High schoolers get crash-course in college strategies

Posted: Updated:

High schools in the summertime usually just have workers inside cleaning and upgrading the facilities. But at South High School this week, you’ll find a classroom full of students, in a competition about college.

The program is called Titan University, where a select group of students are getting a crash course in scholarship applications. Skills taught include research, writing, applications, interviews and ACT/SAT test taking strategies.

The students taking part know the stakes are high.

“Sometimes you don’t get accepted when it comes to scholarships,” said Tamarea Jacques, a junior at the high school. “You have to keep striving, trying.”

That concept was echoed by other students in the classroom.

“Most people don’t get the opportunity to see this happen for them,” said junior Jordy Mosqueda. “The fact that we’re getting this opportunity at our age to get this done.”

Titan University is the project of Courtney Bell, who works at the high school as a career and college counselor.

“Every year, we have a lot of seniors who are really concerned about scholarships, but we don’t have a lot of students who get intervention at early ages,” she said. “To kind of see where they’re at now since they still have two years of high school to turn things around or step up their game.”

Seven of the students will win a scholarship by the end of the year to be used after high school. The money was donated by WSU, Butler and PBP Management Group.

The juniors getting such a head start in college financing is rare, and those students are aware that it’s a serious boost to the next chapter of their lives.

“If we prepare ourselves and are more driven, we have a better opportunity,” Mosqueda said. “If we start at an earlier age, that opportunity will be greater.”