As the year comes to an end for the class of 2019, the decision that weighed on everyone’s mind has been decided: where to spend the next four years. The stressful college process has culminated in great variety and quality of schools, and today we take a brief dive into the numbers and feature a few students going to especially fine institutions.
After taking a brief look at Baylor legend Dr. Dan Kennedy’s perennial college board, the number and variety of schools on the list is truly astounding. Today, we’ll break down some numbers in terms of who is going where, and then look a little bit more into a few schools and students specifically that stand out.
The class of 2019 will be attending college across a geographical range including 27 different states and three different countries. To no one's surprise, Tennessee ranks first with 48 students, Alabama comes in second with twenty followed by Georgia with 14 to round out the top three states with the most students. Surprises included west coast California with seven students, Texas and New York with six students each, and Massachusetts with five. Internationally, one student, Elizabeth Hayslett, will attend school in Scotland and another, Benji Taverne, in Chile. Multiple students have also elected to take a gap year for a variety of reasons.
In terms of specific institutions that stand out, members of the class of 2019 will be attending schools such as UVA, Dartmouth, UNC, Harvard, Cornell, UC Berkeley, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Wash U, and the United States Air Force Academy just to name a few. Putting the athlete in student athlete, 31 students will be continuing in their respective sports at the collegiate level. Tens of others received academic scholarships at their respective choices, including a few receiving full pay scholarships solely based on merit. All in all, the seniors have a diverse group or both athletes and students that truly shows how well rounded of a class they truly are.
To look at some students in particular, I was lucky to speak with Alberto Marset, who will be taking a gap year, Sarah Miller, who will be attending the United States Air Force Academy, and Lorenzo White who will be attending Lee University.
Starting with Alberto, I talked with him about why he chose to take a gap year, which has become an increasingly popular option instead of going directly to a four year university. He responded by saying how he wants to go to college in America (Alberto is a boarder from Seville, Spain) but wanted to return back home and see his family who he only sees for a few months of the year. His aspirations are to return to Seville and work all while spending quality time with his brother and parents before returning to the U.S. for college next year.
Miller has the distinction of being the only student attending a service academy, and I had the privilege of speaking briefly with her on the four square court about her decision. She expressed how excited yet also nervous she was to be attending the Air Force Academy which is located in far away Colorado. She mentioned the endless opportunities available to her at the academy, and I have the upmost respect for her and others who will go on to serve our great country.
Lastly, Lorenzo, who decided to continue his basketball career at Lee University, explained to me his decision making process. White was talented enough to be recruited both for football and basketball, and chose basketball in the end simply because he enjoys it more and loved Lee University. As a boarding student living in Cleveland and a big family man, White is excited to be close to said family and have the ability to play the sport he loves at the next level all while receiving a great education.
In the end, everyone has a story or reason as to why they decided on where they are headed. The college process and search can at times be stressful, exciting, and daunting all at the same time, and deciding can become very difficult. In the end, I’d like to say that I am proud of my classmates and I for making some great decisions and I wish everyone the best of luck.