Saying yes to the school

The date upon which senior students will commit to a school continues to draw near… so what will make them say yes to their future school?


On a wall near the college career center, students proudly hang pendants with the names of schools they have been accepted to. This colorfully decorated wall represents the hard work that senior students at WVHS have put into the entire college process.

As the school year inches closer and closer to the finish line, seniors fight against the tide of senioritis that pulls at them as they finish their final quarter of high school. In this final season of high school life, seniors are tasked with quite the checklist as they continue to march towards graduation. It is at this time that students have started to narrow down their lists of potential future universities and say yes to their future colleges. 

Whether it fills students with excitement or nerves, the deadline to pick a university draws closer for students around the nation. For the last four years, this is the goal that many students have worked towards, and many of which are ready to move on from high school. But as students pick their college, what is it about the school that has caught their eye and ultimately drawn them to their final decision? 

For some students, it is the glamour of the school’s reputation that first made them want to apply in early October. Oftentimes, the name, acceptance rate, and other such factors such as who has graduated from the college leads students to want to apply to these types of colleges. However, many students who apply to these schools do not apply because they are able to attend the college of their dreams, but rather, to simply state that they got accepted into a prestigious university. 

Lindsey Zolotoff, a Spanish teacher at Wilsonville High School, gave her insight into why many students choose to apply to recognizable colleges despite the probability that they will not end up attending.

“I think that when it comes to applying, many students apply just to say that they got into big name schools, which is why there is the trend on TikTok about ‘How many Ivy League schools I got into and which ones I didn’t,’” she remarked.

With the arrival of acceptance letters and emails comes the excitement of finding out whether or not these prestigious schools have determined if you are worthy of attending their school. While it is rather harsh to say, it is the reason why so many students apply to these big colleges when they know that they most likely will not actually end up going. By applying to these types of schools, students figure out if what they have done throughout their high school years and the grades, exam scores, and credits they have received was all worthwhile.

However, even when accepted into these types of universities, students often either are not going due to circumstances surrounding location and/ or finances. In fact, according to an article in the New York Times, the cost of public four year colleges have increased from just under $5,000 in 1995 to close to $10,000 in 2015, and private nonprofit four year colleges have increased the cost of tuition plus housing from about $17,000 to almost $30,000. From 2015 to present day, the cost of college has only continued to increase at a rapid rate. 

This has meant that for many students, despite the schools they were accepted into, they have decided to attend a school either in state or simply one more affordable, but perhaps less “distinguished.”

Aside from just the prestige or acceptance rate of their future college, most if not all students must also take into consideration what they want to major in, and what majors their potential colleges focus on.

One such student, who has narrowed down their top college based upon the programs in offers, is Anthea Goh. Goh is a senior from Wilsonville who has based her search for the perfect university upon the college’s veterinary science program. 

“I am hoping to go straight into a program for veterinary science and graduate as soon as possible. So mot of my requirements for the universities that I applied to were based on the degrees they offer for what I want to do,” she said.

Both Zolotoff and Goh challenge the idea of being drawn to a school based upon the prestige of saying yes to particular universities, or for the education that it has to offer young adults as they transition in between high school and entering into a realm of freedom and independence.