Students are considering the workforce over college after high school

Students gather around a college recruitment table at NHS College Fair.
Students gather around a college recruitment table at NHS College Fair.(Source: KTRE)
Updated: Nov. 14, 2018 at 6:28 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Now is the time high schools are hosting college fairs and recruiting prospective students.

Nacogdoches had one today, and it gave students overwhelming decisions to make. Sometimes, what they decide doesn’t always include college.

Nacogdoches seniors listened to a Texas A&M representative.

He gave the urgent reminder, “If you haven’t applied, just yet go ahead and do so as soon as possible.”

If they do, they will join 45,000 freshman applicants. Kenedy Knott is still on the fence about Aggieland or any college for that matter.

“I think going directly into the workforce, you’re not going to end up with so many student loans. You’re going to go straight into working, and you will already be making money," Knott said.

College recruiters get it, particularly Courtney Pickett. The Tyler Junior College rep knows two year colleges' biggest competitor is the workforce.

“Some who don’t go to TJC go to the fire/police academy. They find the local branches," Pickett said. “They find EMT programs. A lot of the health science fields because that’s big in East Texas. Or welding. Or HVAC, things like that.”

Four-year colleges competition comes from community colleges. While Stephen F. Austin State University has partnerships with several two-year colleges, recruiters and even deans go after those freshmen.

SFA Associate Dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics Dr. Michele Harris was eager to attend the college fair.

“We want a broad representation in our college, and right now the next initiative after women in STEM is the Hispanic population.”

Nacogdoches High School counselor April Grady helps students select the right path.

There’s many different post-secondary educational options, and we just try to encourage them to do something that’s going to help make them a productive citizen."

Students' decision after high school vary.

At Nacogdoches High School, 40 percent of graduating seniors plan to attend a four year college, 35 percent a two year college, and 10 percent a vocation school. A rising number of applicants are joining the military.

Knott said most likely she’ll go to college but knows to keep her options open.

“We need those people that don’t go to college to fill the other jobs, and so, I think that’s really a good thing there’s other ways you can make money," Knott said.

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