Some students have developed deeply-held reasons for wanting to go to college. The first video, profiles what students imagine college to be like and how they are inspired by parents, or self-motivated to attend college.The second video profiles a program chosen by two of our students (Mikayla Hanna, 2015 Gates Millennium Scholar, and Samuel Patterson (2017)) who were intentional in identifying a specific type of college program, like the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, that would support their aspirations beyond simply receiving an undergraduate degree to pursuing PhDs.

You must decide if you will talk about college on a surface level, like going to the County Fair, e.g., “I am going to the Fair.” Or if you will engage in research about college in a manner as to say, “I want to be selected to the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, because I want to pursue an undergraduate degree in biology and a PhD in scientific research.”


View both of the videos prior to engaging in your group discussion. After viewing the videos, engage in a group discussion about your reasons for wanting to go to college.

Focus your discussion around the following 5 topics:

  1. Which perspective shared, or comment made, by a student most resonated with you?
  2. Knowing how competitive specialized college programs, like the Meyerhoff Scholars, Center for Women in Technology, Richmond Scholars, or Stamps Scholars are, how does preparing yourself to become a competitive applicant influence your thinking over the course of your junior year of high school?
  3. How would you describe the scope of the college planning information that you have received from your high school guidance or career counselor?
  4. What are your thoughts about college and what are your primary motivations for wanting to go to college?