The Drop in College Application Rates

Ashley Petersen, Writer

In recent years, it has become common knowledge that college application rates

have dropped all over the U.S. Even here at OHS, according to our school profile,

applications to 2 or 4 year colleges have dropped 2% since 2012. However insignificant

this percentage seems, and however shocking the change in rates are elsewhere, it still

leads to one question, why?

Though he is taking college classes himself this semester, Camden†Heckel†,

former OHS student says that he knows others who contributed to this drop in

application rates by deciding against attending college. “They said it would be useless

because they already had a job.” says Heckel, on his acquaintance’s decision. Heckel

elaborates, saying “A potential reason someone my age wouldn’t apply to college would

be that they were done with learning after high school. They don’t want to learn more

things or are just lazy.”

Another former Olympia High School student, Kaden†Wilson†, claims though he

is “going back to school no matter what” after his yearlong

internship at his church has

reached its end, he can understand why others would decide against it. “Some kids are

suited for college and they thrive, others might have a better option. There are so many

opportunities to start making a living or to learn trades that can set up a career for them

that might not be available at a university.” says Wilson. Wilson doesn’t think his high

school experience influenced what he would end up doing after graduating, but says

“other kids all might answer this question differently. I know a lot of kids give up on going

to school because they find in high school that it ‘just isn’t their thing’.”

Although there hasn’t been a catastrophic drop in application rates in Olympia,

the issue at hand is still real, and it isn’t completely without reason. Going to college is a

big decision to make, and while most jobs require some sort of diploma, it’s up to the

student to decide whether or not to strive to get that.