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February 08, 2018 05:03 PM

College Choice Stress

As if KELOLAND high schoolers didn't have enough on their minds already, with homework, tests, extra-curriculars and part-time jobs, now many of them are facing an important choice that will determine their entire futures!  This is the time of year when high school seniors have to buckle-down and decide where to attend college in the fall.  It's a choice that can be stressful for many students.

Roosevelt senior Skylar McCaulley has narrowed his college choices down to two: the University of Sioux Falls, and the University of South Dakota.

"I really am looking at a college that can help me get in medical school the best," McCaulley said.

Picking a college is raising the anxiety level among high school seniors during an already trying time.

"It's pretty stressful between homework and trying to apply for scholarships and trying to decide for college, there's a lot of demands on our time," McCaulley said.

Choosing a college is usually the first big decision most seniors make, adding to the scholastic stress.

"Because up until now, we've said what you're going to do and parents have said what to do, and now this is the first time you get to choose what's going to happen," Roosevelt counselor Katie Heavlin said.

Talking through a student's angst over a college choice can be a real stress-reliever.

"We just talk a lot, having conversations about it.  Getting a plan in place that they feel comfortable with about when they're going to make those decisions," Heavlin said.

Perry Groten: High school counselors say students should be considering all kinds of factors: their interest in the academic programs as well as the school's location, the size of the school and of course, the all-important cost.

"I always tell them it's a factor, but it shouldn't be your only factor because schools have money and they do give scholarships and you are eligible for financial aid whether it's federal, or grants and so you have to look at all the pieces together," Heavlin said.

McCaulley hopes to make a final decision on a school by next month.    He's says he's confident he's made the right choice, because he's done his homework.

Counselor Heavlin says seniors should have their applications sent out by now, and should also be in the process of gathering financial aid information.

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