College application process has Mount Si seniors waiting for answers

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SNOQUALMIE - Good news from Arkansas came last month for Mount Si High School senior Chenoa Hames.

It was an acceptance letter to Harding University, a small, private institution in Searcy, Ark. It was the first choice for Hames, who has plans to become a psychiatrist. She was confident she would be accepted, but the weeks that led up to last month's letter were still filled with uncertainties and anticipation.

"It was a relief," Hames said.

Many seniors at Mount Si are still hoping for a similar letter. Mount Si High School Counseling Center Secretary Lia Swanson estimated that about 48 percent of Mount Si's seniors applied to four-year colleges and universities and another 30 percent applied to two-year colleges.

According to the National Commission on the High School Senior Year, recent economic and employment demands now require all U.S. students to take at least two additional years of formal education and training after high school to compete in the job market. The commission estimates that more than 70 percent of today's graduates continue on to post-secondary education, making the college application process a competitive endeavor.

"We encourage the kids to look at furthering their education, no matter what form it takes," said Mount Si High School Career Specialist Diane Greer. "We hear over and over again how important skills, as well as education, are."

Most of the Mount Si students applying had spent their junior year taking tests and inquiring about academic programs. They also tried to look like academic superstars to admission officers, taking on a barrage of tough classes.

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