and take advantage of the financial opportunities, as well as be very hands on with the nursing program here,” Cuaresma said.


Ian Teders, a Senior at West, has committed to Montana State University and plans to attend the school in the fall. When asked why he first decided to apply to this school, Teders said, “I love Montana, and my brother goes to University of Montana.” Teders is able to start living on his and experience college alone, while still having his brother only a few hours away.
Although it seems that most students want to go out of state to attend college, some decide that financially it may be better to either attend UAA or to get a job. Either way, students will learn life skills after graduating from high school, that will help them in the future.