College remains focus of District 86 graduates
More than 400 seniors wait on the football field to receive their diplomas at Hinsdale South High School June 1. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 27, 2012 1:47AM
Fewer Lyons Township High School graduates may have plans to go to college, but large numbers of graduates from District 86’s two high schools continue to seek a higher education.
While 91.8 percent of 2011 LT graduates reported college plans, just 83 percent of this year’s class listed college in their immediate future. LT Principal David Franson suggested the economy and indecisiveness might be partially to blame.
There’s been no such decline in District 86.
“We’re traditionally about 98 percent,” said Hinsdale South Principal Brian Waterman.
South’s 406 graduates this year report plans to attend 110 different two- and four-year institutions in 31 states and three countries.
“We’re very proud of that,” Waterman said.
They’ll have plenty of help paying for all that education. The Class of 2012 collectively earned more than $15 million in merit-based scholarships.
Waterman said South students start planning for college as soon as they begin their freshman year. From the start, each student is encouraged to take classes that will prepare them for the future.
“The counselors do a great job of walking students through the college search process,” Waterman said.
During the junior planning conference — a meeting between the student, parents and counselor — students start to consider where they will go after high school.
“That’s when the student really starts to think about not only college, but which colleges,” he said.
Hinsdale Central’s Class of 2012 submitted 4,484 applications to 449 schools, resulting in 2,770 acceptances.
Like South, nearly all students at Hinsdale Central report plans to attend college after high school. As of June 5, 652 of Central’s 661 graduates, or 98.3 percent, had plans to go on to college.
Those plans include 180 different colleges and universities and eight two-year schools.